Emotions are a foundation of feeling human. When we relate over a shared emotion, whether it’s joy or sadness, it can build a stronger connection and foster loyalty. Similarly, people are looking for brands and companies who fit their lifestyles and what they believe – brands they can connect with. Understanding what today’s consumer desires, positions the brand in a way that allows for emotions to be awakened to start building brand love. Brands are no longer looking on the outside, rather on the inside. What drives your consumers? What excites them? What do they love? What do they fear?
Consumers want to be aligned with purposeful and inspirational brands, so consistent emotional connections with consumers should be at the heart of what modern brands do. Once this psychological connection with the consumer has been built, it drives sales across the whole business. According to Talkwalker’s 2021 Brand Love Story report, brand love often leads to:
- Price premium – Because of the relationship between the brand and the consumer, 86% of adults said they’d spend more on products and services from a brand they love.
- Brand loyalty – Consumers are more likely to remain loyal to the brands they’ve built strong emotional connections with. 39.5% of consumers define brand loyalty as having love for a brand.
- Brand advocacy – Customers who love your brand are more likely to recommend it to other consumers, helping increase sales. Up to half of sales are driven by word-of-mouth.
Understanding the voice of the customer is key. To get consumers to love you, you have to know what makes them tick. Here are four key elements we’ve identified to build brand love successfully:
- Being authentic and meaningful
People are looking for brands and companies that fit their lifestyles and what they believe. It’s about more than just a product or service. Brands are built on purpose – and when that resonates with a consumer, it’s important that the messaging is communicated in authentic, genuine, and consistent ways.
Patagonia is one of the best examples that has staked its entire reputation on being a brand that lives its purpose and being authentic – from its products and company culture all the way to its support of more than 1,000 grassroots environmental organizations around the world. Their values align with their actions from sourcing suppliers, to choosing materials, and building locations, to name a few ways.
- Building trust, honesty, and proximity
Haribo Goldbears offers an annual special fan-picked edition composed of new flavors every year in the German marketplace. Similar campaigns of the brand have been introduced in other markets over the years.
The key love equity factor that Haribo is building on with this campaign is trust. The brand clearly communicates on its website that the trust of consumers is the reason for offering a FAN edition and putting the decision in their hands. The brand cites that due to consumers trusting and supporting Haribo throughout all the years, the brand wants to also trust the consumers in return by letting them choose the flavors for the FAN edition. Aside from this, other fundamental values are reflected here: listening & responding to your customers.
Take a look at other examples of how to build trust, honesty, and proximity in the food and beverage, fashion, and beauty industries.
- Personalizing experiences
Everybody likes to be recognized as a person, an individual with unique traits, desires, needs, and experiences. We appreciate it when someone remembers our name, our accomplishments, and our choices. Consumers feel the same way, and appreciate it when a business recognizes them and caters to them personally.
Consider Gatorade’s sweat patch that collects sweat from your workout and analyzes your sweat rate, fluid and sodium loss, and helps you optimize your overall workout and performance. Because of the high level of reliability and personalization brands offer, they have raised consumer expectations very high. Customers have used such services extensively, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to tech giants like Amazon, and they have come to expect the same level of personalization from all the brands they do business with.
- Telling stories to connect with consumers
When crafting your messaging, think about what your audiences truly need from you besides your product or service. Tesla’s customers need to feel that it’s worthwhile to support the environment and sustainable energy. When you see a Nike commercial, it’s almost never just about the shoes. There’s always a story that revolves around emotion. For a brand to take off, it needs to become so much more than your product and service — and that’s where storytelling comes in. Consider what emotions, values, and ideas you can offer your audience. What do you want them to walk away feeling when they interact with you? What sort of value are you offering them every time they engage with your content?
Because we live in a very crowded marketplace, we have to differentiate ourselves from the crowd. Tell a story that is unique to who you are. Create your narrative to share your brand’s history, challenges, successes, and value propositions — no other brand can copy YOUR story. And as you’re telling your brand story, think about what makes you more human. How do you touch and transform people’s lives? How do you put a positive touch on society? In a crowded marketplace, choose to be the brand that is more human. People will feel this, connect with you, and buy from you instead of from a competitor with a similar product or service. All in all, successful brands evoke emotion and encourage brand use.
Read more about brand love here.