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How Can Your Business Become a Breakout Brand?

November 23rd, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Want to make your business a “breakout brand”? Then you’ve got to make consumers “fall in love” with you, according to a new survey  commissioned by rbb Public Relations and conducted by IBOPE/Zogby International.

What exactly is a breakout brand? “Breakout Brands recognize the value of emotional attachment and have adopted strategies [for]…delivering better services and/or products, elevating a category with new ideas and focusing on the customer, not the competition” is how the study defines the concept.

Being well-known or admired isn’t the same as being a breakout brand, the study notes. While 23 percent of consumers immediately identified Apple as a breakout brand, some big names–including Nordstrom and BMW–did not make the cut despite being well-respected for their quality and service orientation. The top 10 breakout brands customers chose are Apple, Amazon, Chick-Fil-A,Wal-Mart, Costco, Starbucks, Google, Zappos, Toyota, Ford, Trader Joe’s and Southwest Airlines.

 strong majority of 
respondents (85 percent)
 say it’s very or 
somewhat important  
to do business with 
a company they have
 strong emotions for. Breakout Brands
 inspire these 
connections, which leads to strong brand 
ambassadors arising 

In addition, nearly all respondents (92 percent) say it is very or somewhat important for a company they do business with to show interest in them personally. Those living in the South and Central regions were far more likely to say personal interest matters to them than those living in the Northeast and on the West Coast. Millennials (18- to 24-year-olds) are the age group most likely to say emotional connections matter.

Emotional connections pay off for brands: The study found some 83 percent of consumers are willing to pay more when they feel a personal connection to the company. In fact, almost 20 percent of consumers would pay up to 50 percent more for a product or service from a brand that puts them first.

Instead of trying to chase their competitors, the study’s authors advise, brands would do better to focus on putting the customer first. Rbb notes that certain industries have greater potential to benefit from breakout brand behaviors. Specifically, customers say personal, proactive customer communication is more important in healthcare, professional services and technology, while it’s less important in the beauty products and apparel industries.

Does your business have the potential to become a breakout brand? Rbb says the strategy can work for any size company, and has created a whitepaper that you can download for free to learn more.

Image by Flickr user Sean McEntee (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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