Brands need to cultivate a new kind of love in the Tinder age

Tinder: Ad Week panellists ask, are consumers 'more about Tinder than Mills and Boon'?
Tinder: Ad Week panellists ask, are consumers 'more about Tinder than Mills and Boon'?

Brands need to keep up with the "Tinder mentality" of the digital age and balance the need for both "deep love" and transactional "quickies".

That was the message at Ad Week today, when Dominic Grounsell, the Travelex marketer, Martin George, the Post Office CMO and Carrie Longton, the Mumsnet co-founder, joined together to discuss what brand love means in an increasingly promiscuous age.

Neil Davidson, executive planning director from agency HeyHuman kicked off the session with research that showed that while some brands benefit from loyal consumer sentiment, more and more people admit to having "flings" with other brands.

For example, while British Airways scores highly against loyalty, 75% of people define Easyjet as a "friend with benefits".

You can't make someone love you

Consumers also increasingly have "secret relationships" with brands like McDonald's (60%), suggesting they are increasingly indiscriminate, placing ease and availability above loyalty.

Davidson said: "One of the truths about brand love is you can't make someone love you and sometimes a quick fling is better."

This, he said, posed the question of whether relationships between brands and consumers were becoming "more about Tinder than Mills and Boon."

Authenticity and customer service drives loyalty

However, George said service brands are essentially about "people taking care of other people" and that businesses must not lose sight of that.

He said: "Authentic human values in my experience differentiate good service brands from great service brands. Today's customers really understand the deal – there's a kind of contract – of the more I give the more I get in return."

The concept of the value exchange was something industry benefitted from and should tap into. However, because the modern consumer has fleeting relationships with brands, the loyalty challenge is greater.

Grounsell added that while there are people with a "monogamous" relationship with brands, it was "bloody rare".  Brands, he said, need to add value through delivering long term strategic plans, rather than driving sales through quick, promotional driven tactics.

For the Mumsnet brand to be credible, Longton said, distinct personality was essential to driving loyalty.

She said: "It's all about believing you have something to offer... and remaining true."

Subscribe today for just $116 a year

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a subscriber


The latest work, news, advice, comment and analysis, sent to you every day

register free