Analysing more than one thousand household names over five years, experts have claimed to identify the tangible qualities which make a brand tick.
The firm developed an “Irresistibility Quotient” (IQ) which attempts to quantify how well a brand meets the needs of its consumers.
TNS found that brands with the highest IQ are often the bravest in recognising that they can never appeal to every individual.
Category leaders like Audi (automotive) and Bose (technology) know what their most loyal customers want and, in applying this, are prepared to turn others away. This explains why courageous ‘love it or hate it’ brands have gone on to become category leaders.
Roz Calder, Director of TNS’s NeedScope International, said: “Becoming one of the world’s strongest, most popular and recognisable brands does not happen by accident.
“These brands have scrutinised and applied the drivers of their irresistibility. These traits are deliberately and determinedly engineered over time, to make the brand an instinctive choice, and to make competing with it impossible.
“Rivals in their categories have two choices: either they can focus on becoming irresistible themselves, or they must be prepared to get out of the way.”
The eight drivers of brand irresistibility
1. Know-how: Is your brand a credible expert?
Credible know-how is a basic hygiene factor for any would-be irresistible brand, providing the System 2 brain with conscious proof that this particular brand knows what it is doing. Know-how can be earned over time by product performance (Bang & Olufsen), instantly achieved through technological breakthroughs (Dyson) or acquired through expert endorsement (Nike and sport).
2. Momentum: Can you stay ahead of the game?
Irresistible brands evolve in ways that keep consumers interested and engaged. They remain true to the characteristics that made them irresistible while anticipating and leading change. For Coca-Cola, gradual evolution over the course of a century has delivered exactly the cadence required; for Samsung, in a category defined by constant change, a wave of high-quality innovation has been required to deliver real momentum.
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