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

Tim Halloran
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass (21 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118611284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118611289
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 695,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of marketing stories and tales! 26 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover
If you enjoy good old stories, abound with many examples of the stories behind products and brands and how they came to fruition with successes, failures and turnarounds, then you will instantly fall in love with this piece. An engaging account of our deep relationships with our trusted brands.

The author seeks to examine what it is about brands and how they form and cultivate relationships with their consumers and vice versa.

I really admired how the author examines the constructive and collaborative experiences of brands towards their consumers (and fans).
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By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
We have learned a great deal about how to establish and then sustain a relationship with anther person. Its essential elements include commitment, intimacy, and dependability as well as mutual affection, respect, and trust. Tim Halloran asserts -- and I agree -- that the same elements are essential to a relationship with brands, "especially those in categories where consumer passion is particularly strong." That is why brand managers "increasingly developed and marketed key benefits that are tied into a consumer's [begin italics] emotional [end italics] state." In other words, consumers would feel so strongly about these brands "that they would insist on using them, and if they couldn't, they would feel deprived emotionally." I am reminded of several insights in Bernd Schmitt's book, Experiential Marketing (1999), that stress the importance of creating, if possible, an especially enjoyable multi-sensory experience associated with a brand. Uniquely positive associations can strengthen the relationship consumers have with a product and, in some instances, also with where the product can be purchased. Years ago while shopping in a mall just before Christmas, I was attracted to a Williams-Sonoma store by the aroma of fresh baked bread during a demonstration of a Breville Custom Loaf Breadmaker. Meanwhile, traditional holiday music could be heard in the background. The decor could not be more festive. I bought one of the machines and the CD.

Halloran cites two especially important marketing thinkers. Jennifer Aaker developed a theory based on research that suggests that "consumers' perceptions of brand personalities closely mirror their perception of human personalities. In other words, as consumers, we can be attracted to a brand not just be what it does for us functionally...
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He had me convinced at Whole Foods 14 Mar 2014
By Nancy Loderick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Even though I’m a marketer by trade, I approached this book with some trepidation. After all, what new things could be said about marketing that haven’t already been said? I also thought that I was immune to marketing tactics.
That is, until Tim mentioned Whole Foods, one of my favorite stores in the whole world. I hate food shopping and I hate spending a lot of money on food. That being said, I love going to Whole Foods. This experience really made me stop and think about what Tim was trying to get across. Brands, in order to be successful, must develop and nurture deep relationships with their customers. It sounds kind of creepy, but it’s true.
Tim talks common sense, but as marketers, it’s all too common for us to get lost in the hype of the next biggest thing. Get back to basics and take it step by step.
Tim’s advice for creating a successful brand:
* Know yourself – what makes your product unique?
* Know your type – in other words, create very detailed buyer personas. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
* Meet memorably – with the context of your target buyers
* Make in mutual – what is in it for the customer?
* Deepen the connection – make the customer feel important
* Keep the love alive – don’t rest on your laurels, keep things new and fresh

I especially enjoyed this book because of the examples Tim used to illustrate his points. He told stories about Coke, Dos Equis, the Falcons (football team), and Smart Water. He used products from both big and small companies.

If you are a marketer and want to truly engage your customers, you may just find some new ideas in this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to identify the right customer with whom to engage in a relationship, then sustain it to mutual benefit 20 Jan 2014
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
We have learned a great deal about how to establish and then sustain a relationship with anther person. Its essential elements include commitment, intimacy, and dependability as well as mutual affection, respect, and trust. Tim Halloran asserts -- and I agree -- that the same elements are essential to a relationship with brands, "especially those in categories where consumer passion is particularly strong." That is why brand managers "increasingly developed and marketed key benefits that are tied into a consumer's [begin italics] emotional [end italics] state." In other words, consumers would feel so strongly about these brands "that they would insist on using them, and if they couldn't, they would feel deprived emotionally." I am reminded of several insights in Bernd Schmitt's book, Experiential Marketing (1999), that stress the importance of creating, if possible, an especially enjoyable multi-sensory experience associated with a brand. Uniquely positive associations can strengthen the relationship consumers have with a product and, in some instances, also with where the product can be purchased. Years ago while shopping in a mall just before Christmas, I was attracted to a Williams-Sonoma store by the aroma of fresh baked bread during a demonstration of a Breville Custom Loaf Breadmaker. Meanwhile, traditional holiday music could be heard in the background. The decor could not be more festive. I bought one of the machines and the CD.

Halloran cites two especially important marketing thinkers. Jennifer Aaker developed a theory based on research that suggests that "consumers' perceptions of brand personalities closely mirror their perception of human personalities. In other words, as consumers, we can be attracted to a brand not just be what it does for us functionally...but by how well our personality fits what we perceive to be the brand's personality."

Meanwhile, Susan Fournier developed her own theory that would also generate insights into the relationships of brands and consumers. She found that "brands were an inextricable part of their lives and saw that a mutual dependency existed in which the brand's stories and the individuals' life stories linked together...She concluded that the strongest brand-consumer relationships exhibited qualities comparable with those of happily married couples." Halloran focuses on dozens of exempla of this phenomenon while explaining how to "romance" a brand. They include the Atlanta Falcons, Coca-Cola, Domino's Pizza, Dos Equis, Geritol, Hershey's Chocolate World, LEGOLAND, Nike, and Turner Classic Movies.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of his coverage.

o Romancing the Brand (Pages 15-19)
o Determine How You'll Be Different (23-29)
o Transitioning to Emotionally Driven Connections (39-41)
o The Most Interesting Man in the World (44-55)
o Providing Emotional and Social Benefits (57-61)
o The Essence of the Brand (71-73)
o Nice to Meet You (82-96)
o Crafting the Ideal Experience (115-121)
o Making the Consumer Feel Important (125-129)
o Storytelling (147-152)
o Innovation Enhances Romance (155-158)
o Innovation to Escape Relationship "Ruts"(158-170
o Managing Through Crisis (192-195)
o The Art of Adaptation (210-213)
o The Marketing Blunder of the Century? (215-221)

Obviously, connections and associations can be either good or bad. That same is true of relationships that result from them. To Halloran's great credit, after carefully identifying the "what" of investing a brand with emotional, indeed romantic appeal, he explains HOW others have done it and, more to the point, what lessons can be learned from those efforts that will be of greatest value to those who read his book.

Customer-centrism is what César Ritz had in mind almost a century ago when, before there was a Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, he made a total commitment to superior service that would be "invisible." Those within the Ritz Carlton organization in 2014 sustain that commitment, proud to be ladies and gentlemen who are privileged to serve other ladies and gentlemen. Here's both a challenge and an opportunity: Know who the right consumer is for your company, interact with that consumer in the right context, and -- over time -- nourish (and thereby strengthen) that relationship with attention to needs that are emotional as well as functional.

Here's how Tim Halloran concludes his thoughtful and thought-provoking book: "Always remember to keep your customers' best interest in mind, and never stop learning about them and communicating with them. [The same is true of the cultivation of prime prospects.] It is only by keeping the consumers first, by making them special, that brands live up to the definition of a relationship. It is the way we as marketers will show integrity in our profession, doing right by our brands and our customers."
4.0 out of 5 stars Relationship marketing for corporate types 20 Jun 2014
By LibraryGirl2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book explores the explosion of interest in relationship marketing and corporate branding, from the standpoint of finding ways for impersonal corporate businesses to offer greater intimate connections with their consumers. The fact that the book uses the term "consumers" in the title rather than "fans" makes the premise of the book sound a bit awkward. I would recommend anything by Seth Godin to supplement this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Same information, but a fun read 19 Jun 2014
By SMB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I work in a type of brand management/marketing position, so books like this generally spark my curiosity. That being said, there is nothing really new or "oh wow, yes!" about this book. It pretty much follows the same lines of any other by telling you to know your customer base, anticipate their needs, cater to their needs, and at all costs develop rapport for future support. There is your major takeaway, but anyone who has ever done anything in brand management - you know this, it is your bread and butter.

This book is fun, witty and covers a lot of brands - great book to read, just because.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Look At Branding, One of Many 17 Jun 2014
By Lauri Crumley Coates - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While I did enjoy the writer's style , I can't really say that the information here is groundbreaking, or anything that is not available elsewhere. If you have never read about branding and want a good basic place to start, this is as good a book to buy as many others out there. If you've done your branding homework, you won't find any really new nuggets of information here.
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