The types of relationships that are built with brands.

Nowadays, consumers are more informed, critical and skeptical of the actions of companies and brands, and the quality levels between one and the other are increasingly similar, so why are there well-known and recognized brands that maintain their market share levels despite having much higher prices than supermarkets' own brands, which are also of good quality?

One of the possible answers is that brands manage to acquire qualities and personality characteristics that help consumers to express themselves to society in a particular way or that also help them to find a meaning beyond the functional when using or consuming that product or service, that is to say, they connect with something more transcendental, human and personal.

For example: one brand of beer helps exalt friendship, others class and sophistication, and others joy to celebrate what "unites" us all. A detergent or fabric softener is the way a mother expresses love and care for her loved ones. One airline can help you meet the professional goals of executives and another the experience of traveling by plane for the first time and going on vacation to places you couldn't get to before.

To the extent that the customer uses or consumes brands on a regular basis over a long period of time, he begins to unconsciously build relationships with them. The following are some of the types of relationships that can be generated, which were identified by the teacher Susan Fournier**.

1. Dependent interaction:This brand plays an important role in my life" or "I feel that something is missing in my life when I don't use this brand".

2. Personal commitment: "I feel loyal to this brand" or "I will be with this brand in good times and bad".

3. Love & passion: "No other brand can take the place of this brand" or "I will be disappointed if I don't find this brand".

4. Nostalgic connection: "This mark reminds me of things I have done or places I have visited" or "This mark will always remind me of an important phase of my life".

5. IImage identification / Self-image: "The image that the brand projects, is very similar to my image" or "This brand reminds me of who I am".

6. Intimacy Relationship. "I know a lot about the brand" or "I know a lot about the company that makes this brand."

7. One of quality ratio..: "ÒI know this brand really appreciates me." Ó " This brand treats me as a valued consumer."

La companies that want to win in the long term the battle for the market, against competitors of similar quality and cheaper prices, must identify which relationships they have built or which they want to build in order to increase customer loyalty. It would be disturbing not to have a clear answer if your brand has been in the market for years.

**Professor / Boston University School of Management


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