Surprise, surprise. New research shows that there are pretty big differences between what consumers want in a brand based on when they were born.
A new GfK Brand Benchmark Study, which assessed U.S. consumers' relationships with products and services in 48 categories, found that while people in Generations X and Y are attracted to functionality, the Gen Yers place more value on brand image.
GfK created archetypal relationships such as Best Friend (BF) and Guru to better assess the depth of consumers' relationships with brands.
Best Friend relationships are those in which a brand is viewed as "trustworthy, understanding of consumer needs, reliable, and committed." According to GfK, brands viewed by more consumers as Best Friend can have as much as five-times the share of wallet as competitive items. The higher ranked BF brands also generate three-times more positive word of mouth and 2.5 times the number of recommendations as those on the lower end.
In Guru relationships, a brand comes with buzz, being viewed as "being of superior quality, unique, and more visible than other brands." Gen Y indexes at 148 (the average being 100) when it comes to Guru relationships.
How valuable are archetypal definitions for marketers looking to achieve a deeper understanding of the relationships consumers have with brands?