As humans, we are united in an appreciation of the need for love (and not just on Valentines Weekend, people!).
We also understand that “The Power of Love” is more than 3 songs released in the same year (1985) and at a push, we can name the three separate music artists and have our preference. (It’s Frankie, no brainer).
Love is dangerous, confusing and sometimes shortlived. Love can also be enduring, all-consuming and total. Every day, we employ degrees of “Love” to our routines and attachments – our partners, our children, the car we like to step into – the list could go on.
We also love to affiliate ourselves easily to lots of activity – much of it peripheral – but no less consuming. And for devotees of social media this is writ large for all that we stand for: our “besties”, our music, our achievements in games, etc.
So, this weekend while we consciously think of love in all its more obvious forms, think how powerful it would be to be able to make similar (non-physical) connections with customers. How do we create that Love?
Going beyond liking
Social media has made the act of endorsement (a “like” instead of a love, really) an act of spontaneity, something of the moment – but to build brand loyalty, this has to be earned from more than just a fling.
Brands have that almost unique power to segment and divide people, to separate them into tribes (such as sports teams) or expressions of wealth – real or otherwise (like real/fake designer clothing). Others, of course, don’t give them a second thought. It’s not the driver for their purchase.
The key for business is to understand that customers want to express their good sense and taste through choosing your brand when they had many other choices thrown at them. Some are exclusive and aspirational and you reach out to them to flatter and massage their already exquisite decision making. For others, it’s more of a battle to demonstrate that the brand means more and that you can start to love them among others.
The Love of Lidl
Without getting tawdry, this is exactly what Lidl have done. Recognising that lifestyles have driven changes in shopping patterns, they have made a stunning and deliberate swoop for the middle classes – understanding the things they love and playing in it to woo them through the doors – the warmed wine that reminds them of the ski trip, the surprisingly good champagne and the attractive plate of crustaceans, like they had in France this summer.
Too much and it could be patronising and result in the slap round the face – but I haven’t seen it yet. There are still plenty of 4X4s squeezing into my local Lidl car park.
Lidl have reached out to the lucrative middle classes and there is a chemistry happening, for sure.
So brands can make that journey and reach out to find new lovers. The secret is to recognise that everyone has different views on what is attractive – the art is to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so that it is a love shared.
PS – For the record, I have not been seduced by Lidl yet, but could be open to a cheeky flirt….