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    10 Most Read Articles on Sounds Like Branding in 2010


    We welcome 2011 by giving you the ten most read articles published here in 2010. Enjoy reading!

    1. The Manual - How to build a successful strategy to interest brands

    2. Heartbeats in conversation with Gerd Leonhard

    3. How to use social media in the music industry

    4. Marketing with a higher purpose

    5. How to turn a customer into a fan

    6. The Sounds like Branding beta version is yours for a tweet

    7. Lady Gaga - living proof of music branding

    8. A new marketing mix for the 21st century: 4Es (with audio)

    9. Heartbeats Trend Report : New York

    10. The philosophy of the four Es – why brands need to embrace this model in their marketing


    Pepsi, Dove and Intel - Case summary (4Es)

    Pepsi, Dove and Intel, highlighted in the three previous posts, all embrace the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity in their marketing strategies. But, of course, approach the model in different ways.

    Pepsi - Dove - Intel

    While Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty is more emotional in its approach, Pepsi’s Refresh Project has an engaging point of departure. Intel’s Creators Project is approaching the four Es first and foremost by offering the audience experiences through exhibitions and videos. But in general, the three very different but all very successful brands bring emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity in to play in their overall communication and marketing strategies. They are all doing ‘good’ as well, with regards to the campaigns highlighted.


    Case in point A: Dove, Campaign for Real Beauty (4Es)

    A brand that makes a good example of, first and foremost, connecting emotionally to its customers is Dove, with its ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, adopted by Unilever back in 2004.

    Before 2004 Dove had only communicated product benefits, just as the majority of personal care brands. With the Campaign for Real Beauty, Unilever and Dove took on an emotional stand instead, aiming to convey a more democratic vision of attractiveness. Dove wanted women to feel beautiful every day by widening the stereotypical views of beauty.

    Dove’s commitment to this mission started with using women of various ages, shapes and sizes, not super-thin models, in their commercials. The brand was doing so to provoke discussion and debate about today’s typecast beauty images. Employing various communication vehicles including advertising, a web site, billboards, events, a Self-Esteem Fund and more – the campaign invites women to experience the brand and join the discussion about beauty, and share their views with others all around the world.

    Dove has successfully taken a stand with the Campaign for Real Beauty, engaging their target audience by giving back something of value - the value of good self-esteem. At the same time, the brand has enabled customers to engage with both the brand and the customer’s social networks, spreading the word about Dove to others.

    Dove Campaign

    With regard to personal care brands, the Campaign for Real Beauty has been one of the most recognised ones during the last couple of years. With a movement of close to 200 000 fans of the brand online, Dove has successfully created an admired brand, which is now perceived as differentiated from its competitors, and has positioned itself as a preferable choice for many consumers, owning an exclusive position in their minds. The result of the Campaign for Real Beauty is a significant increase in sales of Dove’s whole product range.


    Emotions – Something humane in the marketing mix (4Es)

    As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as objective decision-making machines, our actions often say otherwise. When we ‘shop’ for something, we typically generate rational reasons to justify our actions. But the decision at the exact time of purchase is quite impulsive and largely emotional.

    Emotional advertising content makes more impact on customers than any rational information. This has been strengthened by neuroscience research during the last few years. In short, our emotions ‘decide’, and do the ‘shopping’, for us. In the end, our actions are formed on the associations and feelings we have for a brand, together with our subjective history of it. Hence, it is essential for brands to establish positive, or ‘right’, brand associations and connect emotionally with customers.

    Establishing ‘right’ brand associations helps to shape positive customer perceptions around the brand, and build strong affinity that leads to a much-increased brand preference amongst the customers, generating engagement and increasing customer loyalty.

    Emotional substance in marketing and communication increases the likelihood of being remembered as well. Customers pay more attention to emotionally-stimulating brand activities than brand activities lacking emotional content. Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, coined the expression ‘lovemarks’ in 2002, in his book with the same name, where he stated the need for emotional brand connectivity with customers. Eight years later we find this need stronger than ever.

    Brands that establish emotional bonds with their customers will effectively place themselves apart from their competitors, enabling the growth of customer loyalty. Today it is no longer a question of struggling for recognition alone. Today it is a question of being relevant, and connecting with customers. Because only then customers will forward your brand to their peers, writing testimonials and recommending your brand to others they are connected to. Successful brands are thus the ones that offer their customers emotional content which make the customers associate with the brand in a positive manner.

    Worth noting is that rational strengths shouldn’t be utterly replaced by emotional ones: for smaller brands, or new businesses, rational marketing may well do better than exclusively emotional marketing, but for most of the already established brands, or bigger businesses, emotional marketing will definitely outperform solely rational ones.

    Above you can watch film clips from Levi’s and Dove, two brands successfully working with emotions in their marketing campaigns. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty will be presented as a case study later in this series about the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.