Feb 4, 2015



One of the most powerful tools a brand can use to connect with consumers is to generate desire - a strong emotional connection with a brand which transforms a want into a need.

Anna Simpson's The Brand Strategist's Guide to Desire (published 2014) provides a model for understanding and responding to consumer desire, offering brands a way to build strong relationships with their customers and gain a lasting competitive advantage. Through interviews with sociologists, psychologists and leading brand consultants, Anna Simpson explores five common desires: community, adventure, aesthetics, vitality and purpose. She believes that, by examining motivation, companies can understand how to develop successful products and services that resonate with their customer and offer real value.

Many brands try to appeal to what they think their consumers want without truly understanding how to make a connection that will create desire and encourage action. "If brands can engage in meaningful conversations with people about their desires, and support them to move toward these things, they will earn three rewards," says Simpson. The first is a stronger identity: one that is both more attractive and more resilient. The second reward is more meaningful relationships, ones with the potential to grow and develop throughout life and even be handed on to the next generation. The third is a catalyst for innovation."

Marketing strategy consultancy, Clear, conducted a study (2013) into "brand desire" based on three years of data collected from 60,000 consumers. It delves into what makes brands desirable and how brand desire can be converted into commercial impact. They uncovered three principles that explain how to create more impact with your brand:

  1. Have an ambition that truly energizes your business and sector
  2. Ensure you make a substantial difference to people's lives
  3. Create a personality that connects with the right people

So how can brands harness the power of desire?

  • Have a clear ambition, identity and brand values to set you apart from your competitors.
  • Understand your stakeholders, your relationship with them and their importance to your business.
  • Use insight to build communication strategies that will engage, motivate or educate your customers.
  • Identify your story and what makes your brand or service desirable. Know how to make the story compelling, how best to tell it and who to tell it to

Could a fresh look at the way you communicate help create a better trading environment among your customers and stakeholders?

To help inspire a better understanding or a change in attitude in your market, ROAD is offering a communications planning workshop. Alongside your senior marketing team we will review the challenges you currently face and identify the opportunities with recommended strategies for change. Contact us to find out more...