Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin Water

Social Media Creates Emotional Brand Benefits

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Roughly speaking, the benefits that a brand offers its consumer can be divided into two groups: functional benefits and emotional benefits. Functional benefits can be very powerful but can more easily be duplicated by competitors. It is in emotional benefits that brands are able to create more meaningful, lasting relationships with their customers.

While the reward of strong emotional benefits is great (more loyal customers, lower marketing costs, etc), the difficulty in occupying this brand space is significant as well.

The rise of social media and the increasing sophistication of its use by brands large and small has created a new and exciting way of providing emotional benefits to consumers. Social media is inherently about emotional benefits: belonging, friendship, interaction, teamwork, status, etc. By using social media, brands can tap into these powerful emotions and create lasting relationships with consumers – as long as it is done correctly.

The key to creating emotional benefits on social media is to focus on the benefits that are inherent to social media. If a brand were to focus on the emotional benefit of security, there would be no fit with the existing emotions at play in social networks. By focusing on interaction, consumers are able to gain the emotional benefit and do so while collaborating with the brand.

Two examples of this jump to my mind: DEWmocracy by Mountain Dew and Facebook flavoured Vitamin Water. In both cases, the companies have emphasized interaction and teamwork among the brand and its consumers in order to develop a new product. Consumers who have helped in the process will feel an instant emotional connection to the brand that they helped to create and everyone else will associate the brand with the emotional benefits.

What do you think? Have you seen other examples of leveraging social media to provide emotional brand benefits?

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Written by benwisebranding

January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm