Thursday, June 16, 2011

Familiar Faces

Chances are when you’re wandering around your local store doing your weekly grocery shop there are brands you gravitate to. Without a second thought your trolley fills with brands that have a familiar spot in your cupboards at home. And you feel happy about that – happier than if you’d actually bought the exact same products under a different label, because these are the brands that mean something more to you. They fire positive emotions that inspire loyalty. Some may even be Lovemarks.

BBC food journalist Alex Riley recently dug deep into the emotional connection we have with our favorite food brands (check out Alex’s blog here). With a simple experiment he confirmed what we’ve known for some time – if you love the brand, the product actually tastes better. Effectively, your mind has seasoned it with love.

He then sought the help of Professor Gemma Calvert of Neurosense – a research group in the UK – to see just how close to our hearts our most cherished brands are. Using MRI technology, the pair mapped a volunteer’s brain’s reactions to two different sets of images – one of his loved ones, the other of familiar brands. The results showed the same area of the brain lighting up for both sets of images – the region associated with happiness. The reactions mirrored right down to the brain area associated with facial recognition.

It’s another line under Lovemarks and the power of emotion, science affirming what the heart knows is true and market leaders build sustainable premiums on. The brands that bring us the greatest joy are like calling home, meeting a friend or turning through the pages of a photo album. In at least some way, Lovemarks are part of the family.