"When you come into this industry, you need to have a point of difference," according to Anita Caras, international research director at media company Oath. "We came up with a really novel statement: that we wanted to be here to build brands that people love."

Speaking at the IAB Europe Interact conference (Milan, May 2018), she outlined a research study in partnership with Kantar Consulting that identified six global drivers of brand love.

The nature of brand love is different to that of human love, she explained, the latter being almost exclusively emotional, while the former deeply rooted in function. Human love, said Caras, "is characterised by forgiveness and an altruistic 'give and take' dynamic." Brand love, on the other hand, starts with function.

Caras continued: "It's characterised by unique utility: it all comes down to understanding that you're going to benefit from that brand, to understanding that value exchange." To initiate the bond with consumers, brands need to get the bases right, but it's only through outperforming and outdelivering on those bases that they can drive loyalty, advocacy and brand love.

The research