We all know that building a loyal following is a necessity for a successful brand. But loyalty is different from LOVE. Take a moment and think about all the brands you interact with on a daily basis: your toothpaste, that cup of morning coffee, the social media app you read, the clothes you’re wearing, your car, the computer you use at work, your favorite pen, etc. Of all those, are there any brands that you truly love — brands that ignite your passion and that you’d be devastated to live without? Most likely, there’s only one or two, if any. Brand love is difficult to achieve.

When a person falls head over heels for a brand, they become more than a repeat customer. A customer in love is a brand champion. They believe in that brand and all it stands for. They talk and post about how happy they are with the products/services. They’ll try to convert their friends. They’re willing to pay more to continue the relationship. And maybe most importantly, they are more willing to forgive and defend that brand when something goes wrong.

So how do you take your customer relationship to that next level? What causes attraction can vary based on the individual. To woo your audience, you must first identify who they are and what they care about. Make sure your brand’s values align with that of your audience. Then determine how your brand can solve a problem they have. Brands that are consistently able to embody their customers’ beliefs and simplify their lives are the most well-loved.

To fully illustrate the power of brand love, here are a few examples from the smitten staff at Vehr:

  • Max: Whether avoiding rush-hour traffic or embarking on a long road trip, Waze is my go-to partner in crime. This app and I have something deeper than just a navigational friendship: Waze warns me of everything from potholes to traffic jams to speed traps (not that I would ever speed) and is incredibly user-friendly. Unlike my ex, Google Maps, I’m comfortable blindly trusting the directions that Waze gives me. I can’t imagine my life without Waze. They say that being 100% dependent on your loved one is unhealthy, but at least I’m beating the traffic.
  • Grace: Toyota is one of the few brands that I’m willing to drop the “L” word for. Their dependable and low-maintenance vehicles make me more dependable and low-maintenance, too. On the rare occasion that Toyota has let me down, they’ve always made it up to me; their customer service is exceptional. I also admire their commitment to developing alternative fuel sources, which aligns with my efforts to be more green. I’m on my fourth Toyota vehicle in 20 years, and I’m pretty sure I should be getting commission for all the people I’ve been convincing to buy a Prius!
  • Karen: Plenty of people like Diet Coke, but it’s easy to spot brand fanatics: We accept no substitutes. “No thanks, I’ll have water” we tell waiters who ask if Diet Pepsi or another soda abomination would be OK. We’ll walk blocks out of our way if the nearest store is out of Diet Coke. For those in the fizzy fraternity, everything about this nectar of the gods is just right — carbonation level, subtle sweetness, flavor balance. We see that silver-and-red can and hear its fizzle and know that, at least for a few minutes, all is right with the world.