How to Fly Higher - Airlines and the Importance of Emotional Attachment

Competition is fierce in today’s marketplace and brands are in a constant quest to discover their most valuable target consumers to more effectively leverage their marketing dollars. Attributes like brand loyalty and level of usage can be matched with household composition and attitudes. But the secret sauce that can make or break a campaign is not only being able to target a consumer but also activate based on that audience

New methods have been developed to analyze the available media options for brands. Some specifically locate the best media to reach consumers who are more likely to engage with the marketing message. Post purchase, there are validation analyses to measure the efficiency and  success of the buys, from levels of attention, length of views and sharing of messages. 

The Importance of Emotional Attachment
But marketers are discovering that one of the pivotal attributes to a brand's success is in its level of emotional attachment with the consumer.  Gary Reisman, Founder and CEO, LEAP Media Investments, and an expert in ascertaining the level of emotional attachment that consumers have with a brand, states that, “Emotional Attachment to a brand is actually at the top of the consideration pyramid and drives other favorable behaviors that marketers seek in their advertisings performance and effectiveness.  Emotionally attached consumers form the most highly profitable ‘advertising-rich’ sector of a customer base.”

According to Reisman, there are three core groups of consumers for any particular brand:

1. The Enthusiasts have the greatest emotional attachment and are targeted to generate low hanging fruit sales and advocacy,
2. The more moderately attached Conquests who are used to increase share among competitors.
3. The Expansions who are used to expand the brand footprint against audiences that are less attached.  

“What is so exciting today is that we are now able to build audiences that are specifically targeted to highly engage with particular brands,” notes Reisman, “And we are able to build audiences that are considered ‘high-potential’ as well.”

LEAP does this by using a patented process that builds scaled audiences that are targetable in Advanced TV, Digital, Social and Mobile platforms based on the level of Emotional Attachment they have to over 400 consumer brands across over 25 categories. “While capturing the data that builds LEAP’s scaled audiences for targeting, it made perfect sense for us to also develop a Brand Intelligence Database” said Reisman.  The LEAP Brand Intelligence Database provides marketers with profiles of their Brand Enthusiasts, Conquests and Expansion audiences and its competitive strength versus other brands in their category.  

Emotional Attachment in Airlines
How does this play out in the airlines industry? Based on LEAP’s audience development, Southwest Airlines ranks number one among Adults 18-64 in the U.S. That means that consumers are highly attached and more likely to choose Southwest Airlines out of all seven possible airlines that LEAP measures. LEAP found that Southwest Airlines has the highest level of Enthusiasts by far (about one third of the consumer market are highly attached to Southwest) than their nearest competitors Delta (#2) and American Airlines (#3). 

This bodes well for Southwest as a significant portion of the market (over 60%) have some level of positive brand attachment to the airline – being either Southwest Enthusiasts or Southwest Conquest audiences.  According to Reisman, these audiences are likely to be up to 50% more responsive to advertising for the brand. 

Any brand can leverage audiences attached to their brand, Reisman says. “We work with marketers to incorporate LEAP audience data directly into their DMPs to inform strategic planning and/or target these highly responsive audiences via our DSP relationships. By using LEAP, any brand can fly high!”

About LEAP Media Investments
LEAP builds scaled audiences based on consumers’ level of emotional attachment to specific brands.  Marketers can target their Brand Enthusiasts, Brand Conquests or Brand Expansion Audiences.  They can also conquests among competitive brands targets – Targeting messages toward competitor Brand Enthusiasts and Conquest Audiences.  Audience- based targeting among these audiences has be shown to be highly effective

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