How a deeper understanding of consumers drives stronger brand engagement and loyalty

by Guest Contributor Philip Collier | September 25, 2019

Author: Philip Collier

Philip Collier
Global Director of Innovation

What do you as a brand want from me, as a customer? Simply, you want me to change the way I behave in such a way that my actions help drive your business success. But how best to do that?

The basic axiom of clinical psychology reads, “if you could see the world the way I see it, you’d understand why I behave the way I do.” And if you accept that axiom, then you must also accept that if you want to change the way I behave, then you need to change the way I see the world.


If you understand me, and by implication my world, then you’ll know what you can do to influence the way I experience the world. Simply put, if know me, you know what you can do to make me happy. And if you are successful in making me happy by becoming part of my world, you’ll change the way I see the world, one where you have become a happy part of it.

I love trail running. I love going to trail races. These events are always an exciting, happy and memorable experience. I love the vibe, the atmosphere. Races are always sponsored, there are food trucks, and pop-up sports apparel stores, and they help create the vibe but not always makes me remember them or miss them. To do that they need to add to the experience.

For a brand to create a deeper emotional connection, the marketer first needs to understand something about me and why trail running events make for an exciting, happy and memorable experience? For me it’s as much the sense of the personal achievement crossing the finish line as it is the vibe.

One brand was successful in contributing to my trail running experience and it is hardwired in my brain. Some years back I ran a rather challenging race and just about that time when you wonder why on earth you’ve put yourself through this, I passed the water point and was enthusiastically handed a bottle of BOS Ice Tea and cheered along. The encouragement and energy at that point in the race is something I still remember. Right there the brand entrenched itself in my memory. I generally don’t buy iced tea but if I do, just one stands out, and it’s BOS Ice Tea that finds its way into my shopping basket.

From a brand perspective, the understanding of my world is everything that happens before, during, and after my engagement with the brand, extending beyond the brand and the category. What motivates me? How I spend my time? What memories do I treasure? What do I value? What matters to me? What do I struggle with? What experiences add meaning to my life?

When you have a deep understanding of my world, then you’re able to identify the best opportunity to deliver a meaningful experience that adds significant value to my life.

Brands create signature experiences when they succeed in linking an experience laced with positive emotions to the brand. Such experiences play a significant role in brand building, creating differentiation, driving loyalty and preference, and ultimately brand value.

Thinking about your own life, what positive brand experiences have stuck in your mind?

Please share your thoughts.