The power of brands is undeniable. The moment we decide to buy soda, we know what brand of soda we’d purchase even before we leave our apartments to the corner store. Brands create unmatched loyalty and boundless profits for corporations. What’s it about brands that transforms people’s emotions and behavior? Why should a pair of jeans from True Religion inspire such an emotional response and commitment. Why should MBAs who graduate from Thunderbird or bikers who ride a Harley ink the logo of the brand to claim membership to an exclusive clique?
In 2007, I embarked on a journey to find out the answer(s) how brands create devotion strictly from the consumer’s perceptive. My journey took me to ashrams in India, secret consumer tribe conventions, Sturgis and Daytona motorcycle rallies, Apple stores, tattoo parlors across the length and breadth of the US, and many other exciting places. I am still collecting valuable data with plans of publishing my findings. This keynote presentation uses four iconic brands: Coca-Cola, Apple, Thunderbird, and Motorhead. I hope this set of slides helps unlock some of the secrets of how brands build emotional connections, and why branding is important.