Many understand how challenging it is to establish a brand. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg. For a brand to thrive it needs to develop to the next level and establish brand love by generating a passion for it amongst consumers. With the cost of acquiring new customers being 5 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, can brands really afford to miss out on this opportunity? Furthermore, by increasing customer retention by 5%, brands can boost profits by up to 95%.
So, how can companies establish love for their brand? Here are our top secrets behind encouraging your target audience, potential customers, and current customers to love your brand.
1. Surprise & Delight
In the 21st century, brands can no longer expect to succeed by offering only a basic service. People are becoming increasingly savvy and more demanding. They are looking for brands that provide true value and enhance their lives with a personalised approach. To achieve this, brands need to draw the consumer in at every point of the buyer journey.
Example: Oreo, one of the World’s most loved brands by kids, is well and truly rolling with the times. Their social media campaigns, such as Oreo Hacks are highly engaging. The Oreo Hacks campaign provides creative, insightful new uses for the cookie and encourages consumers to share their own approach. This surprise and delight marketing tactic has worked wonders for Oreo and has enabled their audience to see the product in a new light, as well as inviting them to participate. This has the transformative effect of making an old product new and relevant again.
2. Brand Image
A brand’s online presence is a significant factor and plays a crucial part in an audience’s first impression. With kids growing up interacting with innovative technology, they have high expectations with regards to functionality and design. It is important that brands have a compelling brand identity across a user-friendly website and social media channels.
Example: If we consider LEGO’s social media channels, we can see that everything they post from images of figures to short animated films are in the style of The LEGO movie. This works to convey a consistent brand image across all channels and allows for children to be able to identify the brand through its unique design and style. One promotion that stands out is the series of LEGO Designer videos that provide a behind the scenes look at how LEGO’s products are made and the stories of the people that make them. Not only is this in line with the brand image but it also humanizes the brand.
This leads us on nicely to our next secret to creating brand love…
3. Emotional connections
With 75% of consumers claiming that their buying decisions are highly influenced by their emotions, brands should be looking to form emotional connections with their consumers. Brands who are able to establish emotional ties with their audience are over halfway to converting them into loyal customers. In a recent brand engagement survey, it was found that over 90% of respondents would be extremely likely to recommend a brand to family or friends that they were engaged emotionally with.
Essentially, if brands can find a way to tug at the heart strings of their audience, they will likely gain loyal brand ambassadors.
Example: Again, LEGO does an excellent job of evoking emotion amongst their audience. Their 2013 Christmas ad called ‘Let’s Build’became a huge success and even won awards for being the most emotional Christmas advert of 2013.
LEGO created this concept after reviewing customer insight and identifying that customers wanted to see the father and son relationship featured within the brand.
The advert focused on a father-son bond and so fathers watching the advert likely experienced feelings of nostalgia and were encouraged to play with LEGO again, maybe with their own children. However, the advert was certainly also inclusive of mothers as the father and son bond conveyed in the advert pulled on the heart strings of mothers watching the bond grow.
You’ve likely heard the phrase “under promise and over deliver” used many a time and this is for good reason. This is a fundamental way in which brands can harvest love. By going above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service, high quality and support to consumers, brands will be rewarded with repeat sales and recommendations.
Example: Disney is arguably one of the most successful brands and certainly holds customer satisfaction at the heart of everything they do. Because of Disney’s approach and the brand experience it provides, customers will pay more for their merchandising, parks and holidays. Just one of the ways Disney goes above and beyond is the fact that each employee is trained to refer to guests by name, especially with children. They do everything in their power to share the magic of Disney with customers of all ages and create unique, memorable experiences.
5. Listen to feedback
To keep customers loyal, brands need to do their utmost best to please their customers and satisfy their needs. A recent study found that over 95% of unhappy customers don’t complain, instead they will just leave. What does this mean? Brands need to be asking for feedback from their customers regularly and should be thoroughly reviewing and taking on board what’s being said, whether it’s positive or negative. By asking customers to share their experience, brands are demonstrating that they truly care about them and therefore draw them in closer. Not only that, but with this information to hand, brands are well prepared to make any business changes required in order to increase brand satisfaction.
Example: The popular game, Fortnite has an unwavered approach to customer service. The team takes all feedback on board and uses it to develop innovative game features within a matter of days. New game releases typically drop weekly and unpopular features are removed in accordance with the game’s in-line feedback mechanism. With its online players at 250 million, it is clear that Fortnite’s obsession with customer service and software development agility is working.
6. Unique Brand Experiences
Thus far, it is clear that it is essential for brands to develop meaningful experiences for customers that relies on connecting with them on a personal and meaningful level. However, this can be taken a step further by offering a unique experience for each customer. By offering a personalised unique experience, brands will stand out amongst the competition.
Example: Disney, is doing a fantastic job of providing unique brand experiences to its thousands of daily visitors. Technology plays a crucial part in delivering their personalised brand experience. For instance, the MyMagic+ vacation planning system allows for visitors to plan and access information and perks, including advanced ride bookings and restaurant reservations. Not only that, but It also allows the brand to create a seamless experience, with the MagicBand acting as park ticket, payment method and room key.
To take this personalisation to the next level, MyMagic+ enables members to see their name appear on a screen as they walk by (accompanied with the words “It’s a small world”), or a photo taken on a ride may appear within their app.
7. Tell a story
Brands with an authentic story have access to a fantastic tool that evokes emotions amongst their audience. A story is a vital aspect of a brand. It helps to shape how people perceive it and will enable consumers to forge a stronger relationship with a company. Done correctly, by telling a story brands have the powerful building block that will enable them to thrive, simply because the audience love what they do, what they stand for and the stories they share.
Example: The Non-profit Krochet Kids company that produces high-quality, yet affordable children’s clothing such as t-shirts and hats is a prime example of how a brand can use storytelling to drive brand love. Their approach incorporates a unique model which is built upon the goal to empower women of Northern Uganda, Peru and India by providing them with the assets, skills and knowledge to help them escape poverty. What’s more, they use their website and other online platforms to tell stories of how they got started, how the products are made and the story of a woman whose life will never be the same.
By doing this they are connecting with their audience in an emotional way. People connect with stories, not brands.
8. Brand Personality
Do people simply fall in love with the way someone looks? No, they are drawn to their unique personality. The same applies to companies looking to increase the love for their brand. Every brand should aim to define their ideal personality as the meeting point between who they are and what their target audience will be drawn to.
Example: M&M brings its fun and quirky personality to life with its iconic characters. Each coloured chocolate has a distinct character and these are shown via Social Media, TV, Magazines and more.
By putting our secrets behind brand love into practice, brands can expect to see their audience grow significantly. By building a strong bond with consumers, brands will see an increase in customer retention and referrals. Essentially, creating their very own community of brand advocates.