It doesn’t take a magic potion to make customers fall in love with your brand. Just a little insight and a lot of sincerity.
But can you make anyone fall in love? Well, brand love is real and scientists have proven it, so someone is getting it right. (Think Apple.) When faced with a decision of any magnitude – chocolate cake or fruit salad – pricey Apple or budget Huawei – our big rational human brains are sidelined to the desires of the heart every time.
Emotion, not logic, is the most reliable predictor of our choices. So, based on all the scientific evidence of our inherent emotional bias, it should be easy to make customers fall in love with your brand. Just follow the rationally irrational rules of love.
The rules of the love game
Courting brand love is much like personal romance, only at scale. And most of the same rules of the love game apply: show genuine interest in their wants and needs, listen to what they have to say, make them feel special and appreciated, embrace their passions and interests. Of course, love is rarely simple, or easy, is it? So, let’s get down to the work of making your customers fall in love with your brand.
What love looks like
Self-awareness is an important basis for any healthy relationship. So, you’ve got to be clear on what you have to give. What’s your purpose? Why does your brand exist? Why would customers fall in love with you? The ‘why’ of your existence isn’t about making profits (that’s rational), it’s about the contribution that your brand makes to the world. It’s about being clear on your brand identity.
When a customer has an emotional connection with what your brand stands for, they’ll buy-in and like you. But you want more than like, you want love, trust and belief. Once you’ve earned that, the dynamic changes from cautious to committed and your every offering is met with anticipation and excitement. And it’s followed by a fair amount of sharing the event with friends and family and anyone else who will listen.
How to win true brand love
Here are 7 simple ways to make customers fall in love with your brand.
1. Who already loves your brand?
Identify repeat customers and reciprocate the love with rewards. But not just any rewards. Look a little closer, get a little more personal insight and make your offering relevant to their preferences (gleaned from your data) and tiered to the nature of your brand relationship. Are they loyal, consistent brand fans or bold brand evangelists regularly spreading the love on social media? Maybe they’re on the cusp? Scale your rewards accordingly.
Everybody deserves a thank you email or sms. But add a relevant, personal discount voucher for your special loved ones, along with an invitation to share, share, share (make sure your social media icons are right there, under their nose). Then make a full-on free exclusive offer for Facebook following. It’s an equal, but different kind of love with a very satisfying air of exclusivity and belonging.
2. What do customers love about your brand?
Ask customers what they love about your brand after every purchase or contact. Encourage them to reply and then collate the results. What does your brand offer that similar brands don’t? You’re likely to get more and better feedback directly from customers experiencing a brand moment than you’ll get in a month of focus groups or high level surveys. This is very important information because it gives your brand ongoing direction. You may be surprised to learn that you’ve been rewarding for all the wrong reasons and not rewarding what really matters to individual customers. Love can be mysterious in that way.
3. Offer specials and giveaways
Everyone loves getting free stuff. That’s just a reality of human psychology. Freebies appeal to the reward centre in our brains and it really doesn’t take a grand, extravagant gift to get the pleasure circuits firing. This is where micro-rewards do a fine job of reciprocating brand love. They’re not big or particularly expensive, but they’re meaningful to individuals.
A free-music download, a new e-book, an e-magazine subscription, are examples of simple offerings with high perceived value. And they’re often digital, which means they come with the joy of instant redemption and cost effective delivery. Give freebies readily, and encourage customers to share their freebies online. You can also make the online share part of the freebie reward, which makes the whole experience that much more special and memorable.
For more on the psychology of rewards, check out these key Insights on human behaviour to improve your rewards strategy.
4. Create a buzz
Post interesting information on social media. Be informative, expansive and generous with information about your product, industry and related events. Get your followers to share, interact and chat. People are always looking for useful information online and offline, so build a reputation as a transparent, reliable, go-to source for industry insight. If you are only posting your sales pitch, very few will be interested and some may even get irritated. Communicate with your customers, add value, and be rewarded with many shares, replies and expressions of brand love.
5. Delight your loyal following
Part of a love relationship dynamic is feeling acknowledged and accepted. Interact actively with your faithful following on all social media platforms, and in your content marketing. ‘Like’ comments, reply where necessary, and get active in conversations. Make people feel appreciated. Recognition is a powerful reward in and of itself. It stimulates the same pleasure circuits in the brain as any tangible reward and heightens the impact of the rewards experience, which further strengthens the brand love bond. Thank people loudly and publicly at every occasion.
6. You have to give to get
Freebies, public acknowledgement, and reward programs – this is what will keep people coming back and get new ones rolling in. Yes, giving comes at a cost, but you can’t put a price on customer love, loyalty, and repeat business. So consider loyalty rewards a business investment in emotional connection.
The objective of giving rewards is to build deep, loyal relationships over the long-term. Transactional, do this-get that one night stands won’t get you there. You need to engage in regular dialogue and easy, everyday give-and-take expressions of genuine care and interest. Make giving something back an everyday thing and you will reap the rewards in the long run.
7. Keep measuring your success
Never assume that you’ve struck gold with a strategy. Customers evolve all the time, and your competitors are keeping their eyes peeled on all the changes as they happen. Do the same! Keep your approach fresh and unique. Watch global trends and pick up on what’s going down before the competition does. Remind your customers why they love you.
The art of brand love
If this has you thinking, make your first port-of-call relooking at the why of your brand and re-write your purpose and mission. Take the time to listen to the people who already love your brand and give them more of the rewards they want. Acknowledge them and show your love for them on social media and anywhere else. Love is never simple or easy, but a long-term customer relationship is worth the effort.
Get in touch and let’s talk about how we can help you get your customers falling in love with your brand.