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Romancing the Brand: How Brands Create Strong, Intimate Relationships with Consumers



Romancing the Brand: How Brands Create Strong, Intimate Relationships with Consumers

Tim Halloran

ISBN: 978-1-118-82897-7 December 2013 Jossey-Bass 272 Pages


A young woman tells a focus group that Diet Coke is like her boyfriend. A twenty-something tattoos the logo of Turner Classic Movies onto his skin. These consumers aren’t just using these brands. They are engaging in a rich, complex, ever-changing relationship, and they’ll stay loyal, resisting marketing gimmicks from competitors and influencing others to try the brand they love.

How can marketers cultivate and grow the deep relationships that earn this kind of love and drive lasting success for their brands?

In Romancing the Brand, branding expert Tim Halloran reveals what it takes to make consumers fall in love with your brand. Step by step,he reveals how to start, grow, maintain, and troubleshoot a flourishing relationship between brand and consumer. Along the way, Halloran shares the secrets behind establishing a mutually beneficial “romance.” Drawing on exclusive, in-depth interviews with managers of some of the world’s most iconic brands, Romancing the Brand arms you with an arsenal of classic and emerging marketing tools—such as benefit laddering and word-of-mouth marketing—that make best-in-class brands so successful. The book is filled with examples, strategies, and tools from powerful brands that consumers love, including Coke, Dos Equis, smartwater, the Atlanta Falcons, Domino’s Pizza, Bounty, Turner Classic Movies, and many more.

Ultimately, Romancing the Brand provides marketers with a set of principles for making brands strong, resilient, and beloved—and the insight and confidence to use them.

1 Romance and the Brand 1

2 Know Yourself 21

3 Know Your Type 43

4 Meet Memorably 81

5 Make It Mutual 101

6 Deepen the Connection 123

7 Keep Love Alive 145

8 Making Up 173

9 Breaking Up and Moving On 197

Notes 231

Acknowledgments 239

About the Author 243

Index 245

Winner, Business: Marketing & Advertising, 2014 International Book Awards

“Whether you are starting a new business or working on an established brand, Ro­mancing the Brand reveals many critical steps for success. Tim Halloran explores the valued secrets to engaging in an ongoing, compassionate relationship with your consumer. Great read, great insight, great book!”
—Daymond John, founder, president, and CEO, FUBU, and costar, ABC series Shark Tank

“We live in an era of huge changes in marketing and consumer behavior, but Romanc­ing the Brand is a reminder that passion is timeless. Brands can be successful in the long run by cultivating deep, lasting relationships with customers.”
—Steve Koonin, president, Turner Entertainment Networks

“Nobody knows the business of brands better than Tim Halloran. His easy-to-grasp ideas get results.”
—Fran Tarkenton, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and serial small business entrepreneur

Romancing the Brand provides a new and compelling lens with which to view the work necessary to keep a brand fresh and exciting. We have been able to apply many of the concepts immediately to strengthen our Popeyes brand.”
—Ralph Bower, president–U.S., Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Romancing the Brand is an entertaining book that taps into a fundamental principle that every marketer should embrace: brands and consumers engage in a relationship. Truly world-class brands are able to grow and evolve a ‘romance,’ and that is when the magic happens.”
—Jeff Popkin, president, Vita Coco

“I loved Romancing the Brand. Tim Halloran shows how the ultimate in brand equi­ty—a close, personal brand relationship—can be created, with detailed behind-the-scenes stories of brands that have pulled it off.”
—David Aaker, vice chairman, Prophet; professor emeritus of marketing strategy, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley; and author, Brand Relevance

“A great book with insightful stories about how marketing managers develop romantic, deep, and personal relationships between the brand and the consumer.”
—Jagdish N. Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Romancing the Brand shows that a brand’s strength, and ultimately its ability to generate significant talk value, lies in creating a meaningful consumer experience. People talk about—and advocate for—brands with which they have an emotional bond. Aided by entertaining stories about brands that have created ‘love affairs’ with the consumer, Romancing the Brand is an essential guide for marketers who are looking to strengthen their consumer relationships.”
—Ed Keller, CEO, the Keller Fay Group, and coauthor, The Face-to-Face Book and The Influentials

“Emotional, educational, and effective, Romancing the Brand captures the timeless fundamentals of marketing, using contemporary examples and a framework one can relate to in a primal way. Tim Halloran shares insights that up-and-coming marketers, as well as global executives at the top of their game, will find valuable.”
—Dick Patton, global chief marketing officer practice leader, Egon Zehnder