How To Get Your Customers To Fall In Love With Your Brand!
Walking down the street you look up and are startled to see something beautiful in the window. Curious, you feel a force move your feet and you find yourself walking into the store. As your feet cross the threshold your gaze meets and the world seems to evaporate. They are stunning with a composed, polished look. With butterflies in your stomach, you initiate a conversation and start to learn more about where they come from and what they do. One conversation turns into many phone calls, text messages, and dates to meet up. You two feel like you're in your own little world and try to learn as much as you can about each other. You continue to develop stronger feelings for them and begin to see how they could fit into your life. As you dive deeper into a relationship, you begin to peel back their layers and have honest conversations. When enough time passes, you realize that you can’t live without them and become attached at the hip. They get involved in every part of your life, they are what you go to bed thinking about each night, and who you want to support and surround yourself with for the rest of your life. You realize you’ve fallen in love.
Can You Fall In Love With A Brand?
Whenever we think of falling in love, we often think of a specific person, but do you ever think of a specific brand? Spoiler alert, that story wasn’t written about a person, but a brand. Read it again and imagine yourself going into your favorite store. Did you develop similar feelings when you first started going to the store as in this story? As brand managers and marketers, we could learn a lot from the process of falling in love.
The goal of every business is to have strong brand resonance among its customers. Keller’s Brand Equity model shows the steps to achieve brand resonance. The best way to do that is through customer service. Lucky for us, customer service is like a love story.
4 Steps To Getting Customers To Fall In Love With Your Brand
The different stages of falling in love follow this model exactly, providing us a road map to better customer relations and brand response. It’s up to you to write the love story between you and your customers. Follow these steps to get your customers to fall in love with your brand:
Talking Phase (Brand Identity):
The beginning of any relationship starts with attraction. As a business, you must attract customers and provide them with resources to learn more about who you are. In order to reach these kinds of customers, you must first know who your ideal customer is for your business by defining your target market. Just like a dating profile, do some research to see their background, or what we call in marketing, demographics and psychographics. By doing this, you learn more about their needs, wants, and interests.
First impressions are key to customer retention. You must consider first impressions with customer engagement as a “long-term investment.” The process of qualifying leads can help you with this by identifying which leads will still be there as loyal customers a year from now. With this information, you can set your own brand up for success by evaluating your product or service offering and adjusting to best meet the needs of your customers. Just like with people, when you are secure and confident in who you are as a brand, you are more attractive to others.
We have all been on bad first dates and similarly there are wrong ways to attract customers. First, don’t come on too strong. The goal is to educate the consumer of your product or service offering and brand, not necessarily to make a sale. Second, don’t spam them with too much information and content. Customers have a similar feeling when you do this to an obsessive guy who won’t stop texting you after you have clearly moved on from the relationship. Third and on the other hand, don’t ghost them. There is a fine line between too much information and not enough. After meeting your brand for the first time, be sure to be there to help your customers resolve any problems or questions that they may have.
Honeymoon Phase (Brand Meaning):
The honeymoon stage is characterized by intense feelings of attraction and love. Your customer feels pampered and like they are living in a fairy tale. They lose track of time and enjoy being in your company. In the honeymoon phase your attention to one another becomes hyper-focused. Just as in the Keller Brand Equity Model, you must reveal to customers what you are as a brand. In this phase, customers will observe the performance and imagery of your brand. In other words, this is the point in the relationship where they only see you with makeup on and at your best.
In order to transition into this phase, you can sweeten the relationship with different incentives, such as discounts, steals, and seasonal offers. When people get more for their money, they’ll be more likely to come back and when people love your deals, they’ll fall in love with your business even more.
Whichever incentive you choose to entice your customers, communication is key. Be sure to keep the line of communication open between you and them and position your communication strategy efforts in their favor. For example, build trust by dropping coupons in their inbox periodically to let them know that you value them as a person, that you are looking out for their best interest, and that you value their business.
Decision Phase (Brand Response):
At some point when you fall in love you must take time to contemplate your long-term exclusivity. For most people, this is not an easy step to take. Before moving into a more serious phase, you have to ask your partner exactly what they want out of a relationship. What do they value, how do they want to live their life, how do they want the relationship to be in the future?
Just as the saying goes in dating “there are plenty of fish in the sea,” there are plenty of competitors in the sea of your industry. In the mass-media world that we live in, your business can easily get buried underneath the thousands of options out there for consumers. This is why the decision phase is of utmost importance. In this phase, you must showcase those unique selling points that reveal why consumers should pay attention to your brand among all the noise. Through messaging targeted towards their judgments (head) and feelings (heart), you can create a brand response.
How do you do this? Be transparent because there is no greater turn-off than catfishing. If communication is key to any relationship, be sure to include open communication in your relationship with your customers. Showcase your brand’s values, credibility, and authenticity. Don’t be afraid to get personal too. Continue to make them feel special through a heart and head connection. Have this shine through in all aspects of your business, including messaging, advertising, graphics, and policies. Show your consumer that you value them by adding personal touches. To put it briefly:
- Be authentic
- Be transparent
- Be professional
- Be relevant (continue to peak their interest and show off your brand)
- Be trustworthy (follow through on your brand’s promises)
- Be honest (own up to your mistakes)
Commitment Phase (Brand Resonance):
When couples move into the commitment phase, this could mean moving in together, getting engaged, or simply deciding to enter a long-term, exclusive relationship. Just like how every couple is unique—there isn't an exact time stamp you can put on reaching the commitment stage of the consumer relationship. In this phase consumers develop loyalty and commitment to your brand. They have perceived how their goals and values align with yours and decide to take the plunge into a professional relationship. In other words, at this phase, the consumer has created a psychological bond with the brand.
In this phase, it is your job to build and foster a strong relationship with the customer, in order to ensure repeated purchasing and to create brand loyalty. Whether you implement these 6 ways to continue to build brand loyalty, or another be active in the relationship with your consumers.
- Deliver on quality and value (do more than what is expected)
- Communicate with your consumers (quality is better than quantity)
- Be consistent with your messaging and content
- Switch focus from customer sales to customer experience
- Focus on what your brand does best
- Create reward programs for loyal customers (treat them like a valued partner)
The reality is that not all love stories look the same. Whether you are in the talking phase or commitment phase regarding your consumers’ relationship with your brand there is always room for improvement. Relationships of any kind take work and your customers are worth putting in the effort. We want your relationship with your consumers to be long and prosperous and it is our goal at Coalmarch to provide you with the solutions to help you achieve that. Need help with any next steps? Reach out to us, we are happy to help.