The Secret Sauce to Building Brand Love

It’s a cold hard fact for business owners, but for the most part, consumers generally aren’t interested in most brands. Sure, people generally have a few brands they love, but for every brand they’re exposed to that they’re interested in, there’s dozens that just fade into background noise.

Mostly, people don’t care about brands.

According to Harvard Business Review, consumers are inundated with brand messaging, and for the most part, they want to hear less from brands. Like the memorable campaign from Bankwest puts it, “no one wants more bank in their life”. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t want to find brands they love – just that most branding efforts fall flat.

But when they find a brand they love… everything changes.

Let’s stop to think for a moment about what brands you like, what brands you get excited about. You might have pressed Like or Follow for a few brands on social media, but there’s probably only a handful that you could say you really actively follow – that you take an interest in, that you identify with, that you want to know more about. What brands do you love, and why?

Let’s take an example: a lot of people love Disney. Disney movies bring back fond childhood memories. They have an emotional connection with Disney, not just the products (movies, merchandise, etc.) but with the stories, with what Disney means to them. Heck, people have Disney-themed weddings. Disney’s brand is so effective that people get tattoos of Disney princesses. Now that’s serious brand love.

And with 75% of buying experiences being based on emotion, brand love can translate to business success.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

That secret sauce

The good news is, you don’t have to fumble around in the dark: there’s a ton of evidence-based research on what makes people engage with brands, and since we’re all about finding ways to do things better, we’re revealing the secret sauce that turns consumers from “meh” to “wow”.

Know yourself

Just because you have a logo and a business name, doesn’t mean you have a brand; and without a brand, your consumers can’t develop brand love. Think about what makes your business unique, your “why”, and what matters to you as a business. After all, if you don’t have a brand identity, and you don’t know why you’re special, how can you share it with others, and why would they care?

So define and refine your brand, and why people should care. Figure out your unique value proposition, and tell your story. Brand love isn’t a list of features, it’s an emotional connection that leads to brand loyalty and keeps people coming back and spreading the how we can make 2020 your year.

Know what matters to you

Remember that Harvard Business Review study that taught us that consumers generally want to hear less from brands? Those researchers also found that among consumers who did have a brand relationship, 64% cited shared values as the primary reason, making it by far the largest driver of brand relationships.

This doesn’t mean pay lip service to values; instead, express values through your work. Consumers can tell when brands are talking the walk without walking the walk. But deciding what values matter to you and making them more than words on a page isn’t just a great opportunity to contribute to the world around you: it’s also great for business.

According to research by causemark:

67% of consumers say they trust a company more when the company shares awareness information about a cause those consumers believe in.

75% of consumers say they are likely to switch from one product to another if a company supports a cause they believe in*

Finding consumers who share your values and letting them know you feel that way too, and how you’re actually bringing those values to life, can help you stand out from the crowd.

Think about TOMS; there must be tens of thousands of shoe brands in the world, but TOMS aren’t just about shoes. Their position in the market is defined less by their product, and more about how they make a difference in the world through that product. We know what matters to them, and consumers who share those values feel affirmed through that brand relationship.

Meet memorably

According to another Harvard Business Review piece, The Eight Stages of Brand Love, meeting memorably is critical: first impressions count, and so do second, third, etc.

Building brand love through your online presence can’t involve one-size-fits-all communications strategies. Consumers engage with brands in different ways depending on where you’re reaching them – through website, organic or paid social media, advertising, etc. The same brand will communicate on LinkedIn in a very different way from Instagram!

In particular, Facebook is less and less relevant for businesses seeking to build brand relationships, with changes in recent years to its news feed algorithms meaning that the focus is organic content from family, friends and communities. It’s more about connections, whereas Instagram is about exploring and discovering, making it a powerful opportunity to reach and engage curious people. As Forbes puts it, Instagram has emerged as a new home for brands.

This doesn’t mean throw out the Facebook baby out with the bathwater, but rather than you need to think strategically about how you will share your story depending on where you are sharing it, and how you will tailor those initial meetings to build a love that lasts.

Want to know more? Here at Glide: The Digital ROI Agency, we’re all over marketing strategy: what makes consumers tick, how they interact with the digital world and how businesses can understand and appeal to their ideal customers to kick marketing goals. Get in touch to see how we can make 2020 your year.

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