3 tips to help you build life-long loyalty and brand love through real connections in today’s digital world.
When the term ‘brand love’ first started being brandished about by the marketing industry, many people asked themselves if people could really love a brand.
A few years on, with some particularly challenging times behind us, several of the more pioneering brands have proven that yes, people can really love a brand, but only if that brand puts their energy (and budget) behind giving people a real reason to.
Emotional engagement and deep relationships with customers are now more important than ever before. Bet you’ve heard that line before… But it’s true. Turning customers into life-long brand fans not only improves the bottom line (75 per cent of buying choices are based on emotion), but it also helps to future-proof your brand’s relevance. But how do you go about doing it? How do you make someone want to serenade your brand from their socials?
Our belief: it’s all about real connections. Here are 3 ways you can create them.
1. Pull out all the engagement stops
With such saturated markets and fierce competition between brands, fans are in a position of power with offers coming at them from all angles. This abundance of choice has put the power firmly in their hands, and what they’re rightly demanding is much more in terms of engagement. That doesn’t mean more engagement necessarily, it means richer more meaningful engagement.
Which brand would you pick out of two that offer near identical services? Naturally you’d select the brand which made an effort to engage with you in a memorable way. Someone may pop onto your website to buy your product, sure, but they’ll come back (again and again) because of the interaction and experience (if it’s a good one of course).
So, take a look at all your touchpoints, your socials, your site user journey, your shelves in stores, and make sure that you’re building real connections whenever you have the opportunity to connect.
2. Do the real you boo
Brands have become one of the ways that many people, of all ages, define themselves by. So, make yours a brand consumer would be proud to associate with. Own up to your mistakes (everyone/brand makes them), make fun of yourself, tell real stories that your audience can relate to, have a point of view and stand up for what you believe in.
According to an annual global survey conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics, 82% of Gen Z trusts a company more if the images they use in their ads are of actual customers. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of photoshop, but keep it believable and true to your company’s values. If your spokesperson is 40, they more than likely have a wrinkle, or two. Don’t alienate your audience by removing it.
No human is 100% perfect, like no brand is 100% perfect. So, keep it real and you’ll have a better chance of connecting.
3. You’re talking to humans, so talk ‘human’
The days of talking about, and at, ‘customers are dead and gone. You’re in the age of the ‘fan’ now, welcome! You’re not going to build brand love if your expectation is merely an exchange of money and product. ‘Customers’ need to be lured in to buy a certain product or service whereas fans come by their own accord because they have an emotional connection to it. Customers give their money, fans give their hearts.
Research shows that the connections we make with brands can be as deep and emotional as the relationships we have with other people, and that’s what we should strive for. 53% of people say they feel connected when that brand’s values align with their own.
So, treat the people buying your products like people. Meet them where they are and engage with them on a human level. You’ll be rewarded for it with a long-lasting relationship.
People who love your brand tend to be evangelical. They want to shout it from the (digital) rooftops, which is great because, ehem, the power of word of mouth. WOM is reported as the top influencer for the purchase decision.
But – and The Beatles will back us up here – you can’t buy love; you have to earn it. You have to engage in a way that creates real, emotional connections, to create real fan relationships brimming with brand love. And if you do, you may just hear the sweet, sweet sound of a true brand advocate singing your praises from their socials.
Drop us a line here if you’d like us to help you create a connected experience that will make your fans fall hopelessly in love with your brand. Or we can offer you a LIVE date: let us host a FREE masterclass for you.