For High-End Home Brands, Location is Everything. And Nothing.

Mental Landscape

It’s not important where your brand lives in the home, but rather where your brand lives in the consumer’s mind.

When selling a home, the real estate agent’s mantra is “location, location, location.”  When selling a high-end home brand, location matters too. But it’s not about what room your brand lives in—it’s about where your brand lives in the consumer’s mental landscape.
It’s humbling to realize how many brands live side by side under the affluent consumer’s roof, all vying for her attention. Marketers know that their target audience’s mental landscape is incredibly crowded and offers precious little available space for brands. In today’s world, home brands that manage to stick in the consumer’s brain are categorized by how much she likes you and how much she cares.
The following four categories represent your consumer’s spectrum of brand involvement from passionate to lukewarm to ice cold to, worst of all, ignored.
1.    A brand I’m proud to own.
This consumer is a super fan. She is happy to share her love for you in social media, happy to show you off to friends and neighbors, and happy to be a repeat customer. This is where all brands want to be and only a lucky few get to live.  And you don’t need to be in a ‘high-interest’  category. I once worked on a toilet brand that was able to create this level of involvement in their high-end affluent audience.
2.    A brand I’m indifferent to.
This customer is aware of your brand, but doesn’t know why she should care. Often, she sees a number of acceptable options in your category and can’t differentiate between them. You may offer a specific product that she fell in love with, but that loyalty hasn’t yet translated to the entire brand. The good news?  You still own real estate in her brain, so you have a foundation for future growth.
3.    A brand I’d like to replace some day.
This customer knows who you are and it isn’t where she wants to be. Forget about Facebook likes and sharing photos on Pinterest. You have some serious foundational work to do first. Fortunately, you’re still part of her life and there may be time to reboot the relationship. In a changing world, smart brands understand how to reinvent themselves. Study your consumer, ask the right questions, and be prepared to evolve with her.
4.    A brand I don’t remember.
This customer doesn’t even know your name. It’s too late to fix this relationship—you’ve become a total stranger. Time to start all over again from “hello.” Take heart—since no one likes to be ignored, you will learn from this experience and make sure it never, ever happens again.

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