With businesses competing in a hyper-mature, oversupplied market, creating a great product or service is no longer enough to win you loyal fans and customers. Engagement wins. It’s invaluable to know what makes people tick. Knowing your customer means you’re engaged, you’re listening and responding—and you can make informed predications. And being engaged gets people talking about your product. It’s then you really move the needle on amassing a following of brand advocates. Consider the following consumer types. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll consider how to nurture the more engaged brand advocates.

Connoisseurs are engaged and knowledgeable about a category. As the name suggests, they’re selective, informed and picky. Though they have tremendous affection for a certain category of products and dig deep to learn about it, they are not loyal to a specific brand.

Savvy Opportunists
Equally knowledgeable but less engaged than connoisseurs, Savvy Opportunists are coupon clippers, bargain hunters, and reward points accumulators—making them less passionate, more utilitarian decision-makers.

If you ask a friend “Pepsi or Coca-Cola?” and the response is “They are the same to me,” you’re talking to a pragmatic—the ultimate non-differentiators whose purchase decisions are based on some combination of habit, routine, price, utility, and convenience. They may or may not have knowledge about a certain category or brand, but they’re not emotionally invested.

As the name suggested, the reluctants feel uncomfortable, confused, frustrated and awkward and don’t want to participate in the category unless they have no choice.

Brand Loyalist
This category has been getting a lot of attention the past several years, heralded by marketers for showing a stubborn, committed passion for a particular brand, making them ideal customers. Regardless of their level of knowledge about a category, they are highly engaged in the brands they admire.

Brand Advocates
This category represents the ultimate target in today’s social-sharing world. Advocates are both highly engaged and deeply knowledgeable. They love learning about a brand and sharing knowledge with others. Brand advocates are similar to brand loyalists in their loyal to a certain brand. However, the relationship of advocacy goes beyond purchasing: the brand advocates are emotionally attached and actively, positively and voluntarily communicating about it to others. (Lowenstein, 2011)

As people are more likely to both find and share information online, the power of brand advocacy has become unprecedentedly strong, making this the ultimate consumer. Today, 92% of people read online reviews before purchase (BrightLocal, 2015); 90% of people admit that their purchase decisions are influenced by information online (Dimensional Research, 2013); 88% of people trust information online from strangers as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal, 2014).

What this all means? Build your business strategy around Brand Advocates: the volunteer marketers whose loyalty will lead to a positive effect on your bottom line.

UP NEXT: The Power of the Brand Advocate

Moon, Y. (2010). Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd: Standing out in a world where conformity reigns but exceptions rule.
Lowenstein, M.W. (2011) The customer advocate and the customer saboteur liking social word-of-mouth, brand impression, and stakeholder behavior. USA: ASO Quality Press

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What matters most to people looking for meaning in the billions of brands in the world? It’s not how much consumers like you but, rather, how much they are like you. As for the less meaningful brands, consumers would be fine if those just disappeared.[1]

Don’t disappear. Look beyond the usual outcomes, like purchase and loyalty, at what really matters: Making deep psychological connections with consumers, which builds affection and passion that leads to the most desired emotional state between people and brands—attachment. And when your audience is psychologically attached, you have a built-in army of brand ambassadors, talking you up on social media, making sure everyone knows how much you mean to them.

How do brands’ motivate such deep attachment and which ones are doing it right? Commit to one or more of these five types of brand ideals like the companies below:[2]

Eliciting Joy: Activating feelings of happiness.

Coca-Cola sells emotion. From its 1979 campaign “Have a Coke and a Smile” to its recent campaign “Taste the Feeling,” Coca-Cola is all about happy experiences.

Enabling Connection: Enhancing meaningful connections with each other and the world.

Patek Philippe watches represent more than a means of telling time; it’s a personal object steeped in precious memories, the purchase of which is often related to important personal events—a professional success, a marriage, or the birth of a child. “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” Patek Philippe’s campaign Generation tells the story of connections between generations, and the love that’s passed on.

Inspiring Exploration: Helping people explore new horizons.

Nike, and Just Do It, is dedicated to bringing inspiration, encouragement and innovation to every athlete in the world.

Evoking Pride: Encouraging increased confidence, strength, security and vitality.

Since 1932, Lego has been inspiring children to express their imagination and unleash creativity (or in BIRD’s case, adult creative-types).

Impacting Society: Make a difference, in a broad way, like in challenging the status quo.

Google doesn’t just tell a product or technology story, it tells stories of how Google impacts the world.

[1] According to recent research performed by Havas Media Group, the majority of people surveyed globally wouldn’t care if 73% of brands disappeared tomorrow.
[2] Introduced by Jim Stengel in Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies

It started back in 1991. BIRD set out to change the agency paradigm. Beginning with a handful of diverse, smart, heavy-hitting clients like E!, Reebok, Warner Brothers, Gramercy Pictures, and FX, we delivered thoughtful distinctive advertising, branding and design solutions while avoiding the big agency complex chain of command. In our way we have sought to fill a void, to inject a way of seeing things a little differently–a BIRD’s eye view.

The creativity of BIRD is about people—our staff, colleagues and clients—and how we interact. Beyond our own practices, we’ve spawned numerous creative leaders and agencies using the skills they nurtured at BIRD: an important legacy we take great pride in—along with the many friends and colleagues we’ve made along the way who continue to inspire us on our quest to solve global initiatives for brands like Pandora, Salesforce, Cisco, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight.

For us no two days or weeks or years are alike, which aligns with the one-off approach to our work. We’re delighted—and very thankful to you all. Please join us here and on social media (instagram, facebook, twitter) as we celebrate our anniversary throughout the year.

Music has inspired much of our creativity and thinking over the years. We were in many ways born out of the rock scene of the 70’s and 80’s. Bowie probably more than any other artist embodied something creatively and intellectually appealing to us. He was as much a visual expression as a musical one and unlike his many imitators, neither expression took a back seat to the other. He was brave a intrepid and his ideas spoke with a conviction and authenticity that audiences of many generations and tastes loved and believed with an almost religious fever. We all can only hope that if we speak with the same conviction we may hope to bring that extra depth of meaning to the human experience through our art. Godspeed David. We miss you already.


Ho Ho Ya to the end of a great year and the beginning of another—2016 marks our 25th year as BIRD, which we’re looking forward to celebrating with you all. Keep checking in for details.

Our process of strategically building brands extends beyond big players like Pandora, Avery, Salesforce and Cisco. We love working with regional brands to define and elevate the conversation, creating a competitive edge that separates our clients’ offerings from an overwhelming world of choice.

A West Coast company with century-old ties in Los Angeles, Storage West was struggling to find a point of differentiation in the crowded storage space industry, with discounts and cut-rate competition considered the way to sell customers on storage. BIRD tackled the branding issue with our careful process of research, discovery, analysis, conceptualization, synthesis and execution.

Beginning with commissioning a consumer research study, we applied our learnings that service is a value story consumers truly look for—that premium pricing was sustainable by an ethic of premium service, security and creating a deep connection with local communities. A unique brand position, mark and message, utilizing the concepts of service and community, was born: a contemporary logo that utilized a waypoint and keyhole alongside the simple, direct tagline “Here for you.” The brand stands proudly next to the big storage players, proving that friendly and familiar appeal to people looking for help transitioning through life changes like moving across town or across the country, growing a business, or just finding a place for all that extra stuff.


Art is a Journey | BIRD from BIRD Los Angeles on Vimeo.

Dive into the world of creativity with BIRD and some of our favorite Los Angeles based creatives. We loved their thoughts on the resonance, transcendence, and power of creative expression…it’s the same magic that motivates us to do what we do every day.


Special thanks to:
Brett Guerwitz
Sage Vaughn
Alix Madigan
Atticus Ross
Lisa Occhipinti
Rob Zabrecky

Gearing up for back-to-school season? We are too! A new digital campaign we developed for Avery just hit the web, and we’re pleased to be able to share it here.

Our campaign took inspiration from the energy and expressiveness of youth, and the durability and creative potential offered by Avery Binders. The end result was a far-reaching digital campaign that could speak to musicians, skaters, fashionistas and anything else a creative teen dreams of being – and, of course, felt sensible for the moms who are the actual decision makers.

The traditional digital campaign, along with a forward-thinking social outreach allowed us to speak directly with our audience in a personal way. We loved stretching our creative wings on this project.

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s movie, The City of Lost Children. The City of Lost Children is an imaginative, surrealist, sci-fi thriller that has grown a cult following since its premier in 1995. BIRD had the privilege of designing the key art for the film 20 years ago. The film’s artistic vision translated well to an iconic poster that will last forever. 20 years later people are still talking about the film, here’s an article of Shaun Duke’s critic on The City of Lost Children: