Nearly 90 percent of our decisions are emotional. We are all human, so instinct and impulse shape our choices, no matter the context. Attitudes and assumptions are all involved, as well. In all of our decision-making, emotions form the basis of our judgments, not only to engage, but to keep engaging with our most valued, loved and trusted brands.
When it comes to building loyalty, the best brands view engagement as the consumer does: An emotional relationship rooted in shared beliefs and values. That’s what transcends function or transaction, turning brand-consumer engagements into powerful and meaningful connections that last well beyond the point of purchase, taking root in the heart and mind.
But with the seemingly endless array of mixed messages and ever-increasing noise in the marketplace, it’s easier than ever to either confuse consumers or miss out altogether. It’s so very easy to miss the opportunity to connect with people who would have enthusiastically responded to what you have to offer – if only you had only conveyed it differently.
Every interaction with your consumer has the potential to reinforce or refute their belief that you “get” them and genuinely care about what they care about. As Simon Sinek, the author of Start with Why, puts it: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. They can tell if you’re faking it – and if they doubt you’re genuine, they’ll dump you.”
Today’s consumers crave real, uncensored, authentic relationships. They want to be emotionally connected with your brand. They want to share with you in caring for the same big ideas. They want to feel aligned with your brand’s beliefs, values, and meaning.
I have a longstanding belief that the most powerful, emotionally engaged brands know exactly what they stand for and how to signal it across all they say, show and do. They have clarity on who they are, who their customers are and the sweet spot that ties them together in a way that builds genuine trust.
This can never be achieved through great branding campaigns or well executed marketing communications. It can only be the result of a genuine company and customer centric company culture that permeates everything your employees say and do in all of their actions.
All things put together, succeeding in creating a genuine and true brand creates loyal, lifelong customers by sharing an overlapping set of firmly held values and an emotional promise that gives depth to the brand and a meaningful commitment to their audiences.
These are the questions to ask yourself:
- Do you know what your organization’s real values are?
- Are you crystal-clear on what your most-valued consumers care about most?
- How does that intersect with your company culture?
- Does it sit well with who you are and what you believe in?
- How can these beliefs be observed through the daily actions of you and your fellow colleagues?
When you get honest with yourself about who you are and what you care about, as an individual and as a company, your customers have real brand truths to connect with and hold onto. And when you know how to articulate the values your brand is rooted in and the emotional benefit you aim to deliver to your customers, it will be so much easier for the employees in your organization to anchor in it and act in a way that will create these powerful brand experiences.
So, get emotional. Self-reflect. Define why you´re in business and what you really want your customers to get from staying interlinked with you, and make sure to listen: Understand what your audiences value most, what they believe, and what they really need. When you do, the brand benefits will unfold exponentially for you.
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