Brand Love: how does it translate to business marketing and PR?

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Measuring brand love in consumer marketing is big business.

It probably won’t surprise you to know that Nike for example is loved by 27.5 per cent of all 16 – 24 year olds. Slightly more surprising to learn that 32 per cent of young adults have boycotted a brand in the past year.  The main reasons were due to unethical practices, animal cruelty and poor quality products.

YouthSight, part of YouGov scores a host of brands, with consumer emotions towards them tracked on a scale of 1 to 5,  from love to hate.

Love and hate is important for business PR and marketing too. Almost every business transaction, no matter how “business-like” we try to be, will have an emotional element to it.

Top five levers of brand love for your business brand


1. The right endorsement or ambassador

We all look for validation from ‘people like us.’  In the business market, a brand ambassador is a customer.  Other people’s experience of your brand or service is crucial to the decision-making process. Look for case studies and customer recommendations from people or companies whose values are well known or obvious. Their experience should resonate or strike a chord with your target audience

2.  Use the right language

‘Mirroring’ is a classic sign of empathy and love in a human relationship. In consumer marketing it translates into ‘using the right language’.  KFC knew its market well enough to use the right language with its customers during its recent delivery crisis.  Their ad campaign and copy showed humour and personality.  It was right for KFC but it wouldn’t have been right for John Lewis. The right language and tone makes a huge difference.

KFC ad campaign using the right language for its customers

3. Hang out with their friends

Discovery and delight are part of the journey of love.  Your brand or service needs to be found by the right people. Being in the right communication channels – that might mean trade publications; websites; blogs; Instagram feeds; LinkedIn groups;  events; discussion forums and so on – all help you to be found.  Make sure your brand or service can be found in the places where your target audience is looking.

4. Show some love and understanding

As old as time itself, at least in terms of love and marketing.  People buy a solution for their needs, so describe all the benefits you can deliver. Show you understand and appreciate your prospects’ needs and challenges; make sure you don’t list product qualities but instead tell your target audience about the values, feelings or advantages it can give.

5. Make a commitment

“People had fallen a bit out of love with it…” How were people helped to fall in love with Tesco again? With the help of a huge increase in advertising budget.  Tesco increased its ad spend by more than any other food and drink advertiser last year to £73.9m.  (The Grocer “Tesco drives massive comeback”)

You don’t have to spend millions, but you do have to make an effort.  It takes time and effort to get the message and the medium right.  If your brand or service is valuable to you, it’s worth spending money to help others fall in love with it too.

Engaging ‘Meaningful interactions’ on social media


After a few years of Facebook newsfeeds resembling flea markets, last month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a news feed algorithm adjustment in order to prioritise content from ‘friends, family and groups.’ So personal, user content will be coming top of newsfeeds, while publisher or page content will be increasingly less visible.

Fear not, this doesn’t mean that Facebook is no longer a useful platform for businesses. As the changes roll out across the platform, it’s just a case of adapting to this new algorithm. And we’re here to help!

Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed, so here are three quick tips that will make sure your social media continues to engage and reach your followers:

Consistently creating quality content, that people WANT to share

Just as you would carefully consider content for your website, a press release or any marketing material you put out, social media is just the same. Our favourite statistic here at Twelve is from our favourite Tweeter, Rob Temple of Very British Problems, who has said he sometimes takes a whole day to write one tweet!

To create authentic awareness and engagement with your social media channels, avoid a slew of promotional messages and instead, focus on crafting meaningful content that provide value to users, that they find interesting and want to share with their networks. This will drive engagement which is now so important across Facebook and Instagram with their new algorithms.

Going ‘Live’

Video is by far the most popular form of content shared on social media, so you should use it in your social media mix through ‘Live’ and Stories features on Facebook and Instagram:

  • Videos on Facebook see an average of135% more organic reach than images.
  • Live’ videos receive 6X the engagement as non-live ones (which bodes well for their sharability and potential for such engagement as comments and Likes).
  •  They also comment more than 10x more during live videos.
  • 1 in 5 organic Instagram Stories from brands see at least one direct message from a consumer.

The new algorithm takes into account all actions of engagement like replying to a Story or sending a Story to someone. The more engagement, the likelier your posts will show up in feeds. Live videos are also bumped up in Stories feed on Instagram making them, and therefore your brand, more visible.

Top tips 

Make time to respond to comments and engagement from your followers:

  • start a conversation;
  • ask relevant questions;
  • and respond to comments quickly and personally.

Build relationships with your fellow Instagrammers and Facebook users and not only will they follow you, and engage with your content, but you’ll attract their following over to your account too.



Labelling, healthy eating and ending waste


I was reading an article by David Aaronvitch in The Guardian called “The stomach for it”.

It’s about his experience of a fat camp in America.

It’s a great read, of course, it’s by David Aaronovitch

But it included one sentence about the fat club’s approach to healthy eating which made me really angry.  I mean I understand it, I kind of live it myself, it makes sense, but it’s just utterly, poetically impractical:

“If you pick up any food and it has a label on it, put it back.”

This one sentence connects all the issues that are so very topical now about plastic, packaging, pollution and public health.

What do we do about labelling and healthy eating? 

We work with clients in the food, packaging and waste management sectors.  We’re totally immersed in the whole food cycle from fork to field, to refuse-derived fuel.

We need packaging

I watched Blue Planet, we all watched Blue Planet.  We know we must end pollution of the seas, of every part of our planet.  But ending packaging isn’t the answer as we must also feed 7.6  billion people on our planet.

Three important facts

  • 50 per cent of vegetables and fruits in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are wasted before even reaching our homes.
  • Per capita food waste by consumers in Europe and North-America is 95-115 kg/year.
  • Per capita food waste by consumers in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia is only 6-11 kg/year.

Source: Food & Agricultural Organisation of the UN (FAO)

We need labels

We simply can’t afford to go back to a state where all our food is unwrapped and unprotected.  Far too much will be wasted.  Contamination, bruising, squashing, exposure etc. The possibilities are endless!

So it must be packaged in some way, and therefore it needs a label.

Innovation saves waste

Tata Steel has invented the most wonderful mobile canning line, that can (pun intended) massively reduce food waste.

It will play a big part in lowering the percentage of food which is wasted at farming source.

Watch the video:

Imagine a can without a label.   Dog food, tuna, beans or peaches? Last year or ten years ago? We must have labels. I’m using a can to make the point but it applies to any packaging medium.  Is that gin, water or what in that bottle?

Four things we need to end food waste

1. Education

For the label to work we must have education, so that people can read the label and relate it to themselves.

People need to have the knowledge to understand what the facts mean, so that they can make healthy informed choices about what they eat.

Food label, healthy eating

2. Communication

Understanding the food facts is one aspect of communication,  as it relates to healthy eating.  The other aspect of communication is about food and packaging waste.

For the label and packaging to be recycled properly we need innovation and application. There are lots of wonderful innovations in the food chain, for example, Anaerobic Digestion (AD)  for food waste or bio bean technology to convert coffee grounds into solid log fuel

3. Engagement

We need to communicate to people the role they can play in enabling this innovation work. Waste coffee grounds can only be transformed into biofuel if they are collected separately from other food streams. Cardboard can only be recycled if it is dry and clean. Food can only be used in AD if it is collected separately.

Yes, it’s obvious common sense, but you have to tell people to get even this basic message across, and that clearly isn’t happening enough at the moment.

It takes communication and engagement to make recycling work.  That’s why the best waste management companies like our client Cawleys are hugely focussed on communication campaigns

4. Common sense

And the final ingredient must be common sense.  Full marks to Waitrose for ending black plastic in its packaging because black as a colour can’t be detected by infrared waste sorting machines.

Yes, these are incredibly basic, obvious facts but in the drive to eat sensibly and end waste we are forgetting common sense.

If we want to sweep away the tides of waste in our oceans, we mustn’t get swept away in a sea of anger.  We must use our common sense to communicate well.

We need good, intelligent PR