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Making stronger connections and building more meaningful relationships with your consumer cohort
16th September 2019, 1:59 pm
Research tells us that as individuals we are exposed to over 5,000 brands each and every day, yet we are hardwired to retain only four or five. The ones we retain, interact with from choice, and even grow to love, are the ones that mean something to us. They are the brands we have made an emotional connection with.
Of course we will shop with others, brands that sell hard, push products and services, send out offers and promote discounts. But any loyalty we may have with them is wafer thin, based only on price and delivery. As soon as someone else is cheaper, faster, louder, we’ll jump ship in a heartbeat.
It’s the brands that do more than simply ‘sell’ that grow a tribe, build a loyal community, succeed longer-term. These are the brands that stand for something, that understand their audience, that have an authentic story to tell.
This is brand building, and your brand platform is the foundation upon which everything else can stand.
- Your Brand Platform
This is your ‘who’, your ‘what’, your ‘how’ and your ‘why’. It is who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why you do it, that defines you as a brand and gives you your purpose, the reason you exist beyond making profit.
As Simon Sinek said in his famous Ted Talk ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’.
Beginning with this means that everything else will follow.
- Your Purpose & Your Vision
Contrary to popular opinion, these two things are not the same, as the following example perfectly demonstrates.
In the book ‘Zag’ brand consultant Marty Neumeier tells us that, with reference to the Kennedy years in the US, purpose was ‘advancing mans capabilities to explore the heavens’ whilst vision was ‘a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s’. People could picture that and get behind it.
A clear vision creates powerful and collective forward momentum.
- Your Brand Story
There are two ways to communicate with your audience, you can simply push out a stream of information, or you can pull people in with your authentic story.
As human beings we have been sharing stories since time began, and we are hardwired to remember them. According to Stanford School of Business research ‘stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts and figures.’
Compelling brand stories make much stronger connections.
- Your Audience
Knowing how best to tell your brand story, and who best to tell it to, means first understanding your audience.
Your brand will not appeal to everybody, and nor should it. It will appeal to a particular audience, and your time and energy should be invested in reaching those people, not in the adoption of a catch-all scatter gun approach to marketing.
The value of smart consumer insight cannot be overstated.
- Your Brand Identity
Iconic graphic designer Paul Rand once said ‘design is the silent ambassador of your brand’. It’s a much-used quote, but it still sums up perfectly how you should view the identity of your brand.
If executed well, the words, graphics, symbols, images and colours that represent your brand quickly become the triggers, signposts and signals that people instantly recognise and associate with.
Is there anyone on Earth who doesn’t know the Nike swoosh.
- Your Brand Experience
Your brand is so much more than simply your product and your logo. It’s a complete 360° experience that sets expectations, tells stories, makes memories, and allows us, as consumers, to make a statement about ourselves.
Consumers today don’t just want to be sold to, they want brands to make a difference to their lives, want a brand experience that makes their lives better.
Don’t just sell, be a brand that shares, includes, activates and entertains.
- Your Emotional Connection
It is no accident that behavioural science is now playing such an important role in the branding process and the development of consumer experience.
Much of todays thinking is based upon the findings of neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, who stated that ‘we are not thinking machines that feel, we are feeling machines that think’. The facts bear out his theory.
95% of our human decision making process is based upon emotion.
To make stronger connections and build more meaningful relationships with your consumer cohort, you should –
- Build your brand platform.
- Have a clear vision.
- Tell your brand story.
- Know your audience.
- Create your identity.
- Deliver a 360° experience.
- Make emotional connections.
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