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A Brand Likability Contest

Brand likeability is defined as “a brand strategy based on attractiveness, credibility, and expertise in order to create attachment and love by delivering beneficial outcomes for consumers and brands alike.”

Now, more than ever, marketing and branding teams are moving towards creating campaigns that reinforce a brand’s overall reputation and build respect and likeability with their customer base. This means brands are leading more with transparency, reliability, and genuine messaging.

Transparency

Brand transparency is how a brand shows itself to be genuine and open, especially regarding public interactions. It is one of the most powerful ways to gain the trust and loyalty of a target market. Brand transparency mostly refers to a brand’s active attempts at honesty.

94% of customers are likely to show loyalty to a brand that offers complete transparency.

“A consumer behavior study which included 2,000 respondents suggests that people are significantly more loyal to brands that are transparent about different aspects of their business. When it comes to food and personal care products in particular, consumers value companies that are honest about the ingredients they use, Label Insight’s brand loyalty statistics inform”. (Label Insight)

Recently the popular skincare brand, Summer Fridays, made a mistake with a batch of their facemask formulas which led to purchasers experiencing uncomfortable rashes. Instead of quietly addressing the situation or not addressing it at all and viewing it as a fluke, the company aired on the side of transparency and immediately released a Press Release. Fans praised how quickly and honestly the company addressed the issue and their plan to make right. This could have been a PR nightmare, but instead the company ensured its likeability through honesty and transparency.

Reliability

Brand reliability goes beyond how well a company’s product works. Reliability is directly connected with consistency, which can be a huge issue for brands with multiple locations, hundreds of employees, and thousands of assets.

“Brand consistency is the delivery of brand messaging in line with the brand identity, values, and strategy over time. Consistency means your target audience is being exposed to core messages, visual branding, and other brand elements repeatedly, which can help to solidify brand recognition”. (MerlinOne)

The reliability and consistency of a brand leads to customer trust. If a customer is seeing different messages, logos, or overall branding in different places, that trust drastically drops and you risk losing your customer base.

Timing & Message

The wrong post at the wrong time can radically affect how your audience base views your brand.

By now, we’re all aware of the epic fail that was the Kendal Jenner x Pepsi campaign. This poorly timed campaign in the midst of global unrest and protest was and still is mocked by the public and media alike.

Two weeks after the controversial Kendal Jenner ad brought Pepsi to its lowest consumer perception levels in nearly 10 years.

“On April 4 (2017), the day the ad aired, 28% of adult consumers stated that they would consider buying Pepsi the next time they wanted to purchase a carbonated soft drink. By April 12th, that percentage had dropped to 20%.” (YouGov).

Marketers must be diligent to look at all perspective outcomes of a campaign, because in this world of cancel culture the risk of someone being offended by the timing and message of your ad can mean a downfall in likability and of profit.

At the end of the day, a well-liked brand is always going to beat an unlikable one. However, being popular as a brand is different than being popular in high school. It’s not just about appearance and followers, it’s about connecting with your customers, and leading with realness and sincerity rather than superficial messaging.


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