Summary of Married to the Brand

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Why do some people drive an extra mile for a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, fly only on JetBlue, or use Dial soap year after year? According to author William J. McEwen, it’s because they are “married to the brand.” They feel an emotional connection that goes far beyond simply liking the product. These “brand marriages” can translate into a substantial increase in profits for your company. However, in spite of a plethora of customer loyalty and customer satisfaction programs, most hard-working brand managers fall short of tying the knot. In other words, they’re flirting with customers and may even go on several dates, but they’re not leading them to the brand altar to get hitched in permanent commercial bliss. In this work, McEwen explores the emotional link between customers and brands, and offers a variety of recommendations based on research conducted by his employer, the Gallup Organization. getAbstract suggests this book to brand managers or marketers who are ready to make a meaningful and emotional commitment – to your customers, that is – and who don’t mind tracking the marital metaphor all the way to market.

About the Author

William J. McEwen was an account manager for leading advertising agencies for more than two decades. Currently, he is a global practice leader and consultant for the Gallup Organization.



The “Brand Marriage”

Every workday afternoon, Marty walks from his office to a Starbucks a few blocks away for a cup of coffee. Jayson, the barista, knows how Marty likes his brew and hands it to him with a smile. Marty looks forward to the interlude during his busy day and his Starbucks visit has become an important part of his routine. Just like him, millions of people have developed long-lasting, committed relationships with a product or service. These brand marriages generate huge profits as long as the brand continues to provide the consumer with what he or she needs and values. For example, Coca-Cola is worth more to Wall Street than the value of its workforce, facilities and product. The intangible something that is worth billions is its brand name.

Yet, a brand is not just a name. Rather, a brand is the identity that customers associate with a particular product or service. Successful brands offer a “return to the customer” that they repeat at every encounter. Certain brands have a reputation for creating strong consumer bonds, including Disney, Nordstrom, BMW, Harley-Davidson, eBay and Singapore Airlines. How do they do it?

The “First Date”


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