I am truly excited to welcome the first person to guest post to my blog. It is a great pleasure for that guest to be the amazing Libby Gill. Libby is the CEO of a coaching and consulting firm, an international speaker and a best selling author. Perhaps even more significant is that she was last Friday’s Fearless Brand. Seriously though, Libby is a well known and highly respected branding authority. She has dozens of national and international corporations among her client list.
Libby recently released her latest book Capture the Mindshare and the Market Share Will Follow. The following post is a modified excerpt from the book.
The Best Brands Are Built on Emotional Connection
by Libby Gill
As much as we’d like to think that we make decisions – particularly buying decisions – based on logic, the truth is that emotion often plays a much bigger role than reason.
So it makes perfect sense that brands that connect with us emotionally are much more likely to get our attention that those that don’t. When brand messages bypass our logical brains and hook us on that emotional level, it can be the start of a connection that leads us to want to learn more. When our subsequent experience with the brand speaks to our personal values and exceeds our expectations, that’s often the start of long-term brand loyalty.
The quality and frequency of customer communications also have a huge impact on building that consumer relationship. Some companies are so adept at communicating a message that reflects their unique purpose while reminding people of their product, it’s almost as though they’ve created a brand language all their own. A language that they’ve taught us to speak along with them. And while one slogan, ad, commercial or newsletter will rarely make or break a company, an ongoing series of cohesive messages customized for specific platforms – that evolve with changing tastes and needs – can keep customers connected for years.
Just think about mega-brander Coca-Cola and the commercials you saw growing up. In 1954 it was For People on the Go, in 1970 it was It’s the Real Thing and in 2012 it was Open Happiness. Then, of course, there were also the truly groundbreaking ads like the television commercial with the group of young people gathered on a hilltop in Italy to sing I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke. Or the iconic Coke polar bears we see every winter. Or the classic Norman Rockwell image of Santa Claus downing a Coke, which is thought to have shaped the modern-day appearance of St. Nick himself. The power of Coke’s brand is in the way it has evolved to reflect our changing times, yet at the same time has maintained its core message of serving up innocence, refreshment and, ultimately, happiness. Note those are all feelings. There’s obviously not a lot of rationale that could back up a decision to drink chemical and caffeine-laden sugar water.
When you realize that people feel first and think second, you can see just how important it is to build the emotional foundation before you sell. Think about your own brand. Do you offer your prospects a sense of trust, a connection to community, or a chance to be one of the cool kids? Take a look at the list below and see where you fit in in terms of the emotional response you want to evoke in your customers:
• I trust them to keep their word. Trust is probably the single most important trait in creating long-term loyalty. As consumers, we need to be absolutely certain that we can rely on our favorite brands when it comes to our work, health and families. Companies we can depend on: FedEx, Volvo and Johnson & Johnson.
• They connect me to a community. Brands that make us feel like part of the club not only connect us to like-minded people with shared interests but also to the company itself. All you need to do is look at social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to see the power of community. Companies that connect us: Starbucks, Harley-Davidson, and Angie’s List.
• I love their quirkiness. Life can be complex and challenging, so a brand that makes us chuckle while delivering the goods has staying power. Brands that bring a smile: Southwest, Zappos and Google (if you’re not familiar with Google’s chuckle-power, just check out their homepage on any holiday).
• They make me feel like one of the cool kids. Some brands have a way of making us feel hip. Apple knew this when they pitted cool dude “Mac” against stodgy “PC” in their series of snarky commercials. Brands that make us feel cool even if we’re not: Apple, Nasty Gal Clothing, and Trader Joe’s.
• They make my complicated life a little easier. In our time-challenged world, who doesn’t love a company that saves us time and energy? Brands that keep it simple: Amazon, Target, and DryBar.
I want to thank Libby for providing this article for my very first guest post. Buy her book if you want some invaluable branding insights.For free resources on how you can capture the mindshare so the market share will follow, go to this page on her site.