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You're standing in the freezer section of your grocery store after a long week at work. Your cart is parked right in front of the Ben and Jerry's case. You want to grab a pint of your all-time favorite Chunky Monkey. But, as you reach for the door, your eyes wander to the generic brand chocolate chip.

Not the same, you think, but it is cheaper. And it's ice cream, right? Or maybe you should skip the pint and pick up the half gallon. It's more economical, after all.

As you contemplate which frozen friend you want to spend your Friday night with, an equally tired-looking woman in a pantsuit determinedly walks up and reaches into the very case you're standing in front of, grabs the nearest Chunky Monkey pint, drops it in her basket, and makes a beeline to the checkout lane.

That woman is brand-attached.

The Journey to Brand Attachment

The path to brand attachment is long, winding, and challenging. And you can't skip ahead or take shortcuts. You get there by passing through the preceding stages.

  1. Brand Awareness: Consumer is familiar with the brand's qualities or image but has never had a personal interaction with it
  2. Brand Familiarity: Consumer has developed a social consciousness of the brand either through personal interaction with it or via others
  3. Brand Affinity: Consumer has purchased the brand and considers it for future purchases but still considers and buys alternatives
  4. Brand Loyalty: Consumer purchases the brand consistently over others, to the point of developing a rational habit
  5. Brand Attachment: Consumer forms an emotional connection with the brand that is difficult to break and strongly prefers the brand even when presented with better alternatives

So how does a brand shake obscurity to earn emotionally attached consumers?

Part of the equation involves content marketing, where we can offer the right types of content to the right audiences at the right time to help them progress along the path to brand attachment.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Brian Shilling

Brian Shilling is branding and digital marketing director at Clarity Quest Marketing, a full-service agency for healthcare and technology companies.

LinkedIn: Brian Shilling

Twitter: @Shilling_Brian