Life

Being a bad friend to brands

The other day, I read an essay on marketing and branding. The author mentioned a concept called “Emotional Brand Attachment”, which made me doubt everything I thought I knew about how I treat brands.

He wrote the following:

In this way customers become emotionally attached to a brand and perceive the brand as a friend. Morgan & Hunt (1994, p. 23) define commitment as ‘an exchange partner believing that an ongoing relationship with another is so important as to warrant maximum efforts at maintaining it; that is, the committed party believes the relationship is worth working on to ensure that it endures indefinitely’. Customers who are highly committed to a brand identify themselves more with the brand and they hold feelings of attachment to maintaining the valued relationship (Harrison-Walker, 2001).

Reading this bit, I fell to my knees, crying. For I have been a horrible customer. Never have I made an effort to improve the relationship I have with any brand. Never have I sent them flowers, cards, or told them I love them. I have always just taken the brands for granted.

I am a bad person.

On the other hand…

Or am I? I don’t think so. Frankly, I think these academics studying marketing have just come up with a bunch of concepts without checking them in the real world. Because, seriously, why the hell would any person have to work on a relationship with a brand? If I like it, I buy it. If I don’t like it, I don’t buy it (and perhaps rant about it online, or mail their customer support).

No person should ever invest effort in “maintaining a relationship of friendship with a brand”. I mean, seriously, that whole concept is utter bovine dung!

Instead, people should invest more time and efforts in real relationships. You know…call your mom, take your lady out for dinner, play with your kids. Talk to your neighbour and have a beer with your mates.

Any person who thinks a brand is his friend, doesn’t understand what “friend” means…

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