The Art of Attraction in Branding
It’s not about selling product anymore, it’s about understanding your customer’s desires, and creating an experience around it.
Your brand’s relationship with customers should be like dating. While everyone will have a different style that works for them, in general, there are stages a person goes through before falling in love or making a long-term commitment. Leading relationship expert Helen Fisher, says that there are three stages of Love:
LUST: When it comes to relationships, the feeling of lust inspires the desire to ask for a first date. In business, it’s identifying your ideal customer (who are you longing to serve) and creating a strategy that will inspire interest and land the first purchase.
ATTRACTION: On the first date, you need to ignite a spark that inspires more dates. In business great product leads to repeat business. You need to stay visible (social media) and consistently delivering wonderful experiences (customer service) combined with some spontaneity (innovation and limited time offers).
ATTACHMENT: For a relationship to be long lasting, you need to build a bond and trust. When you do this well, it will create attachment, moving the relationship to the next level of love (advocacy/raving fans) and commitment (customer loyalty). At this level you are the go to brand in the mind of your customers and they will happily refer you to like-minded people.
Seems like a simple enough process, but what causes a consumer to have brief affairs with one brand and commit to another? How can your company create a strong intimate relationship with customers?
Similar to a romantic relationship, the goal must be to consistently deliver high value, keep the customer feeling special by genuinely solving their problems and staying present. Here are some steps you can take to get your customers to fall in love with your brand:
#1 — Develop A Strong Brand Identity
Everyone has a type. Your customers will be the people who identify with your brand values, philosophy, products and services, message and image. These characteristics will communicate to the customer whether you understand them; their lifestyle and needs.
I was at a Café the other day and I looked across the room, the woman at the next table, about my age, was wearing the sunglasses, different handbag but same designer and the same laptop. It struck me, that like-minded people really do frequent the same places and have similar buying patterns. Understand your target audience, find out who they are already buying from and build the type of brand that will attract them and people like them.
Clearly define what makes you different from everyone else? Similar to a romantic relationship, be clear about your customer’s needs and inner desire, uncover what will attract them and find the match between them and your brand.
#2- Emotional Connection
If there is no spark, it’s not happening! If you go on a date with someone you can’t connect with, for sure there is no second date, you probably won’t even tell your friends about it! Three ways to get people talking and connected to your brand are: innovation, storytelling and customer experience. Iconic brands always seek to reinvent themselves. Just when the consumer thought it was good, the company makes it better.
I can’t tell you how much I love Coco Mademoiselle. The moment I saw that commercial with Keira Knightly on that classic Ducati, the product had already sold in my mind. To me, she represented a bold, confident, independent women, yet very modern and comfortable with her femininity and sexuality.
She rides with ease and power through deserted streets and even when faced with a moment of vulnerability, she takes charge and walks away. On so many levels this commercial represents the modern women. The women who knows that she doesn’t have to be masculine to stand in her power, and even when she becomes vulnerable, she knows how to take control.
This is what powerful storytelling does. It helps the customer see themselves through the eyes of the brand. That is what helps convert sales and create loyal customers.
#3 – Consistency (Always Deliver)
Often relationships end because of inconsistent or sudden changes in behavior. It is the same with your customers. Your brand has to consistently deliver the same quality while continually enhancing their experience. While reinvention is important, it should not alienate your loyal followers. As David Ogilvy said about customers “don’t shock her (him)!” I use to go to this restaurant almost every day and without warning or even a customer survey, they changed the menu! Most customers were not happy and started to go to the nearby competitor instead. We preferred chopped vegetables rather than grated long strips that were harder to manage with a fork.
While making changes to your business is important to keep things fresh, ensure that the changes are what the customer actually wants. I actually felt like the owner changed the menu to what they liked without even asking loyal customers.
There are other factors that impact on how customer may fall and stay in love with a brand, if you can develop a strong brand, create emotional connections, continuously provide value and do it consistently, you’re on the road to creating a long time “love” relationship with your customers.