To achieve brand insistence the consumer must trust your brand and feel an emotional connection to it. People become emotionally connected to a brand for a number of reasons:
• The brand stands for something important to them.
• The brand is intense and vibrant. It connects with people on multiple levels across several senses.
• The brand is unique.
• The brand is admirable.
• The brand consistently interacts with them. It never disappoints them.
• The brand makes them feel good.
There are many innovative ways to achieve this emotional connection – from advertising and the quality of front line consumer contact to consumer membership organizations and company-sponsored consumer events.
It is especially important to ensure that all of your employees with front line customer contact are Boy Scouts –that is, that they are trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind and cheerful. Add to that list empathetic, good listeners and reassuring. Accomplish this by establishing the appropriate hiring criteria, training and organization culture. Remember, good service is all about creating positive feelings, treating people well and solving people’s problems.
Ultimately, emotional connection will come from positive shared experiences with the brand over time. While this trust is built over time, offering an unconditional guarantee is a quick way to reduce the risk of a new unknown brand and to generate some minimum level of trust immediately.
Other loyalty inducing approaches:
• The brand encourages frequent, habit-forming interaction (as long as the interaction is pleasant or beneficial and not against people’s wills).
• The brand finds ways to build cumulative value for customers over time, especially if the value is not transferable to the use of competitive products and services.
In his book, The Dream Society, Rolf Jensen makes the case for a shift from an information society to a dream society in which imagination and storytelling become the primary drivers of value. In this book, he identifies six emerging emotion-based markets:
• Community (togetherness, friendship and love)
• Providing and receiving care
• Self-expression (“Who-Am-I?”)
• Peace of mind
• Standing for something (convictions)
Any brand that seeks to create emotional connection should find ways to tap into these and other underlying human motives.
Sponsored By: The Emotional Connection Workshop
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education
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