The world has many popular brands but only a select few have the magnetic power of irresistibility. Now a new study from TNS has revealed what it takes to become an irresistible brand – and why it is so important to do so.

Irresistible brands have a power that goes beyond being recognisable and popular. When faced with a choice in their category, consumers are magnetically drawn to them, unable and unwilling to see any alternative. The power these brands exert today makes their success appear almost magical, but the fact is that they have very specific characteristics that make them irresistible brands. They have been deliberately designed and carefully managed over time to exert such a powerful pull.

Brands become irresistible by appealing to both of the systems that govern human behaviour: the fast, frugal ‘System 1’ brain that drives much of our daily decision-making through emotion and intuition; and the slow, resource-intensive ‘System 2’ brain that operates consciously to rationalise our System 1 choices. In this way, they are able to align with consumers’ deeper priorities and motivations whilst generating an immediate, often automatic response whenever a choice is made.

Analysis of NeedScope’s database of over 1,000 brands proves just how important irresistibility can be. Brands with a high Irresistibility Quotient or IQ show significantly higher usage than those with lower scores. A brand with an IQ of 80 for a particular needstate delivers twice the share in that needstate of a brand with an IQ of 50.

However, irresistible brands are rare. Only 16% of those in the analysis achieved an IQ of 70 or higher. All of these brands shared 8 key characteristics, 8 irresistibility apps that drive their magnetic attraction. For marketers, these apps form the playbook for achieving true domination within a need-state.

Key action points for marketers:

Talk to TNS NeedScope about a strategy to execute against the 8 irresistibility apps:

App 1: Know-how
Is your brand a credible expert for its need-state?
Examples of Know-how: Bang & Olufsen, Dyson, Nike

App 2: Momentum
Can you stay ahead of the game?
Examples of Momentum: Coca-Cola, Samsung

App 3: Differentiation
Do you have the courage to stand for something?
Examples of Differentiation: Dove

App 4: Emotion
Do you know what your emotive meaning is?
Examples of Emotion: Stella Artois, Red Bull

App 5: Symbolism
Do you have your own emotive language?
Examples of Symbolism: Chanel

App 6: Nexus
Do the different elements of your brand add up?
Examples of Nexus: Simple

App 7: Alignment
Is your brand consistent across touchpoints?
Examples of Alignment: Audi

App 8: Unity
Could your brand remain recognisable across products and categories?
Examples of Unity: Johnnie Walker


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