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New Research Reveals 6 Ways to Boost Brand Love [Roundup]

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Ever wondered why the world's top brands are so loved? There's science behind it, according to brand-new research. Media company Oath got 150,000 consumers in 13 countries to reveal why they swoon over particular brands -- and the results were surprising. If you are working with a company that needs a little more appreciation, follow these six drivers for brand love.

1. Loved Brands Exceed Customers' Needs

Customers always have needs. They want to purchase a product that solves a problem or access a service that provides them with value for money. The world's best-loved brands, however, go one step and above. They "exceed needs," according to Oath's research -- and keep customers happy in the process.

"[These companies] do something no other brand does," says Oath. "[They] give consumers what they want before they ask."

2. Loved Brands Build Trust

Trust is crucial in marketing, and customers have faith in well-loved brands. It's so important that trust is the second-biggest driver of brand love in Oath's research, behind exceeding needs. "This goes hand-in-hand with brand loyalty and admiration," says the company.

So what are the most trusted brands in the world? Johnson & Johnson came in at No. 1, followed by General Mills, Google and Kraft Mills, according to Forbes magazine. All of these companies have established a rapport with their customer base.

Building trust takes time, but if you do it right, expect a massive return on your investment. "For reasons both emotional and practical, you have to build a real connection, listen and take action based on what you hear, prioritize the relationship itself and deliver on the promises you make," says Mackenzie Fogelson, writing for Forbes magazine.

3. Loved Brands Set Trends

Customers prefer brands that are one step ahead of their competitors. These companies are innovators -- they always experiment with the latest tech and trends, even if things don't always work out.

There are plenty of examples of companies that took big risks that paid off. These include Twitter, which declined an eight-figure offer from Facebook to take over the social media platform. Today, Twitter is worth billions of dollars.

4. Loved Brands Share Their Customers' Values

Well-respected brands have the same core beliefs as their customer base, whether that's a passion for good service or an appreciation for good causes.

Other research suggests that sustainability is an important driver of brand love. One-third of consumers prefer sustainable brands, and one in five people would actively choose a company if it made its sustainability credentials clear on packaging and marketing material, according to an international study by Unilever.

5. Loved Brands Elevate Experiences

Customers love experiences and one-of-a-kind events, and there are loads of examples of this in an experiential context. Take confectionary brand M&M's, for example. It used augmented reality (AR) to launch its new range of caramel chocolate candies and invited sweet-toothed customers to visit its Times Square location.

Visitors could play exclusive AR games on their smartphones and meet characters from the franchise. This company certainly turned a regular marketing event into a memorable experience.

Remember, only 8 percent of consumers rate experiences as excellent, so be sure to create experiential campaigns that wow your audience.

6. Loved Brands Respect Their Customers

The world's most-liked brands respect their customers and get lots of love in return. MarketingProfs outlines three ways to get more people to respect your brand. First, you should convey empathy. Then, you should communicate your company's vision and values. Finally, you should enrich the lives of your customers and stakeholders.

These six drivers of brand love prove success is not just about selling the most products or dominating your market. Follow the strategies on this list to engage consumers and make more customers love what you do.

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