What Hostess Teaches Us About Brand Passion

What Hostess Teaches Us About Brand Passion

You see the potential Hostess closing everywhere – – the Wall Street Journal, CBS Morning News and even during David Letterman’s monologue.

Here in Chicago it is even more prevalent as one of Hostess factories is located here.

I’ve even talked to friends who bought bags of Twinkies and HoHos, expecting the demise of these revered products.

So what’s this all about?

Pure and simple, it’s about brand passion or emotional branding.

John Rossiter and Steve Bellman’s research published in the Journal of Advertising Research says it’s about bonding, companionship and love.

For me, Hostess is about being these fundamental characteristics:

  1. Heartfelt – this brand is about me the customer. It makes me feel better when I use it, touch it and even taste it. 
  2. Escape – it takes me to a place away from hardship and pain.
  3. Expectancy – I always get what I want or need from this brand.
  4. Scarcity – it is one of a few, so I need to get it now or while I can. And why Twinkies are being sold for $500 on E-bay.
  5. Prestige — I gain something by using or attaching to this brand.
  6. Relationship – this brand is part of my life from childhood to adulthood.
  7. Relevance — mean something to me and my lifestyle and my product usage.

Okay, so other than potentially closing, how do you cultivate brand passion:

  1. Get into the passion mindset – strategize, execute and cultivate brand passion.
  2. Know thy self – this is my equity and my reputation and stick to it.
  3. See and feel your customer – this is who he or she is and why they love me. This also means your retailers.
  4. Give them your story in content that they can use to make their live better. Let them know how to use your product better.
  5. Make a connection through contests, offers and see content above.
  6. Think brand passion in your product design, packaging and communications.

By the way, fueling brand passion can be done powerfully and effectively in social media.  Hostess has 400,000 likes on Facebook, and 676 followers on Pinterest.

How do I know this works for other brands?

Yesterday in two separate conversations with a client’s customers, it was clear that Allen Edmonds is fostering this passion. Another client, SeeMore Putter Company, has been enjoying social success as its owner Jim Grundberg expresses his passion about the belly putter on his blog.

How are you cultivating your brand passion?


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