PRSummit: Breakout Brands Forge Personal Connections With Consumers

Asia Pacific, EMEA, Global, North America

Holmes Report 31 Oct 2012


MIAMI—To attract—and keep—customers in today’s dynamic marketplace, companies have to show consumers the love, according to a survey by the polling firm IBOPE/Zogby International for rbb Public Relations, presented at the Global Public Relations Summit in Miami.

Of the 2,000 adults surveyed, 83 percent are willing to spend more on a product or service if they feel a personal connection to the company. One fifth of these respondents said they would pay 50 percent or more if they felt the company put the customer first.

To stay competitive, companies are adopting strategies that align with today’s new consumer perspective. Instead of chasing the competition to become number one, creating powerful customer experiences is the top priority. rbb has designated the  companies leading this charge as “Breakout Brands.

“Breakout brands don’t challenge their competitors,” said Christine Barney, CEO of rbb Public Relations. “They challenge their employees and leaders to make life easier/better for their customers, which creates the kind of strong emotional bonds that inspire repeat purchases and loyalty.”

Barney noted that being a good company isn’t always enough to qualify as a Breakout Brand. Of the companies included in Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Brands in 2012, Apple and Amazon were the only two considered Breakout Brands by more than half the people surveyed.

Apple ranked as the top Breakout Brand overall for creating desire so strong that customers are willing to wait in line for days and  pay more for products that aren’t always best in category. The complete list of the top 10 Breakout Brands includes: (1) Apple, (2) Amazon, (3) Chick-Fil-A, (4) Wal-Mart, (5) Costco, (6) Starbucks, (7) Google, (8) Zappos, (9) Toyota, (9) Ford, (9) Trader Joe’s and (10) Southwest Airlines.

The research indicates Breakout Brand companies share a common strategy. They deliver services and products that trigger a response, an emotion, and a reaction. Consider with its free return policy backed by a fun-loving customer service approach that delivers “happiness.” Or the anticipation coffee drinkers feel for Starbucks’ limited edition menu options, like the Pumpkin Spice Latte or Peppermint Mocha that signal the arrival of the holidays

“Breakout Brands have communication in their souls,” added Barney. “They build incredibly rich feedback loops that keep the company in touch with customers’ needs today and tomorrow.”

To download the complete results and analysis of rbb’s Breakout Brand Consumer Insight survey, visit:

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