Your brand is so much more than what you see on paper. It goes beyond colors and taglines. It’s an emotional connection with your customers and a relationship that needs to be nurtured over time.
Think about it in terms of meeting the love of your life. The exhilarating rush of new love often feels like it will last forever. But anyone in a long-term relationship knows that love’s initial flames often die down, replaced by a more stable bond that needs some juicing to stay healthy for the long haul.
Brand relationships are no different. Keeping a fiery connection takes some work. To unlock long-term love for our brands and set the stage for strong lasting connections, one simply has to look at and apply basic human relationship principles.
Here are five ways you can keep the spark alive and forge a devoted, lasting connection to consumers.
Companies work really hard and spend a lot of time marketing brands. But you can also spend one-on-one active time with your own brand to understand and experience its core behaviors, benefits, and experiences. As a result, you’ll truly feel its value and make sure it hasn’t lost its way.
Reality show Undercover Boss puts senior management in the trenches to understand the day-to-day realities of experiences they provide, and the people who manage those experiences. The time you spend can reveal strengths and weaknesses you never new you had.
Brands tend to have the same routines. Changing things up a bit and adding a little variety to your world can really spice things up: a seasonal play, a promotional “wow,” an event that’s out of the ordinary-what might seem like a gimmick is actually a good thing, as long as it’s on brand-to make the bond even stronger.
Brillo recently went back in time and featured Warhol-inspired packaging to mark its 100th anniversary. The retro-cool design made a splash and reminded us that Brillo offers something beyond products for daily chores: post-modern art-and a connection to our own pasts.
Brand engagement requires open, two-way communication. Have a robust, transparent dialogue with your consumers to showcase how good you are at listening and at being emotionally honest.
Oreo’s “Dunk in the dark” real-time response to the Super Bowl blackout a few years back, used social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to show that it not only listens to culture but also has finely tuned brand behavior reflexes to prove it is present in and part of, the customer’s life.
When is the last time your brand did something surprising? An unexpected move can lengthen an emotional bond to become lasting.
Huggies has developed a sensor device called the Huggies Tweet Pee that attaches to baby’s diaper to notify parents via text message when it’s time for a change. It’s an innovation that understands how 21st century parents rely on technology to connect them to parenting basics and creates all-too-real empathetic understanding of how busy parents are. Let your brand surprise with product innovation or commercial ingenuity that keeps communication fresh, relevant and empathetic.
In brand love, there’s nothing like true loyalists. They get deeply and emotionally involved with your brand, and they spread the word. Even if passion dies, the promise of companionship remains. Don’t take loyalists for granted! Reward or harness that connection to further advance the bonds of love – and more deeply.
Recently, Disney’s Star Wars Weekends campaign used 3D printing so hardcore Star Wars fans can have their face on a life-size Storm trooper figurine. These kinds of fans invest their time and energy and become deeply vested in the relationship. Focusing on those who love you deeply can grow more of those who love you deeply.