A report just out from TNS looks at what makes a brand irresistible. It calculates brand IQ by looking at the functional, emotional and social connections that brands make with consumers, plotted against brand usage, by category.

The sweet spot, according to this research, is an IQ of over 70 and the brand attributes displayed by these few high performing brands (an IQ of 80 delivers twice the performance of a brand with an IQ of 50) are defined in detail in the report.

Whilst it focuses on retail brands (and for some reason describes the brand attributes as apps) there are certainly recognisable attributes that are a worthy reminder for all brands, including those in the B2B space.

These attributes include:

  • Differentiation
  • Credible expertise
  • Momentum
  • Emotive meaning
  • Brand consistency
  • Brand connections
  • Integration across all touchpoints (cited by Top B2B brand IBM in their annual global marketing survey as the single most important necessity for marketers in 2014)
  • Brand unity across products and markets

The item that caught my eye the most is the graph showing how they plotted brand use against IQ. In the true spirit of “a picture is worth 1,000 words” it demonstrates how few companies manage to consistently pursue excellence across their key brand components. It reminded me of the recent Business Boomers programme on BBC2 (in conjunction with the open University) on Amazon leader’s mantra “start with the customer and work backwards” and it’s well worth a watch if you missed it.

Read the report and let me know your thoughts.