Why we need an emotional connection to our brand.
Today I counted the number of brand messages that ran across my eyeline via social media, email and the internet. So far, I have got to one hundred and twenty and I have been out at client marketing meetings for half of the day!
My main conclusion is that whatever source these messages come from, whether paid, owned or earned, they skim across my eyeline in a matter of moments. Of course, we all know this, but it is interesting to see quite how many different brands you see each day and which have some resonance with you.
As our attention span becomes shorter and as we are bombarded with more and more brand messages, it has never been as challenging as it is today to grab someone’s attention, particularly if your brand is new. It is not all about grabbing attention either. It is also about making your message stick long enough for people to remember your brand, be aware when they see it again, understand it and then act to engage with your product or service. A brand can build or fail in seconds.
A brand is no longer, and never has been, just your logo. It’s not about your advertisement, your events or your coupons. It is not even about your positive PR. Branding is about a relationship – between you, your employees, your stakeholders and your customers. So how can you create an emotional connection?
The human factor is a fundamental principle in branding which is key. It’s the combination of the human behind the quality product or service which in turn, meets the need of your customer and gives them a good feel or experience by buying and using it.
This is exactly why, even in this digital age, the very best way to capture someone’s attention remains a word-of-mouth recommendation. It creates a connection instantly. It is so important never to take for granted those who help promote your brand through a review or referral. Therefore it is important for small businesses that are new to marketing to spend time understanding how and why this works and why it is important to prioritise gaining referrals or testimonials.
Concentrating on your super fans
We are all super fans of brands and will have our own favourites. I know I share good product and service experiences as I am sure you do. As a super fan, I will go out of way to share experiences on say, restaurants or products whether it is verbally or via social media. For instance, I sometimes use a meal box, like Hello Fresh. I love them when I am busy – good, quick food from scratch which is tasty and simple to cook – and no time-consuming shopping! I have passed my love on to several friends through sharing meals, offering them a discount available for those of us who want to refer and telling people why I use them. I feel the same about Seasalt Cornwall Clothing and Hotel Chocolat! Very happy to share stories of quality of product and customer service about both. Not so happy to share any product from Hotel Chocolat though!
Every story you share about brands you love and every story you hear about brands which are loved by others will be stories told with emotion – which is exactly why they resonate and are remembered.
If you focus on your brand’s super-fans and enthusiasts, it is most likely that they will refer your brand to others looking for a service or product like yours. To get you started, here are my tips.
Be true to yourself! It is impossible to be all things to everyone.Stand up for your values, your customers and your employees.
Check your brand attitude is in tune with your values.Are you clearly conveying and living your values via your brand attitude?
Listen to and collaborate with your customers.Ask your customers to tell their stories about your brand.Listen to what they say and understand why they are engaging with your brand.
Tell your stories authentically and with conviction. It will work better than keywords laden into posts any day!