Consumers patronise a brand because it meets their needs. They show loyalty to it because it continues to meet those needs.
And sometimes, consumers LOVE a brand.
This love has nothing to do with need, self-interest, status, convenience, price…or any of the other reasons we generally credit to branding and marketing success.
It’s about a true emotional connection; one that not only feels good, but is selfless in a way that most of you have never associated with a business relationship. Customers feel close to the brand. They identify with it. They defend it and they sing its praises.
And all the while, they’re not only continuing to make purchases, they’re advising their friends, family members and associates to do the same.
It seems that these people would do anything to help advance the position of the brand they admire.
That sounds a lot like TRUE LOVE, doesn’t it?
Do you want this for your brand?
Of course you do. Let’s talk about how to make it happen.
Create Love for Your Brand
When consumers feel emotionally connected to a brand, the price doesn’t really matter. Convenience is rarely a deciding factor, either. They will go out of their way and save up extra money just to be able to say they supported the brand—because it feels good and because it makes them feel like they’re doing the right thing.
I assimilate this to a mother packing her children’s lunches, long after they’re fully capable of doing it themselves. She doesn’t have to do it, but she does it because it’s an expression of her love…and it makes her feel good.
So whether you’re looking to have your clients pack your lunch or love your brand, here’s my advice:
- Express your Corporate Values. When you started your brand, you should have listed the top five values that are most important to you in the building of your brand, and then committed to expressing those values in every communication, every heartbeat…every connection your brand makes. When you do this, people who share those same values take notice, and they flock to your brand. They feel that connection, and they want to be part of something that feels so closely bound to their own sensibilities.
- Take those Values Away…Just for a Moment. You can take the expression of corporate values a step further by showing your ideal customers how bad it feels when those values are violated or departed from. This can be accomplished through a marketing strategy in which you show them how grim life can be without those values; and just like that, absence of those values will make their hearts grow fonder of your brand.
- Put Emotion before Facts in Marketing. A quick view of the telly will show that the most effective ads package benefits in a ‘how it will make you feel’ way, rather than in a way that quantifies those benefits against competitors’. Laundry detergent ads make you feel like you can be a competent caretaker of the household. Car commercials make you feel secure enough to put your teenagers behind the wheel. Clothing promises to make you feel sexy. You can employ this same tactic in your branding and marketing; simply find out what emotions are most important to your audience members and find ways to use your product’s benefits to demonstrate your values and summon the emotions your ideal customers are craving.
- Engage in Cause Marketing. If you want to give love for your brand a real boost, consider finding a charitable cause whose values align with those of your brand (and your customers’) and give back. If your number-one value is fun, give under-privileged kids a party. If your top value is conservation, plant trees. If it’s beauty, then work with your local community to clean up a park, plant flowers or paint over graffiti. Share your commitment to this cause via social media and other outlets where your ideal customers are sure to see it, and watch how love for your brand (by all the right people) increases.
You can’t fake this. Consumers’ brains are programmed to cancel out anything that goes against their values. Even if they don’t know why, they will get an uneasy feeling when your values don’t seem authentic or when you’re selling them little more than ‘a bill of goods.’
This is yet another reason to be ‘real’ in branding and marketing. Consumers are not only intelligent and diligent, they are intuitive. They know when the values you’re demonstrating are genuine, and they’ll know when you’re the right brand to fall in love with. It’s your job to bring all that’s underneath to the surface, so they can see what your brand is really about.
Are you ready to delve more deeply into creating brand loyalty…and love? You can learn that and much more at a B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, a one-day branding experience where you will learn the three strategies for building brand visibility, credibility, profitability…and that I used to take my business from £0 to £18,000 per month in 12 weeks. Get more information and register here.