By Rob Longert, PepperDigital

What does brand loyalty mean to you?

Does it mean talking to your friends about your newest pair of Nikes? Does it mean wearing a branded t-shirt with your favorite band members on it? Maybe for you, when you like or dislike a product or event you will tweet or blog about it.

All of the above instances have one thing in common and that is that a brand, product, person or experience will always initiate some kind of emotional response from us, as consumers and especially as marketers.

It is our job as strategic marketers to pay attention to the campaigns that get an emotional response out of their audiences.

Did you hear about Coca-Cola’s Facebook campaign from a couple of months ago in which you could find your “digital twin?” Creepy… yes, but I know I told my friends about it…20100212144535347

What about the infamous “Elf Yourself” campaign from Office Max, that made a triumphant return this year, that so many brands have tried to re-create? I think back on that campaign and remember it being good fun that I was able to share with my friends and colleagues.

Earlier today on MediaPosts’s Research Brief blog, Jack Loechner posted about the annual Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (boy that is a mouth full), which looks at “customers’ relationships with 518 brands in 71 product categories,” and while there were no surprises in terms of the companies that have the greatest brand loyalty, there is a very high correlation between those brands and their use of social media, emotional brand connections and the stickiness and spreadability of their campaigns.

John Tierney penned an article in The New York Times this week about why people pass along and share articles and stories from the Times, and he cites some research from the University of Pennsylvania that shows that “most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list.”

Spreadability and sharing information online and in-person comes down to one thing… emotion. How does a campaign, article, event etc… elicit a response that involves sharing content?

According to PepperDigital’s very own Sultan of Spreadability, Sam Ford, if you want something to be
spread, it has to resonate with an audience to the point that they’ll
want to share it.  And that’s not ultimately up to the producer of the
message,” but in my eyes, the producer of the message has the opportunity to capitalize on the existing brand loyalty or lack thereof when creating a spreadable campaign.

What brands are you loyal to and why? I think this photo says it all for me… Aside from them being a former client, who wouldn’t want a TMNT Snuggie?! Seriously?

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