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I think I am in love. When she is close, I feel complete. I love to work with her. She gives me direction and connects me with interesting new people.

From the moment I heard about her, she started tempting me. And when I saw her for the first time, I knew: this is it! Love at first sight. How cliche. By the way, she is a bit arrogant. And not that reliable. But I would not want to miss her for the price of gold. I simply love her. I long for her. She simply feels so good. My iPhone.I used to have a Motorola. It was really easy to use. Nearly never did I have to charge it. And a Blackberry. With very handy qwerty keyboard. But that felt so different. How come? Why do certain brands feel so much better than others? More appealing, attractive. Touching not only my mind, but my heart.For four years I have been researching this question. With 23plusone. A scientific research to understand brand appeal. Which brands have 'it' and why? We discovered that brand appeal has everything to do with the fundamental drives of human beings. Loyalty, pleasure, sexuality, status and twenty other things people find important in their lives. Brands that trigger these fundamental drives have a higher brand appeal. Contrary to conventional positioning laws, the laws of brand appeal tell us not to focus on one thing only. We have to mix! And it works even better if you mix drives which do not logically belong together. So that it creates a paradox. A tension making the brand much more appealing than to all those grey mouse brands out there. They might be rationally correct, but they simply don't touch you.

The knowledge we have developed over the last couple of years, confirms my belief that brand creation does not start with choosing the right category nor the differentiating functional benefits. Our fundamental drives determine our behavior and they are much more emotional and intuitive! Choosing which drives the brand has to trigger, should be the starting point of brand creation. Once this is clear we can start formulating the functional arguments in order to facilitate post-rationalization. Not long ago I heard a young mother make the claim that she bought a Bugaboo only because it fits nicely in the booth of her car. My opinion is that Bugaboo is an appealing brand because it triggers feelings related to mother care and safety, but at the same time also to progression, creativity and freedom. And yes, it also fits - just like most other baby strawlers - in the booth of the car. Except maybe in a Mini. Or a Fiat 500. Talking about brand appeal...

Curious to understand the brand appeal laws from our 23plusone research? On the 12th of april we share these results at the congres 'What about your brand appeal' of BR-ND Positioneringsgroep. For more information call Kim on her iPhone (+31619659145)

By Kim Cramer PhD, co-owner and senior strategist at BR-ND Positioneringsgroep. Translated from a SWOCC column published on March 26th 2010