Northeastern University marketing professor Bruce Clark wrote a blog post titled Brand Love is Oversold.

The main point of the article (supported by lots of research) is:

« Even if one believes the performance benefits of brand love are high, the fundamental problem is that love is rare and likely expensive to produce at scale. What’s a brand to do? Work on things that are less rare and expensive. »

Also, I find this to be a really good point:

« Rossiter makes a more subtle point about measurement. As is typical in survey research, the vast majority of brand love studies use numerical scales, e.g., “I love this brand!” on a five-point scale where 1=strongly disagree and 5=strongly agree. As with any interval scale, statistically we assume the distance between 1 and 2 is the same as the distance between 2 and 3, etc., and that each point is representative of the phenomenon as a whole… [In reality] the distance between love (5) and like (4) may be different from the distance between like and neutrality. »

Although tangentiaI to the central point of the article, I found this to be the most interesting paragraph:

« Word-of-mouth findings are similarly complicated. In a fascinating field study relating net promoter scores to actual word-of-mouth on social media, Raasens and Haans (2017) find that NPS categories do affect the positivity or negativity of word-of-mouth, but have no effect on volume of word-of-mouth. (Interestingly, while promoters were more likely to give positive recommendations, the larger size of the passive group meant they generated as many total positive recommendations as the promoters.) In their field study with two companies, Kumar et al. (2007) found less than half of customers who intended to refer other customers to a company actually did. »

A related point:

« All of it is based on self-reported surveys. This is likely to overestimate the size of the effects. (NB, this is not solely an issue for brand love research: it is true for many topics addressed solely by surveys.) There is plenty of evidence that repurchase intention may not equal repurchase behavior (e.g., Chandon et al., 2005; Oliver, 1999; Seiders et al., 2005). »

Twitter thread on this article.

 

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