Bob Kupbens (VP of marketing and digital commerce at Delta) says there are only five brands that a consumer could ever love (love brands), and that airlines aren’t usually one of them.
These love brands, he points are, are essential to one’s life.
Mulling this over, I started to think of what would be my five love brands. And there’s definitely an airline on it.
1) Virgin Mobile. I brag about this service whenever I get the chance. Love their products, love the package options, and love how hassle free it is to have this service.
2) Virgin Atlantic. Best flight experience I’ve ever had. I’d fly any Virgin airline any day…unless Delta was cheaper.
3) Chevrolet. Note, I’ve never even owned one, but I want to own one and eventually I’m going to own one.
4) Target. The shopping experience at Target is unlike any other in a department store catering to the “price conscientious” consumer. According to Bob Kupben, this is definitely a love brand. When people hug you at parties because you work for a company, it’s a pretty good indication that it’s a love brand.
Kupbens spoke at the Ad Age Digital Conference in April, and shared Delta’s aspiration to improve their digital initiatives to help propel the airline into the “love brand” territory. I’m curious to know what most people would consider their love brands, and if they can name more than a couple (I still can’t quite think of what my fifth one would be).
As far as Delta becoming a “love brand”, it will take more than advertising, which is why the airline is also focusing primarily on improving their operations. This is a key element I feel some companies overlook. You don’t get on the “love brand” list by appearing to be better with the best advertising, media buys, and one-trick-pony tactics. It’s great that consumers love your commercials, but what do they get when they walk into your establishment. It’s good for a company to give back to a community, but is it done only to show how “involved” with a community you are, or is there an actual interest in helping a community that is unrelated to a company’s bottom line?
Becoming a love brand is done by changing the way a company operates, so that the brand consumers interface with on a regular basis is consistent and delivers on the brand promise. I’m hopeful that Delta will be able to become a love brand for many. I love flying Delta. It’s cheap enough, clean enough, and I’ve never had a problem with them.
…Maybe that’s my fifth love brand.