Date, Marry, Avoid

Kathryn Bottomley and Sammy Cattlin discuss some of the main talking points from our recent Brand Love client event.

Our recent client event on brand love was full of intellectual twists, and of course we couldn’t let our unsuspecting audience start a debate on this interesting and diverse topic without a warm-up to ignite some spark into the night.

To begin the evening, we introduced one of the most widely respected and alternative ways of interrogating brand love, namely the Saatchi and Saatchi lovemarks concept. This looks closely at the questions; what builds loyalty beyond reason? And what makes a great love stand out? It takes on two dimensions, love and respect. In this case, love is defined as brands that inspire and generate an emotional connection with consumers, and respect is when a brand has earned consumer trust by high performance in terms of both quality and value.

As researchers we know consumers are unlikely to be able to articulate the amount of respect and love they might have for a brand. Therefore we introduced an alternative technique to help the audience verbalise their thoughts and opinions on brand love.

Welcome to ‘Date, Marry, Avoid’ (in no way a copy of the show Snog, Marry, Avoid!) We chose three retail brands – Morrisons, Aldi and M&S Food – and asked our audience three simple questions;

  • Who would they date?
  • Who would they marry?
  • And who would they avoid?

Clear ground rules were set, with no double dating, bigotry or dumping of all three! Following everyone’s vote, we debated the reasons for their relationship status with each brand and saw a number of clear themes emerge.

Aldi is the perfect date choice; the new kid on the block, with potential surprises in store for any new lover. For some in the room it was a chance to admit that they had been having an affair with Aldi for a while and were only just comfortable disclosing their relationship with the brand. This is testament to how the brand has been quietly gaining respect with its competitive prices and challenge to the status quo. The challenge for Aldi is to continue to deliver on its promises and create the emotional connection with consumers that will get them coming back time and time again.

M&S Food is the ideal long-term partner and was an easy choice for marriage for the majority. It was described as highly reliable and capable of producing memorable moments and special treats! The heritage of the brand has created a legacy of trust – the secret to any good marriage. It wasn’t however a unanimous vote; there were some doubters in the room who thought potentially the high quality brand would be high maintenance and expensive to run in the long term!

Despite being supermarket of the year, Morrisons was not the peoples’ choice on this occasion. They were most commonly chosen to avoid as seen as less exciting and a little stuck in their ways. That said there were a few who wanted to give them a chance due to their family values and down to earth marketplace feel.

So, it turned out there was a lot of hidden love in the room, and not necessarily in the places we had expected. Using a projective technique got our audience thinking about what makes them love a brand, without them having to verbalise the qualities that would put their brand on the Lovemarks matrix.

We love coming up with unusual techniques to get participants talking, so to find out more contact Kathryn or Sammy on 0844 245 65 95