We’ve discussed how we can harness psychology to connect with our audiences but another key component to reaching our consumers is respecting their brand emotions.
Avoiding Alienating Your Brand Communities
We’re all familiar with the idea of the emotions we feel towards our favorite, and least favorites brands. I love Nike running shoes and Le Creuset saucepans, but I could really do without Comcast… The discreet and compound emotions we feel towards brands, and that consumers feel towards our own brands, are a critical piece of understanding who our consumers are and why they love or don’t love our brand.
This is especially important when considering the different brand communities that may form around our brand. These subcultures have their own emotions which are felt in various different ways and are extremely context-dependent. Understanding how these communities process and value different emotions is key to cultivating brand loyalists and reaping the benefits.
Jeep Lovers and their Brand Emotions
Let’s take a look at one of the most diverse and fervent brand communities: Jeep lovers.
Jeep fans are truly a community in the most united sense of the term; the state of Florida has almost forty different Jeep clubs alone. These fans are extremely passionate and loyal to the Jeep brand, but it’s extremely important that Jeep respects its communities’ emotions.
Jeep must be conscious of how its branding and product decisions impact the emotions of is fans within this subculture in order to foster its future growth. Newer Jeep models have adopted features more closely related to luxury vehicles which run contrary to the brand’s rough and rugged image.
Many long-time fans have strong emotions of pride tied to their own Jeeps; pride in how durable and capable they are in off-road settings. While progressing the Jeep product line into the future and capturing new consumer segments may grow the brand in the short- to medium-term, Jeep must be conscious not alienating its communities and eroding the brand’s long-term staying power.
Know Your Audience
Ultimately, for Jeep, and for any other brand, understanding and respecting their audience will always be critical to the brand’s longevity. Knowing your audience’s emotions, what they mean, how they’re valued, how they’re influenced, is just one piece of building a truly transcendent brand.