Love isn’t all you need in the Participation Age


Love isn’t all you need in the Participation Age

Love has long been recognised as the ultimate emotion a brand can elicit in its audience. But in a modern world of immediacy and interaction, the most important emotion is excitement. How do brands generate this sense of excitement? By creating experiences people want to be a part of, communicating provocatively, and challenging the norm.


When it comes to brand love, it’s the familiar and famous that come out on top, with a skew towards FMCG: KitKat, Walkers, Coke, MINI. But the emotion most highly connected to the highest scoring participation brands is excitement – with a very different set of brands dominating: Apple, GoPro, Beats, AirBnB.
And what are the most exciting brands doing to drive this emotion? They are being provocative and challenging. And they are creating experiences people want to be part of.


In the age of passive brand consumption, love was all you needed. But as consumers demand an increasingly active relationship with their brands the route to brand success doesn’t need to be one-dimensional. Consistently having some tension within your brand is a great way to allow variety, and create excitement. After all, just think of the people you like to spend time with – perfection is rarely interesting, at least not for long…