How to make your customers love your brand
Updated: Jun 6, 2019
Generating love and loyalty for your brand, is that what you are looking for?
Well! Study of brands that have succeeded in achieving brand loyalty, teach us to remember this one mantra: ‘Emotions steer our decisions.’ or like Van Gogh puts it “Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realising it”
Lets take “sneakerheads” for example, this is one of the few terms that was invented because of the love that people have for a brand.
Sneakerheads, as you can see are those people who like collecting limited edition sneakers and to your surprise most of them end up not even wearing them. Any rational human being would be shocked to see hundreds of limited edition sneakers just wrapped and kept on display.
Words are not enough to explain the love and passion some people have for a strong brand or a product. It’s almost like an addiction. It is not just products to which this addiction is, people often are addicted to social networks like Instagram or Facebook.
To achieve this kind of brand loyalty where people line up for hours outside a store to get their hands on a newly launched sneaker or when people spend their precious time posting and curating pictures all day, is hard to achieve and mind you, even after consistent sales, the prices of these sneakers don’t decrease. On the contrary they go up. A lot of trade offs happen on sites like Ebay where sneakers are sold for twice or thrice the price they were initially bought in.
But brands always have to be very careful about how they want to communicate with their target market on an emotional level. If you have the kind of products and services that are making people’s lives easier, then they will eventually love your brand, but any communication or advertisements that is based on false hope is never going to be helpful for your customer experience
You must have seen the kind of customer feedback fair&lovely has received on social media for their emotional marketing ads. Look at this ad for instance.
Any rational human being would know that you can’t get a fairer skin even in a month, let alone 7 days. But people still buy their products religiously because the brand strategy is hitting a nerve by banking on their target market’s aspirations (to be fair) when creating ads, which backfired because it is based on false claims.
We are emotional beings not rational beings
It has been established that people rely on emotions rather than information to have a brand connect. Emotional responses to digital experiences are more influential on a person’s intent to buy, than the data present in the content. So, how do we touch that emotional chord in a way it evokes warmth?
Make a personal connection.
If customers feel a connection to the personality representing a brand they are sure to respond to the message delivered. It’s essential to touch the feelings that people generally relate to the personality representing the brand.
Robert Caildini talks about the ‘principle of liking’ in his book “6 principles of influencing consumer behaviour”. He says, people buy from the people they like. Take AirBnb For example. Their referral programme is based on this very principle. When your friend is referring you to use a brand’s service, you are more likely to use it as compared to the brand convincing you to do the same.
Another way brands leverage this principle is by endorsements. They make a deal with a celebrity or a sportsmen to endorse their brands, so when you see your favourite cricketer selling an insurance policy, you will consider it more as compared to others.It leads to an improved overall customer experience.Rotary International club did something similar.
Maturity, trustworthiness, and statesmanship are some of the qualities that are associated with Amitabh Bachchan. It is these qualities that again make Rotary International approach him to be the brand ambassador for their polio eradication campaign. So he is a favourite of the corporates who want to appeal to masses who connect with those qualities creating an effective customer experience strategy, and maybe that is why they don’t cringe to shell out an estimated Rs 2 crore for a commercial with him.
There are multiple customer segments in a brand’s target market. Let’s take a brand like amazon for example. They have a huge market of people they target and each person under that umbrella cannot be same. Their emotional value and beliefs are very different from each other.
Video streaming services like Amazon prime and Netflix do personal customizations as well. It shows you recommendations on the basis of the shows you’ve already seen on their platform enabling it to be customer centric.
Any communications or marketing that a brand does has to be aligned to all the segments of the target market. Every person on Amazon has a different landing page. All the product recommendations they see are based on their personal choices or behaviour, that is done to improve customer experience.
There are plenty of tools like Mixpanel in the market which help you do this type of personal customisation pretty easily on the basis of what a particular user likes. This way brands can create a personal connection for a good customer experience and up-sell their service and products.
Appeal to the specific values, and beliefs.
Creating brand appeal by speaking to a specific belief system or religious nature of your target specific audience is another very effective and socially responsible way of promoting your brand theory. Like demonstrated by Nike and its creation of Nike women’s pro hijab. The nod of such an immensely known brand in favour of following a religious practice promoted the value of religious tolerance while turning their sport crazy fans in the loyal favour of Nike.
Project reliability and credibility and trustworthiness
Think of your brand as a human personality. You are known by your personality — certain values that reflect in your behaviour. When you are consistent with these, you become dependable for certain experiences. The tone and feel of an campaign must be consistent from content marketing to advertisement across all different forms of media.
If consumers see a company communicate certain values in a television commercial, but opposite values on social media or website they are unlikely to consider that the company is trustworthy, just as they wouldn’t when a person acts inconsistently.
Robert Cialdini, in the same book also talks about ‘the principle of authority’. You must have come across some ads from Oral B or any dental hygiene brand for that matter. Why do you think they always have a dentist in their ads? Because they want to look credible. You are more likely to listen to a dentist about dental hygiene as compared to your neighbour.
Kaya Kalp Clinic is another brand that has leveraged this principle by making a simple tweak on their website. Instead of having a button which says ‘get a second opinion’ they changed it to get an ‘expert opinion’ which resulted in rising their sales by 22%.
Testimonials are a great way to sound credible. That’s why a lot of websites have testimonials of past clients or customers talking about the value they got from the brand.
Taj hotel, the luxury hotel brand in India had a very unique problem. They offered a different range of brand experience starting from two star experiences all the way to five star experiences. Typical ‘Jack of all trades king of nothing’ situation. It became quite confusing for the customers as a majority chunk of them had different experiences altogether and the customer expectations were different as well. When you seem confusing to your target market or when your target market isn’t clear about what you offer, you can’t be trusted.
A brand cannot exist without customers, and from our analysis, the way you connect best with customers is on an emotional level. Once they connect and engage with your brand and have a memorable experience, they will go on to become advocates and recommend you to many other people. You will eventually end up creating a network of such brand advocates who will bring in more customers to you without any investment from your end, and that’s where all brands should aim to reach.