Today is the day for expressing your love for the people in your life, but have you ever expressed your love for a brand? I know I have, and I am steadfastly loyal to some brands because of the way they connect with me on a personal level.
I was recently asked, “How can you make consumers fall in love with your brand?” Being the brand nerd that I am I wanted to provide a bullet list of step-by-step instructions, maybe even a diagram, but the truth is – you can’t. No more than you can make someone fall in love with another person. Love is a deeply personal feeling based on attraction, shared values, and trust and you can’t force those emotions – however, you can influence them in the right direction by creating opportunities for authentic emotional connections.
A brand is not something you can see – it’s the essence of your business’s core purpose; what you stand for and what you promise to your customers. It’s something consumers feel when they experience a product or service and the characteristics, qualities, and behaviours demonstrated throughout the experience. Positive or negative.
If you look closely, there are similarities between the brands that we love and people we love. There are characteristics we’re drawn to or qualities we trust and behaviours we can rely on. If you want consumers to fall in love with your brand, you need to connect with them on an emotional level, through relatable and valued qualities and behaviors.
For example, is your business honest, reliable, punctual? Or is it shady, inadequate, and late for appointments? Which traits align with your customers’ values? Are you friendly and casual or more reserved and professional? Which personality suits your customer best? What do you do differently from your competitors to make the experience unique and excellent? The things you do (or don’t do) at every touchpoint can make a consumer feel valued (or not) and connected (or not) to your brand on a personal level, creating an emotional connection to your business.
According to the 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study, 87% of consumers stated they would purchase a product based on shared values. The key is to find out what’s important to your customers – what they assign a value to. Align your business values and communicate them to your audience. Demonstrate your personality, expertise, and uniqueness and follow up with a positive brand experience that delivers on your business’s promises.
From there, it’s up to you too and your team to consistently fulfill the promises you’ve made. Do what you say you’re going to do and be authentic at every touchpoint. Promise and provide an excellent experience to create a trusting relationship and an emotional bond with your customers. And maybe even influence them to love your brand.
Living up to it is the hard work, but it can read like a bullet list:
- Communicate what is unique about your business.
- Demonstrate your credibility and expertise.
- Be authentic.
- And consistent.
- Keep your promises.
- Buy them chocolates.
Just kidding on the last one, but honestly, who doesn’t like to get chocolates?
“All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles Schultz. @SchulzMuseum
– Nicole Westerlund was the Marketing Manager responsible for Brand & Advertising at Directwest.February 13th, 2019