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Brand Relationship Onion- People and Brand Relationships

19 November 2009 9 Comments

In a previous post, I contested a fact that people brand relationships are different from people-people relationships.  The Social Relationship Matrix lays down some parameters elaborating on that phenomenon and tries to establish that relationships are not linear- rather complex- and many could be played with different expectations, objectives and characteristics- somewhat like the 7 notes of music.

Just like the notes of music, each of these relationships have their layers of complexity. And just like music, there is a science and arts involved in understanding these.

That leads us to the question of what are the layers of relationships can a Brand have with the individuals.

Here’s the deal- Brand-User Relationships could be best defined by layers of an onion. Peel off one skin and you get a different layer.


Realistically speaking, there are 4 layers or stages of the relationship :

  • Distrust
  • Non chalance (I care a damn)
  • Approval
  • Likeness
  • Love

In the next post- I define the characteristics of each of these attributes, the cause and what are the actions one could take- from a digital marketing perspective to improve upon or leverage upon these parameters.

PS: Those in the field of Brand Management would know this term- Brand Onion.

It basically covers positive or negative share of the consumers heart on the basis of :

  • Attributes (like physical/technical properties)
  • Benefits (Functional benefits that the end user derives)
  • Values (Emotional values that the end user has)

My diagram is could be said to be one step behind this stage. It touches upon the layers of relationships (share of heart). This is version 1- in the next version, I would specifically identify how that fits into the Digital ecosystem.