High disposable passion
by Andy Wright
If you manage a brand, chances are someone, somewhere loves your brand. Unconditionally. They tell their friends, family and colleagues to buy it. They lend it to them or recommend that they use it. They preach about the benefits. They might even wear clothing with your brand’s emblem em-blazed upon it. They believe that it says something about them, who they are and what they stand for.
They’ve tried your competitors but they keep coming back to you. Your brand offers them exactly what they need and expect. They have a special interest or hobby that your brand participates in. You’re a part of their lives.
The difference between successful brands and those in 4th, 5th and 6th places in their markets is that they have more followers like the case above. They also know them and have a relationship with them.
These followers are often taken for granted. Indeed, they’ll always purchase your brand. Unconditionally. A Brandhabit. They’re safe, they’ll always be there. So sometimes, you ignore them so that you can concentrate on stretching your brand influence to a more perceived desirable and affluent demographic. An audience with a higher household income and affluent post code who you’d rather be associated with.
What some brand managers occasionally don’t take into account is how much of that income they’re willing to spend on your brand.
Last weekend I went to Summernats in Canberra, Australia. This is an event for car lovers, owners and builders to showcase their passion for custom built / modified cars and to proudly parade in front of their community. To the untrained eye this crowd are perceived to have lower than average income and are less than desirable brand ambassadors. However, the time, money and effort that they dedicate to their ‘special interest’ is considerable. The elite cars can be worth up to $200k. They rival relationship and work commitments. Inevitably, any spouse / partner will fully understand that their place in the relationship is a close second at best.
It’s not until you immerse yourself in such a community that you understand its passion, dedication and potential. Apart from the inevitable specialist brands present at the event a number of well-known, even prestige brands attended and recognised the potential. Brands like Jack Daniels, Shannons (car insurance) and Coca-Cola.
By aligning themselves with a passion and adding value to the experience, these brands could connect with consumers that have high disposable passion. Not necessarily high disposable income, but a currency that goes beyond net sales value. These consumers will spend time with your brand, talk to you about themselves, about your brand and relay the experience to others they meet – online and offline. I’m sure the Jack Daniels Slushie machine and the personal service and expertise of the Shannon representatives were recounted in many a story following the weekend in Canberra. The slushie machine, Jack Daniels girls and free merchandise helped to enhance the Summernats experience for many of the events goers. The Shannon’s team were able to give advice, quotes and appraisals of many well loved and personally valuable cars at the event. An opportunity for attendees to actually value in monetary terms their hard work and considerable investment.
The Summernats experience got me thinking. You should never forget your core. Passion is infectious. Your core audience are passionate. They might be 10, 100, 1000 people or more. To understand them, is to understand the true benefits of your brand and, while we are all unique, communities share common traits and are incredibly valuable as a collective.
So, I urge you to think about how passionate you are about your most passionate customers.
- Do you know who they are?
- Do you / your staff share their passion?
- Do you recognise and reward their passion?
- Can you harness their passion in spreading the word about your brand?
- Can you place a value on their high disposable income passion?
You may think that this isn’t relevant for your brand. But, chances are someone, somewhere has had a good experience with you and tells others. That hint of passion is potential. Please let me know your thoughts below and any other examples you might have.
Many thanks to Rhett for permission to use his photo’s from Summernats.