By Renny Tirador
By the time my daughter turned 16, she was so much influenced by brands and what they meant, that the first car she wanted was a BMW. What made her fall in love with BMW over let’s say a Honda Civic? I’d like to think that she had done her homework, comparing the features of each car, the engines, the workmanship, the miles per gallon, price, etc. However, that wasn’t the case, she was more interested in driving around with a BMW logo on the hood of her car than anything else.
At 16, she already knew that BMW meant status, quality, sensuality and “cool” (and so did all her friends). Honda on the other hand, meant value, ordinary, practical and plain. So being in the industry, I decided to play a trick on her. I “photoshoped” a BMW logo on a picture of a Honda. Later that day when I got home from work, I showed her the photo, and told her that this was the car she was getting. Her response was very positive…she loved it so much she was showing the picture to everyone. If it hadn’t been for her cousin who ratted on me and uncovered my plan, her first car would have been a Honda.
So what makes people fall in love with a brand? The answer is Emotional connections. Study after study has proven that we are all powered by emotion, not reason. If it were reason, why would you ever buy a $15,000 Rolex when you can buy a perfectly good watch that looks like a Rolex and tells time same as a Rolex for $250.00.
Fact is, a Rolex holds it’s price, it’s a complex timepiece, it’s made out of gold, or platinum, it’s a guarantee of quality and most important, it’s a reflection of your lifestyle. Thus, the decision to buy a specific brand over another is all based on emotions.
Maurice Lévy, Chairman of Publicis Groupe puts it this way:
“Consumers who make decisions based purely on facts represent a very small minority. They are people without feelings, or perhaps people who put their heart and emotions in the fridge when they are leaving home in the morning, and only take them out again when they go back home in the evening. Although even for these people, there’s always some product or service they buy based on impulse or emotion.” The vast majority of the population, however, consumes and shops with their mind and their heart, of their emotions.”
In my daughter’s case, she probably felt that driving a BMW matched her personality, her style and elevated her status. All it did for me was getting stuck with a hefty car payment.