Revealed: what it takes to be an irresistible brand

The world has many popular brands but only a select few have the magnetic power of irresistibility. Using NeedScope, TNS has now 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 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 when they become the automatic, instinctive choice for particular needs in particular contexts. They do so 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 analysed brands achieved an IQ of 70 or higher. All of these brands shared 8 key characteristics, 8 irresistibility apps that drive their magnetic attraction. These apps provide a powerful framework for any brand with the ambition of becoming irresistible.

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Key action points for marketers:
Talk to TNS about a strategy to make your brand irresistible, using the 8 irresistibility apps framework:

App 1: Know-how
Is your brand a credible expert in its category?

App 2: Momentum
Is your brand constantly evolving?

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

App 4: Emotion
Do you know what your emotive meaning is?

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

App 6: Nexus
How well connected are the elements of your brand?

App 7: Alignment
Is your brand consistent across touchpoints?

App 8: Unity
Is your brand like a well unified family?

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