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Glossary

Review the definitions of key words and concepts related to Brand Intimacy.

 

ARCHETYPES

Six patterns or markers that are consistently present, in part or in whole, among intimate brands that identify the character and nature of ultimate brand relationships.

 
 

INDULGENCE

Creates a close relationship centered around moments of pampering and gratification that can be occasional or frequent.

 
 

NOSTALGIA

Focuses on memories of the past and the warm, poignant feelings associated with them. These are often brands a customer has grown up with.

 
 

IDENTITY

Reflects an aspirational image or admired values and beliefs that resonate deeply.

 
 

FULFILLMENT

Exceeds expectations, delivering superior service, quality and efficacy.

 
 

ENHANCEMENT

Customers become better through use of the brand—smarter, more capable, and more connected.

 
 

RITUAL

When a person ingrains a brand into his or her daily actions. It is more than just habitual behavior. The brand becomes a vitally important part of daily existence.

 
 

BONDING

One of the three stages of Brand Intimacy, bonding is when an attachment is created and where the relationship between person and brand becomes more significant and committed. This is a stage of acceptance and reliance. It is followed by the stage of fusing.

 
 

BRAND INTIMACY


An essential relationship between a person and a brand that transcends purchase, usage and loyalty and is defined by two core traits:

  • It deepens through stages of progressive closeness that reflect the intensity of the relationship.
  • It manifests in one or more archetypal ways that identify the distinctive character of the relationship.

Brand-intimate relationships are built through experience when an individual and a brand become attached, ultimately leading to a fused state.

When achieved, brand intimacy results in improved business performance and lasting value.

 
 

BRAND INTIMACY MODEL

Quantitative research helped determine our Brand Intimacy Model, which comprises five key components that each contribute toward building ultimate brand relationships. The model culminates in a Brand Intimacy Quotient, a score each brand receives indicating its performance.

 
 

USER

In our research, this is defined as someone who has utilized the brand within the last 12 months, and is between the ages of 18 and 65. This range provided a broad array of consumers. Age priorities and mix change depending on the brand and/or industry. The user is the first part in our model since you cannot be intimate with a brand you have not engaged with or repeatedly tried. Think of this as similar to human relationships; you cannot be intimate with someone you are not already involved with.

 
 

STRONG EMOTIONAL CONNECTION

A strong emotional connection is a key requirement and the foundation of intimacy. We believe the greater the emotional connection between a brand and consumer, the more powerful the relationship. A strong emotional connection is determined by the degree of overall positive feelings a customer has toward a brand, and the extent to which a person associates the brand with key attributes.

 
 

ARCHETYPES

Six patterns or markers that are consistently present, in part or in whole, among intimate brands that identify the character and nature of ultimate brand relationships.

 
 

STAGES

Stages identify the depth and degree of intensity in the relationship between a consumer and a brand. There are three stages of intimacy with criteria for each progression.

 
 

BRAND INTIMACY QUOTIENT

The score assigned to each brand from 1-100. This Quotient is based on prevalence (the percent of users who are intimate) and intensity (where the relationship is on the spectrum of three stages, sharing, bonding, fusing). It is a shorthand score that demonstrates how a brand is performing relative to its ability to create intimate brand relationships, and enables comparisons to other brands in the same category or to the industry average.

 
 

BRAND INTIMACY QUOTIENT

The score assigned to each brand from 1-100. The Quotient is based on prevalence (the percent of users who are intimate) and intensity (where the relationship is on the spectrum of three stages, sharing, bonding, fusing).

It is a shorthand score that demonstrates how a brand is performing relative to its ability to create ultimate brand relationships and enables comparisons to other brands in the same category or to the industry average.

 
 

ENHANCEMENT

One of the six Intimacy archetypes, enhancement is when customers become better through use of the brand—smarter, more capable, and more connected.

 
 

ERIKSON, ERIK (D. 1994)

A German-born American psychologist known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings.

 
 

FULFILLMENT

One of the six intimacy archetypes, fulfilling expectations, delivering superior service, quality and efficacy.

 
 

FUSING

The most advanced stage of Brand Intimacy, fusing is when a person and a brand are inexorably linked and co-identified. In this stage the identities of the person and the brand begin to merge and become a form of mutual realization and expression.

 
 

IDENTITY

One of the six intimacy archetypes, identity reflects an aspirational image or admired values and beliefs that resonate deeply.

 
 

INDIFFERENCE

The opposing state to intimacy. Indifference is irrelevance and detachment. Indifference can happen along any stage of the journey toward Intimacy and is a risk that needs to be considered at all times.

 
 

INDULGENCE

One of the six intimacy archetypes, indulgence creates a close relationship centered around moments of pampering and gratification that can be occasional or frequent.

 
 

INTIMACY

A psychological articulation of establishing a close connection. The ability to fuse your identity with someone else’s without the fear that you are going to lose yourself is the commonly accepted definition by Erik Erikson.

 
 

KAHNEMAN, DANIEL

An Israeli-American psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Kahneman is known for work on the psychology of judgment and decision making. His book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” addresses the dichotomy between two modes of thought: System 1 is fast, instinctive and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberate, and more logical. He believes most decisions are based on emotion and rationalized later as judgment.

 
 

NOSTALGIA

One of the six intimacy archetypes, nostalgia focuses on memories of the past and the warm, poignant feelings associated with them. These are often brands a customer has grown up with.

 
 

RITUAL

One of the six intimacy archetypes, ritual is when a person ingrains a brand into his or her daily actions. It is more than just habitual behavior. The brand becomes a vitally important part of daily existence.

 
 

SHARING

Sharing is an early stage of Brand Intimacy. It is when the person and the brand engage and interact. There is a knowledge being shared, and the person is informed about what the brand is all about, and vice versa. At this stage, attraction occurs through reciprocity and assurance. Should the relationship advance, it would evolve to bonding. Should it decline, it would likely cause disengagement fueled by indifference.

 
 

STAGES

Stages identify the depth and degree of intensity in the relationship between a consumer and a brand. There are three stages of intimacy with criteria for each progression:

 
 

SHARING

Sharing is when the person and the brand engage and interact. There is a knowledge being shared, and the person is informed about what the brand is all about, and vice versa. At this stage, attraction occurs through reciprocity and assurance. Should the relationship advance, it would evolve to bonding. Should it decline, it would likely cause disengagement fueled by indifference.

 
 

BONDING

Bonding is when an attachment is created and the relationship between a person and a brand becomes more significant and committed. This is a stage of acceptance and the establishment of trust. Should this stage advance, it would move to fusing.

 
 

FUSING

Fusing is when a person and a brand are inexorably linked and co-identified. In this stage the identities of the person and the brand begin to merge and become a form of mutual realization and expression.

 
 

STRONG EMOTIONAL CONNECTION

Part of our Brand Intimacy Model, a strong emotional connection is a key requirement and the foundation of intimacy. We believe the greater the emotional connection between a brand and consumer, the more powerful the relationship. A strong emotional connection is determined by the degree of overall positive feelings an individual has toward a brand, and the extend to which a person associates the brand with key attributes.

 
 

USER

Part of the Brand Intimacy Model. In our research, a user is defined as someone who has utilized the brand within the last 12 months. User is the first part in our model since you cannot be intimate with a brand you have not engaged with or repeatedly tried. Think of this similar to human relationships, you cannot be intimate with someone you are not already involved with.