It’s easy to substitute that question for one we ask ourselves all the time as marketers: Do your customers love you? We’ve seen that question surveyed and analyzed and benchmarked and scored a thousand different ways. It’s possible to choose from any number of proprietary metrics, from purchase funnels to Net Promoter to Saatchi & Saatchi’s Lovemarks to Accenture’s Love Index. We’ve got a tremendous body of quantitative and qualitative research aimed at measuring the intangible, irrational feelings that drive people to go to greater lengths and bigger sacrifices for the brands they love. It’s a perspective that places brands at the center of the customers’ lives, not the other way around.
In 2018, we want to explore the other side of the experience with this ancient* mantra as our thesis: If you wish to be loved, love. That is, we think brands that show more love to their customers are more successful – and more beloved – in the long run. So, what are the irrational things you’d do for your customers? What would you sacrifice to make your customers feel truly wonderful? And how do you empower the people behind your brand to show your customers they’re loved?
Our work in 2018 will cover not just how to inspire love in customers, but how to build love into your customer experience and how to show love as a brand. Our investigation begins by sharing conversations with customers to understand the difference between brands that show love and brand that chase likes, learning from the brands that have made customer love endemic to their company culture, and finally by turning the mirror on brands so they can begin to measure and manage how much love they show the world.
Together with our clients and our broader community of marketers, we’ll be diving into four questions across the year, to better understand how to #UncoverLove:
- How does being true to yourself make your brand more lovable?
- Where can brands find common ground and share their customers’ passions?
- With so many measures of customer sentiment toward brands, how can we flip it to make it about them?
- What can we learn from brands and marketers that renew and recommit to their customers year after year?
In 2018, DNA will be celebrating 20 years of working with brands on the premise that the work’s not done until we’ve discovered what drives love. But we’re not about to rest. We’re prepared to learn. We’re expecting to be surprised. And we’re hoping that in the end more brands will be driven to look within and realize that, on the path to becoming beloved, love starts here.
*All credit to Hecato of Rhodes