Leicester City are English Premier League champions. For football fans, it’s one hell of a story. For a start, they were 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season, making their achievement the probability equivalent of England beating Germany in a penalty shootout. For those of you who couldn’t care less about the beautiful game though, I promise there’s a reason to read on.
This year, almost every football follower’s second team has been Leicester City. Why? Well, in part because they are a classic little guy. A plucky, unexpected pretender stealing the crown of football’s fat cat elite.
But it’s more than just an underdog story. This is also about likeability.
Throughout a topsy-turvy Premier league season, Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has been a breath of fresh air. A cheerful, avuncular personality prepared to talk honestly and humbly while his counterparts get bogged down in the usual banal clichés and self-piteous whinging.
From free pizza to dilly ding, dilly dong, Ranieri has captured the hearts and minds of football fans and people who simply enjoy seeing a nice guy do well. Everyone loves the magic of it and nearly everyone has wanted them to win.
Meanwhile, 80% of Millennials say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that supports a cause they care about.
In many ways, these two preferences come to down to affinity. I relate to you. I like you. Therefore I trust you. I share your values. I like you. Therefore I buy from you. In an interconnected world where opinions and experiences are shared every single second, brand loyalty can be more fleeting and more emotionally-driven than ever.
So yes, there is still great currency in making yourself admired. In being respected or considered an authority. But as Leicester City have shown, no brand should ever lose sight of the simple value of being liked.