Does All That Talk Really Get You Anywhere?
Consumers become emotionally invested in brands. All brands. Even your brand. Even when they don’t use your product. They have opinions of you, and those opinions matter when it comes time to make a purchase. So what happens when a brand gets a label for a less than positive trait, like “arrogance”? Data from BAVC’s most recent study provides some insight into how “arrogance” affects a brand overall, and what a brand can do to overcome being labeled as a braggart.
Arrogance really drags you down
Being perceived as highly “arrogant”, one of BAVC’s 48 category agnostic perceptual attributes, tends to have a depressive effect on a brand’s equity. Overall, “arrogant” brands stand out a bit more, but in a way that’s detrimental to your brand’s health.
However, some brands manage to break away from this general trend, accepting “arrogance” as part of their brand meaning and leveraging it (in part) into brand success.
Can you make your arrogance likable?
Some “arrogant” brands are leaders; so what are they doing differently? First, we can look at successful “arrogant” brands and compare them to their struggling counterparts. The answer seems to lie in a brand’s ability to support its bravado with functional validation, or substance. When a brand over-indexes on “arrogance”, but also rates highly on qualities such as trustworthiness, high performance, reliability, and high quality (attributes also captured within BAVC’s model), their arrogance becomes less of a defining feature and their brand meaning becomes more robust. The “arrogance” these brands possess is perceived more as confidence by consumers; a brand espousing its well-earned bragging rights in its space. Conversely, highly “arrogant” but unsuccessful brands lack this functional validation and support within their brand meaning, creating a one-dimensionally loud persona without anything substantiating their claims.
Don’t let your arrogance define you
When a brand is not perceived to provide any real substance, their boasting comes off as shallow; even becoming their defining feature. Among unsuccessful brands that over-index on “arrogance”, the “arrogance” attribute becomes their highest-ranking association; 1st within their profile of 48 perceptual attributes. For successful “arrogant” brands that provide substance along with their attitude, “arrogance” becomes part of their charm and brand meaning but not their defining feature; 13th within their perceptual profile. In other words, when you don’t support your claims, your talk is all you’re known for. As for the defining features of successful “arrogant” brands? Perceptions like high quality, prestige, leader, high performance and trustworthy are among the attributes that most strongly define successful “arrogant” brands; attributes that have proven to support successful levels of brand equity.
It seems it’s true what they say: if you’re gonna talk the talk, you better walk the walk.