Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why 'like' is the perfect word.



The word 'like' comes up more in marketing discussions these days.

Of course, in these discussions, 'like' has a very specific meaning. How many 'likes' does the brand have? For example, over 14m people have liked Red Bull's facebook page. Naturally, there are loads of questions on the back of this e.g. if a person 'likes' a brand, are they more likely to buy from it? Or were they already into the brand in the first place, and the like is a result of this, not a lead indicator? And does it matter if so? Brendan shared some research on this recently.

But 'like' is the perfect word in the broader sense. As the need for brands to be more human, to be more transparent and be more interesting becomes more apparent - it becomes very clear what brands must do: They must focus on persuading customers to like them. Not just facebook like, but genuinely like them.

Sounds a bit simplistic. Probably. Yes, we need better, more insight led products and services, a competing distribution, decent share of voice and all the rest. But the wrap around all of this is a brand that people like. If you like somebody, you'll forgive the mess ups, the drops and the mistakes. (We're only human, right).

Same with a brand. This is where the need for brands to become more human comes in. Let's see the people behind the logo. As Don Tapscott explains in his book 'Grown up digital' - we no longer trust or like big, faceless corporations.

Also, 'like' is not as strong as 'loyal'. It is an easier goal. A more realistic one. A smaller step for brand managers. I like lots of stuff, but I can walk away from them. All brand managers would love absolute loyalty from customers - but perhaps having them (genuinely) liking the brand is a worthy goal.

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