According to C.W. Park, long-term growth means finding an audience who loves your brand and makes you part of their lifestyle.
Brands spend a lot of time and money on their advertising. C.Whan Park has spent decades understanding the consumer mind and brands’ impact on audiences. His recent comments regarding his newest book, “Brand Admiration: Building a Business People Love,” address the importance of brand admiration and how to achieve that status for business growth.
“Many business owners don’t understand that becoming part of consumer culture is crucial for demand generation,” he says. “How did Apple create its cult-like following, making it bigger and more profitable than Microsoft? Why is Google synonymous with the search for most people? Or is Tesla representative of a greener lifestyle? These brands have aligned their brand with the identity and lifestyle of their audience.”
According to C.Whan Park’s book on building brand admiration, the admired brand is a:
Cost-Efficiency Enhancer: Brands create demand that includes favorable word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing, reducing the need for paid brand promotion.
Growth Facilitator: An established and admired brand can be used to test out a new product or enter a new market category with less risk, boosting company growth.
Human-Capital Builder: Admired brands keep top talent engaged and happy with their brand.
Employee-Morale Booster: Employees are motivated to protect and strengthen an admired brand because they believe in it.
Second-Chance Provider: Customers are more likely to forgive a company after a disaster or gaffe if they feel a strong sense of loyalty to the brand.
Market Protector: Brands that become part of a lifestyle create customers that are reluctant to switch to a new or cheaper brand.
Alliance Facilitator: Relationships with influential people or big-name companies are easier to form when a brand is desirable, and key relationships between top names facilitate increased brand admiration.
Asset Builder: An admired brand becomes an asset itself, creating a following among investors as well.
According to C.Whan Park, pinning down the exact process of creating brand admiration can be deceptively complex. Brands have to offer value and an inspiring image that makes consumers feel that the brand enhances their lives.
He says customers are likely to fall in love with a brand because they experience:
A reason to be loyal.
A customer may feel that a certain value makes one brand better than anyone else. C.W. Park says this value could be something like highly responsive customer service, deep industry knowledge, or taking responsibility for a mistake.
Consistently met expectations.
People feel like they can trust their favorite brands to produce the kind of quality, fit, intuitive design, flavor, value, or beauty that they have come to expect from that company. They will forgive an occasional mistake or quality lapse—especially if the brand will make up for it.
A sense of belonging.
People who fall in love with brands feel as if those brands represent who they are and speak for them. When someone wears a favorite brand, they align their identity with what that brand stands for—the luxury, coolness factor, ingenuity, etc.— C. Whan Park explained.