24.09.2015 : Lost Boys Agency

Lost Boys’ Nancy Brown reflects on Neil Davidson’s Social Media Week talk on brands in the age of Tinder.

Remember when life was a lot more analogue? When we picked up the land line to make arrangements to have a pint with a friend? When we actually endured a couple of hours with our best mate’s toddler rather than hit a “like” button on their millionth and one photo upload to show how much we cared? We we sent actual birthday cards?

Gone are the days of Sunday newspapers and inky finger-tips to keep up with the latest news, now we simply glance down at our smart watches to see what’s trending on Twitter or to kill time with the latest Snapchat Discover laughs.

Then there were your blind dates, out in the real world, face-to-face without any swiping or match alerts in sight. Whether we like it or not, Tinder has changed the courtship ritual template and is impacting the way in which we carry out modern day relationships.

During the pre-Tinder era* the average person’s lifetime experienced seven to eight relationships and seven to ten sexual partners, they were cheated on once and, I assume as pay back, did the dirty once. Needless to say, the Tinderisation of relationships has had its impact on these statistics.

At the time of writing, Tinder facilitates 12 million matches for its 50 million users a day. Getting laid has never been so easy.

But what does this mean for brands? Hey Human’s Neil Davidson says that “for years we have spoken about brand relationships in the same way as we speak about human relationships.” Inevitably, changes in our relationships with one another will have an impact on how we perceive and connect with brands.

Audiences are citing ease and accessibility over loyalty and placing value on fleeting relationships. We all refer to British Airways as a brand we ‘love’ yet we are 70% more likely to fly with ‘friends with benefits’ EasyJet.

Davidson pointed out that, during his research into brand love, McDonald’s barely received a mention. However, when the participants were asked to keep a diary, the burger giant actually featured prominently. Davidson refers to this relationship as ‘the secret fling’ — I’m not loving it but I am heading in at 11:30 on a Friday night when the pub has closed.

Whilst many brands were regarded with a degree of affection, few achieved brand love, with notable exceptions including Google and Greggs the bakers.

As our human relationships evolve, so must the way marketeers encourage brand relationships. You can’t make someone say they love you and you don’t always need to.

If audiences are just looking for a quick right swipe into the bedroom, should marketeers start reflecting this more casual, passing emotional need in their approach?

Should we stop aiming for the brand love of yesteryear and start positioning ourselves as the unforgettable one-night stand?

  • The pre-Tinder era is cited as 2012 and before.

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