The notion of branding as we have come to know it has evolved noticeably over the years as transformations within marketplace have opened up doors for innovative branding approaches and contributions,in addition to this one could arguably say that most of these changes can be attributed to a shift within the mindset of the consumer as the emergence of various segments and target markets has brought about a new set of demands and expectations when it comes to effectively creating and sustaining profitable relationships between a brand and its desired consumer . One cannot deny the fact the proceedings leading up to the present decade have played a role in the visible shift from an industrially driven economy to a one where the consumers are placed in the drivers seat.
That being said the branding landscape has become increasingly competitive as new brands and products are being launched frequently thus making it difficult for brands to not only connect with consumers but to also distinguish what differentiates them. As a result brands are now left with the task of finding new methods of gaining favour amongst their desired consumers in order to create meaningful connections.
“We are clearly dealing with a completely different set of values today than 5 years ago. Speed has replaced stability; intangible assets have become more valuable than tangible objects. The traditional supply and demand economic models are being completely revaluated.”(Gobé, 2001)
In aid of this Author Kevin Roberts describes the journey from products to trademarks to consumers to brands a series of steps that have a profound effect on how businesses deal with consumers and how people deal with brands.
In his book Lovemarks: The future beyond brands Roberts (2005: 2) goes on to describe how each step has turned up the voice of the consumer as by adding weight to what is most difficult to measure (the intangibles of relationships, brands and people power) by pulling emotion closer to the centre.
“Each step has brought consumers closer to the businesses that produce goods and services they need. Closer to their need for design,quality ,price usability and availability ,innovation and safety” (Roberts, 2005: 2).
In support of this statement Gobé argues that brands should understand the vast changes occurring and compete differently in order to in order to remain relevant and survive, meaning that simply attempting to meet profit margins and gain brand loyalty based on what brands choose to dictate is no longer applicable.
Statement of purpose:
The purpose of this study is to assess the impacts of emotional branding on generation Y and building brand equity, as means to identify how South African brands can use emotional branding to create meaningful and profitable connections within this specific target market.