What is Brand Affinity?

When you think about your favorite brands, what are the things that draw you to them? Is it their messaging? Their products? A combination of things? Whatever the factors are, they all lead to brand affinity.

Brand affinity is an individual’s preference for a company. This preference is based on a variety of things such as how inline the brand is with their specific values and the types of products that they sell. Basically, this correlates directly to how your customers feel about your organization. 

To give a real-world example, Glossier has gained a huge amount of brand affinity and loyalty among its audience because of the way they built their company. The Into The Gloss blog preceded the eCommerce side of the business and is a community of like-minded people who share their thoughts on everything beauty-related. The premise of Glossier is that they take this feedback and create products based on that. By doing so they put their customers first and engage them on multiple levels, which instills a large amount of trust within the base. With these strategies and more, Glossier has become a formidable brand in the beauty space.

But, creating brand affinity isn’t as easy as Glossier has made it out to be. It takes hard work and a good amount of reflection into your organization and how it is connecting with your audience. To learn how you can jump-start this process, keep reading below!

How is Brand Affinity Different from Brand Loyalty?

Before we dive too deeply into brand affinity, we wanted to clarify a few things. It is very often confused with brand loyalty, or how likely it is for consumers to repeatedly buy from a specific organization. Loyalty is more focused on product offerings and buying habits while affinity can be the strongest connection a business has with customers because it is rooted in emotion and personal values. In other words, having affinity will likely lead to loyalty, but the inverse is not necessarily true.

Why is it Important?

Brand affinity is a critical part of building customer relationships to develop loyalty by sharing mutual values with the consumer and connecting with their emotional buying decisions. Buying products or services isn’t simply based on what’s cheapest or what’s the most on-trend – many people use their past experiences and emotions to make buying decisions. So, it’s important to understand why your customers choose to buy from you from every point of view so you’ll have a much more holistic view of your audience for your future marketing decisions.

How Do You Create Brand Affinity? 

Creating affinity is not an easy, one-step process. It’s a continuous process that focuses on making your consumers feel like they matter to your business. But, you can get started on creating your brand’s affinity with the four steps below.

1. Use Data, Surveys, and Touchpoints to Study Your Customers

Data is the one true way that businesses can gauge their brand affinity. It is a direct line of communication that tells them what their audience wants, how they feel, and why they act when it comes to their buying decisions and their company. 

A great example of this is the Mondelez State of Snacking report. It goes into detail about how snacking has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how people have naturally migrated to purchasing their favorite brands due to the emotional and nostalgic response they elicit.

You can mine this data from things like customer surveys or other key touchpoints that you track. 

2. Audit Your Brand

Periodically auditing your brand has a host of benefits, but it mostly points to what messages are you sending to your customers. Depending on those messages, you could be creating or damaging your affinity. Again, it is all about how your message connects with your audience on an emotional level. So, as you’re conducting an audit, evaluate it based on the values your company holds and how you communicate those through your marketing and products.

3. Cultivate an Emotional Connection with Your Consumers

Based on your brand audit, it’s now time to start brainstorming how your business can cultivate an emotional connection with your consumers in a natural way. Customers can tell when brands are not being genuine in their messaging, so find ways to connect with your audience that are both in-line with what your business has already marketed to your customers and speaks to them on a personal level in order to build a community with them. 

4. Measure Your Brand Affinity

Lastly, once your brand affinity initiative is underway, you’ll need to track how it is working. Measuring affinity can be done with social listening, which monitors mentions of your brand on social media websites. Think of social listening as a large-scale focus group that you have unlimited access to. You can use the insights you get from this practice to inform your next marketing strategy.

Like all marketing metrics, brand affinity is a vital one to measure so you can have a full picture of your audience’s buying decisions. It can be a good indicator of how you’re connecting with your customers on a personal level, which is invaluable when you’re making marketing decisions and strategies. To help you with this task, trust in Harris Brand Platform. Harris Brand Platform’s features align with many of the steps needed to create affinity and maintain strong relationships with your consumers. It also has the ability to track and measure other key marketing insights that will help your brand excel. 

To learn more about Harris Brand Platform, request a demo today!

Zeke Hughes

Author Zeke Hughes

Zeke serves as Head of Growth with Harris with a specific focus on Harris Brand Platform. With deep experience in client development and customer success, Zeke supports Harris’ ongoing engagement efforts and supports successful onboarding experiences for new clients. He has spent much of his career supporting financial services and insurance clients across the Fortune 1000.

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