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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

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