Branding may be a business tactic, but it doesn’t have to be cold and faceless.
In fact, it shouldn’t be. The most effective branding is personal. It’s emotional. It’s human.
This is true no matter what type of industry you’re in – B2B, B2C or somewhere in between – because the person purchasing from you is always human. Whether they’re buying an autopilot for hundreds of government planes or they’re purchasing a carpet cleaning product for their home, they’re a person, and they want a real, human connection with a brand before they do business with it.
Sadly, many brands struggle with providing this connection. They try to remain “professional” and they draw a very clear line between “me,” the business, and “them,” the customer. And let me tell you: The customer feels it.
This distance doesn’t endear a customer to the brand. In fact, it usually sends them looking elsewhere for the help, service or product they’re looking for – and that’s never a good thing.
You see, emotion is one of the key components of a good branding strategy. Not only does it make customers want to buy from you, it also keeps them wanting to buy from you time and time again. It’s what creates long-term buyers and passionate brand advocates – two things every company needs to be truly successful.
So how do you use emotion in your branding and start making those connections with your buyers and potential customers? Here are a few places to start:
- Know what your customers need. Do serious customer research and find out why they’re coming to you. Do they need help with a problem or issue? Are they looking for guidance? Do they want a product that will better their life in X, Y or Z way? Find out what it is they’re looking for emotionally out of their transaction with you, and start tapping into that.
- Build trust and security. Make your customers feel safe in your care. Meet their expectations, live up to your claims and always deliver. Don’t let them down in their time of need, and show them they can count on you for whatever – fixing a broken product, helping them make the right purchase or even just sorting out a shipping issue.
- Include them. A big way to tap into your customers’ emotions is to make them a real part of your brand. Don’t just push promos and sales on your social accounts, but tag customers, post buyer-submitted photos and include them as a part of your strategy. Keep them updated on important brand news and happenings, and loop them into conversations that affect them. Erase that line in the sand between business and buyer, and make them feel like they belong with your brand.
- Be flexible. Emotional branding sometimes requires changing on the fly, especially as your customers or external situations change. Take the elections, for example. This is the perfect time to tap into your customers’ emotions – maybe their fear of what’s to come or their hopefulness of a new and changing government – and use that to improve their connection to your brand. Again, this requires knowing your customers intimately, so make sure you’re doing consumer research often.
- Empower them. Everyone likes to feel in control – like they have the power to do anything and everything their heart desires. Position your brand to do just that; give them the tools and resources they need to succeed, and show them how they can do it on their own. Of course, make sure to show them how your products and services can help as well, but put the real focus on them – their abilities to achieve anything they set their minds to.
Are you using emotion to boost your branding? If not, you might want to consider tweaking your strategy. Emotional branding can go a long way in improving customer-brand connections and increasing long-term, repeat buyers. Contact Haley Brand Intelligence to learn more.