Kleenex. Advil. Starbucks. iPhone. These are all strong brands that are immersed in our everyday lives (without us even realizing how much we depend on them). How many times have you asked for a Kleenex? Or an Advil? Or how many times in a week do you go to grab a Starbucks before going to work? Or use your iPhone? They have become a ritual or habit ingrained in us and it’s hard to break those habits. So, how can your brand break into the habit of being used in your target audience’s everyday lives?
First, it is essential to get to know your ideal client or target audience. Performing in depth psychographic research to figure out what makes them tick will allow you to figure out exactly how to make your brand fit into their lives. A great example of this is Febreze. When they first launched their product, they almost had to pull it off the shelves due to low sales volume. They didn’t perform their due diligence with their original market research. This forced them to go back to perform their research properly which included conducting interviews. One interview in particular had a significant impact on their research – a woman who had nine cats. When they arrived at her house, the smell in the house was so bad that one of the researchers had been on the verge of gagging multiple times. So, he asked: “What do you do about the cat smell?” Homeowner: “It’s usually not a problem.” Researcher: “Do you smell it now?” Homeowner: “No. Isn’t it wonderful? My cats hardly smell at all.” This was a light bulb moment. From this interview they had discovered the market they had been targeting didn’t even realize they had a problem, so of course they weren’t buying the solution (i.e. their product)!
Next, Febreze looked at the consumers who were using the product and really liked it. What they found was very interesting. These consumers didn’t use the product to get rid of specific odors, they used it when they had completed their housework to reinforce the feeling of clean. Their original brand was developed to eliminate odors and was marketed to a market that did not exist. Once they paired the use of Febreze with the habit of regular household cleaning to reinforce the sense of clean, it would help to create an immersive brand. After the research and development team added refreshing scents to the odor neutralizing technology, the Febreze brand took off. It’s now a $1 billion brand.
Once you figure out how your product fits into your target market’s lives, the next step is to anchor your brand or product in a way that’s continually triggered. What do we mean by this? You want to pair your brand with a trigger they experience in their environment regularly. When they continually perform a habit, you want to integrate your product with that habit. A great example of a brand doing exactly this is when Kit Kat launched their Kit Kat and coffee break campaign. They paired having a coffee with eating a Kit Kat on their break. They were able to break in the habit of people having a Kit Kat by triggering their thought pattern. They did not eat a different chocolate bar like a Snickers or an OH! Henry. It was specifically Kit Kat. Kit Kat saw 8% sales growth during the campaign and after 12 months there was double digit sales growth year over year. When you can pair their habits and routines with your brand or product, you create brand alignment and affection – meaning they feel like they can’t live without it and they must use your product specifically. This also makes your product more than a commodity.
Most businesses have, without knowing better, set themselves up to be nothing more than a commodity. And when you’re a commodity, your product can easily be interchanged with other products. When people are in the market for your type of product, they won’t have an alliance to your product, let alone think about your product. Aligning your product with your target’s habits and environmental triggers, like in the above example, makes your product more than a commodity. It makes them irreplaceable and makes them feel like they can’t live without them or use any other brand. An example of this is the iPhone. There is an over – abundance of choices when it comes to picking a smartphone. iPhone (or Apple) has done a great job of making people feel like they can’t live without their iPhone. Not only are they loyal to the brand but the iPhone has become an everyday habit in people’s lives. When they text, make phone calls, use apps, or search the internet they do it on their iPhone. And people consciously choose their product over a Samsung Galaxy or a Google Pixel. And they will also choose other Apple products such as the iPad or iMac computer over their competitor’s offerings. It is immersed in their lives due to brand attachment hence, making them more than a commodity.
Creating an immersive brand begs the question of if your target market really needs your brand or product in their life. And what problem does it solve? For Kit Kat, it was aligning a snack with a coffee for those who were on a break; for Febreze, it was reinforcing the sense of cleanliness for its customers; and for iPhone it was providing the best technology brand to make people’s lives easier. Each of these products, in their customers’ eyes, makes their lives better. The more impact your brand has on their life, the more value it will hold for them, and the more likely your brand will break into the habit of your customers’ lives.
Want to evolve your business into an immersive brand? BottomLine can help lead your business evolution. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (403) 231-8891.