Emotional connection key to brand success, says Marketing Forum

NEW YORK: Whether Bill Gates is a hero or not is debatable - but the world could use more ’local heroes’ like him.

NEW YORK: Whether Bill Gates is a hero or not is debatable - but the world could use more ’local heroes’ like him.

NEW YORK: Whether Bill Gates is a hero or not is debatable - but

the world could use more ’local heroes’ like him.



That was one of the suggestions made earlier this month by Carrie

Chehayl, VP of Roper Starch Worldwide, during the Marketing Forum 2000

held aboard the Queen Elizabeth II.



The ’Consumer Trends’ session, given jointly by Chehayl and American

Demographics associate publisher and editor John McManus, set out to

cover consumer trends and what marketers can learn from them.



According to Chehayl, people are increasingly looking for a human

connection.



’For brands to be successful, they have to start connecting on an

emotional level,’ explained Chehayl, who held up Gates as a ’local hero’

who has done a good job making his presence felt through local

cause-marketing efforts.



The Roper Starch brand loyalty index also indicated that the number of

people who feel that a ’different’ and ’better’ brand is worth paying

more for has also declined in categories ranging from luxury cars to

facial tissue.



’It’s critically important, in developing brand loyalty, to show

continuous ’provement,’’ said Chehayl, meaning that companies need to

continually show consumers why they should stick with a product.



On the flip side, this means that there is more opportunity to poach

customers from competitors. Chehayl said that this has upped the need

for marketers to scrap old marketing ideas. For instance, she said that

a company like Pampers might want to consider targeting women over 40 as

well as the younger population.



And while many companies are defining themselves as either

business-to-business or business-to-consumer, McManus suggested that the

notion of consumer-to-business could be what sets a company apart.



’Consumers are telling us what they want, how they want to behave and

what to deliver,’ he said, partially attributing this increase in

customer power to reverse marketers like eBay, which allow customers to

determine what price they are willing to pay for a product.



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