Tales of Nutella: Consumer Psychology in Social Media Marketing

How an online retail brand and consumer psychology go hand in hand to build a strong brand presence in a social media platform. So how Nutella, through its content has built a strong brand presence on Facebook with constant use of its brand name, colors, logos and attractive packaging has created a robust sense of visual branding on social media apps. They have successfully created their brand on Facebook by producing a connection with fans through certain visuals. Creating creative posts enhances the Facebook page. (Elsevier, 2014). Nutella also shares its recipes online which makes it more interesting. Nutella has an ardent fan base among this audience that LOVE Nutella on the online leverage their enthusiasm to facilitate this Facebook community sparking the new love and usage. So, Nutella approaches the social footprint through Facebook by spreading power, inspiration, joy, and support through relevant content and community management. And as it was group work we had to analyze what consumers posts about Nutella on Facebook using the NVIVO software which gives an overview of the coding framework to integrate the consumer words and merge how it aligns with the theoretical concepts of consumer behavior manifest with the online brand community of Nutella.

· Data collected from the social media, Facebook was selected from the official Nutella Facebook page and scanned through technical marketing software, NVIVO.

· A combination of data from the NVIVO software and selective commentaries from the official Facebook brand community interactions were chosen.

· These secondary analyses were integrated together with the existing theories to elaborate the social media in Brand Addiction also interlinking concepts like Brand Love, Brand loyalty, Brand Communities & Brand Perception.

Brand Addiction

Brand addiction, as suggested by Fajer and Schouten (1995), can be defined as an individual consumer’s dependency upon the brand in a way that they portray the brand as non-replaceable. They grow an emotional attachment with the brand as a friend upon whom they would count on for comfort and happiness (as cited in Mrad 2018). While brand addicts are goal-oriented, meaning their intention to purchase from their attached brand is not only for usage always but also to store it as a collection or for later use, the same may not be true with compulsive urges. One comment that was found on the official Nutella Facebook page was:

“My son has a disability & he eats Nutella daily! We go through the big family jar a week. EVERYDAY on his sandwich for lunch! He eats it on crackers, even cheese crackers & he also loves the lil tubs with the lil sticks to eat it! When we go away I must take a tub with us! He would go wild for a jar this big! I think he is ur biggest fan!

The comment implies brand addiction- here the son craves Nutella on a regular basis. He has grown an emotional attachment to the brand, he finds comfort in everything associated with Nutella. In nature, brand addicts are very much obsessed with the brand which reflects in their regular behaviors and activities, (Mrad & Chi Cui 2017).

Brand Love

Brand Love can be defined as the intensity of an emotional connection that a consumer feels and experiences towards a brand. (Carol & Ahuvia, 2006). Brand Love is a concept of consumer-brand relationship that encompasses the individual’s passion towards the brand, as well his/her emotional inclination towards it. Another comment was:

My dear Nutella, I’m into my fifth decade of licking you off my lips. True Love. (Nico Beceggato)

I love Nutella (Danni Eldridge),

LOVE Nutella, have craving for it at the moment.

It should be Nutella day every day.

The comments above were taken from Nutella’s Facebook page. Both the comments have the word love in common. The comment represents the affectionate feelings the consumers feel towards the brand. The concept of using the brand for 5 years, enjoying it, and boasting about how proud she is of it on social media, is clearly visible in the comment. This is what brand love is all about.

Brand Loyalty

According to Oliver (1999), Brand Loyalty is described as the repetitive and consistent purchase and choice of a brand where the person is truly committed to the brand, ignoring other situational and social influences that cause switching behavior. Brand loyalty can be enhanced by Brand Communities. (Muniz & O’Guinn 2001). As per definition, Brand Communities are a social group of people who use a specific brand and are strongly united to the people and the brand itself (McAlexander et al. 2002).

“Not enough Nutella. I spread more Nutella on my toast and nothing else LOL!!”

“A spoon topped with more Nutella, yesss.”

“I don’t need breadsticks when I just use my tongue and fingers.”

“Literally just eating some straight out of the jar.”

The above comments are filled with the words not enough, more, nothing else, need, and use. All these words are verbs that are concerned with actions. Thus, when a consumer says that he/she doesn’t choose anything on their toast, it means they are loyal towards the brand. Their attitude to not choose any other brand or be attentive to their marketing communication and promotion is a clear sign of loyalty, as they are satisfied with Nutella.

Brand Perception

Brand owners may think they completely understand what their brand represents, but brand perception is owned by consumers, not brands. Perception, according to Gregory et al (1995), is a process by which an individual becomes aware of and interprets information about the environment. Determining consumer perception towards a brand plays a vital role in the success of the company especially in today’s competitive market.

After collecting data from Facebook posts, results show how people trust Nutella based on the previous experience, brand performance, and perception of the product. Commenter states:

“Our grandsons are only allowed to have this at our house, so when they come to stay they always check out the cupboard. Last week when they looked all you could hear was Yummy, they found the new big jar of Nutella”.

This kind of Facebook post shows how a brand is perceived by the target audience based on the consumption experience and choice. As stated in the comment “Our grandsons are only allowed to have this at our house” depicts how the family has built trust and feeling based on their choice of the brand which is Nutella as they don’t prefer any other alternative. As mentioned earlier in the literature review by Sheth et al. (1991a, p 12) that value dimensions are independent as they “relate additively and contribute incrementally to choice.

From the above discussion and verbatim/commentary collected from Nutella’s Facebook page, we can derive implications that can help marketers manage their brands better. Through the report, we could find out that Brand Love, Brand Loyalty, and Brand perception were an integral part of a satisfied consumer’s behavior. They are interlinked and aid in the process of Brand addiction. However, Brand addiction must deal with more psychological aspects of the individual, rather than the brand. And lastly, social media’s engagement and visual platform enhance interaction that positively helps grow brand love, brand loyalty, and brand addiction. With a tagline of “spread optimism”, Nutella implies a positive engaging feeling that tends to develop within the consumer base. Deep connections and interactions on Facebook show the sense of belongingness within the brand and the consumers. Hence, brand managers should be able to maintain consistency in creating an effective aura that helps consumers be in touch with the brand through likes, shares, comments, posts, or even pictures. This will not only intensify social media addiction for Nutella but also brand addiction will be embedded within the consumers.

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