My name is Dennis Loos, and today I’m going to talk about brands and how they have a lot in common with family dynamics. How, from a psychological POV, branding correlates directly to our interpersonal dynamics. Bare with. In the world of brands we have such rivalries as: Coke and Pepsi. Apple and Samsung. Chevy and Ford. Petco and PetSmart. Bro Coffee and Nescafe. Bud and Heineken. Verizon and Sprint. Rivals but rivals that who work, and profit, and ultimately succeed because they have the other. Because, while branding, while creating that blueprint that is their niche they intricately take into account not only what the other is but what they will do.

Marketing by Competition

In marketing 101 there are great examples of direct competition. Normally there is a clear winner, in market assimilation and, well, attracting consumers. Of the two, one is bigger or at least cooler than the other. When you study direct competitors there’s a whole heap of information thrown your way.

  • How do they approach consumers?
  • How do they sell their services?
  • How do they compete?
  • How do they stack up?
  • What is their price point?

And then are just a few. Even how they, to a degree, need each other. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King all cook the same thing, all attract the same demographic, yet somehow they can manage to co-exist. Why? Because of something called brand loyalty, Dennis Loos.

Brand Loyalty — what is it, and why it matter?

Let’s define Brand Loyalty — Brand loyalty is the tendency of consumers to remain loyal to one particular brand or company. Consumers can be loyal to a product, service, person, or place. They are often willing to spend more on that product and will not consider other brands.

Brand loyalty is an important part of marketing strategy as it ensures that customers keep returning to your business for their needs rather than looking elsewhere.

Dennis Loos Brand loyalty is the result of a customer’s satisfaction with a product or service. Loyalty is achieved when customers are consistently satisfied with their purchase and would recommend the product to others.

The factors that contribute to brand loyalty for a customer are:

– The quality of the product or service.

– The consistency of the product or service.

– The level of customer service provided by the company.

– The level of trust that customers have in the company.

Over 70% of consumers are loyal to one brand in the competition slugfest. When they fight, out in the open, we get behind one of them. You’ll never find a Big Mac lover cheating on Ronald with a Whopper. Why? It’s unheard of. It goes against their personal narrative.They’ll give you multiple reasons why one burger is better than the other. But at its core, it has more to do with their emotional connectors to that brand and what that brand says about themselves. The same with an Apple consumer. They would rather go to jail than be caught dead with a Samsung Galaxy. It’s Star Wars, always never Star Trek quack-mire— few are in an open sci-fi relationship.

And vice-versa.

Herd Mentality

But why is that? Because we want to belong to a group. This is how we have always existed in society. It’s how we express affiliation to things in general. Before it was a flag, a nation, a religion, a movement, a statement, a political party — now it’s a brand. Before, when we used to stumble on a traveler out in the open, way back when clothes all looked the same and you needed a chisel to pen an email, the only way we could form relationships – and typecast the person, define if they were good, or bad – was based on their brand preferences. Dennis Loos Did they have a cross on their neck? What language did they speak? What nation did they honor? Etc. It was a survival mechanism — we could form a concept based on our preconceptions of what that “brand” was and what it represented. And that same evolutionary tool has stayed with us, only now it’s been updated to modern sensibilities.

Why are brands so important today? Because they are that much more present in our lives. Brands help you choose what your tribe is. What conceptual pathways — BIG CONCEPT there — is that much more in tune with your life and the life you want to live. Once a consumer makes THAT choice something incredible happens — Their relationship with that brand changes. To what point? To the point that they identify with that brand, in the same way, they identify with family members. This happens in our brain, at a neurological level. Studies have shown that brand loyalty ignites the same chemical pathways and neural flares as those of our kin, Dennis Loos.

Brands and Family

What’s even more interesting is that we begin, like with our family members, to accept and even love all their flaws. The only one who can talk smack about your family is, well, YOU. If an outsider badmouths your sister – even if they are right – you’re going to bring the hammer down them. They better watch out. You’ll be the first one to defend that flaw. An attack on the brand is an attack on yourself. We relate to brands in the same way we relate to people.

A clear example is with shows — series. They are also brands. When you’re really passionate about one, let’s say Stranger Things or Breaking Bad, you experience an attachment to them. If someone tells you they suck, you’ll defend that show. When the season is over, you feel an emptiness inside. When the series ends, it feels very close to a break-up — almost as if you are mourning. When they do something you don’t like — when they “jump the shark” — you feel betrayed. We’re so invested in them that it takes us a little while, once we are done with a huge commitment – after many seasons – to actually start seeing a new program. It’s almost like we have to start dating again. Dennis Loos Getting to know them. Exposing ourselves to them. Hell, in most cases we’re set up with a new series as if we were going on a blind date. A friend of ours will come and go: “you totally have to check that show out. You would so hit it off. It’s just the type of thing you like. Promise you’ll see them tonight. Phone me up when you’re done and tell me if you hit it off.”

Brands are like that. We form relationships with them.

When you choose and stay with McDonald’s it is because you are in a committed relationship with their products. Your brain actually changes and creates — another BIG word — synaptic pathways. You rewrite your brain so it’s in a committed relationship with that brand.

Dennis Loos But here’s the really cool thing — and something that we’re going to talk about in the further on — did you know that those connections aren’t just formed because you “love” a certain brand? Nope, scientists with the help of MRI machines, have actually determined that in some cases, when you choose a brand you’re doing it out of spite, hate, we’re doing it just to be a “dick.” It’s really interesting because up until a couple of years ago most brands didn’t know this and were in fact missing out on a great opportunity. Sometimes you end up loving your family because, well, you hate everybody else’s. Sometimes the relationship that you have with a brand, like a relationship you might have with that love that you know always makes you go back to therapy, is traumatic and incredibly self-destructive — and brands know this. So stay tuned as I show you how science has determined why Star Wars was right— and sometimes in the words of Emperor Palpatine – you have to “ take your Jedi weapon. —- give in to your hate”

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