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Management Report

Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Brand Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

Brand Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

CHOI Soonhwa

Mar. 6, 2006

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It's love, not reason.

Consumers nowadays fall for love - not reason - when deciding which products to buy. It's a decision based on feeling rather than reason. It's a love for brand.

With competition ever sharpening on the marketplace and business environment rapidly changing, companies pursue business on consumers' love for brand. Love is the feeling most consumers bring to a brand. Love for a brand is absolute. It's an emotional relationship disregarding rational or logical judgment, reputation, trust, or respect.

More and more Korean companies run new kind of commercial ads appealing to such love. For example, Korea's number-one electronics maker Samsung Electronics describes itself as a member of consumer family, "another family member." GS, formerly part of Korea's second largest conglomerate LG Group, pleads, "Give me a hug." It's appealing for love.

How consumers feel or think or behave about a brand not only affects corporate performance, image and reputation, but also determines corporate fate. When consumers love a certain brand, they show understanding and mercy even when the brand in question falls in disgrace. When a brand successfully overcomes a crisis, consumers tend to react with a much stronger affection than before.

Interbrand, one of the world's leading branding consultancies, regularly releases its rankings of 100 most valuable global brands. Most of its top ten brands of 2001 were still on the list between 2002 and 2005. However, companies with less recognizable brands hardly remained in the rankings. Among the bottom ten brands of 2001, only one survived on the list in 2005. The most recognizable global brands were more likely to keep their reputation than those less known.

Consumers do not select top global brands at random. They develop affection for them based on long-term efforts by their companies to establish close relationship with consumers. It holds a lesson for Korean companies that are making an all-out effort to win consumers' affection for brand names.

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