Well, not really. But act like you are! As a brand, you should engage with your customers like a newly found love, still in the ether of its honeymoon period.
Our attention span, as a species is getting shorter and shorter and you can blame it on the Internet, TV commercials or ADHD but it is the truth and a sad one at that. We are continually exposed to large amounts of information on an every day basis and as a result, skim through life on a surface level. In parallel, we as humans are populating this planet at an alarming rate; and with space and food issues aside, this also adds worry to the dating game, giving every bachelor and bachelorette an almost infinite supply of options.
According to the Meaningful Brands research study in 2011, nearly 70% of consumers globally will not care if brands disappear overnight and I am pretty sure that is the exact same statistic and answer given if my previous love interests were questioned about me. The results of this index show that the more a brand contributes to improving the well-being of individuals, communities and the environment, the more appealing and meaningful it becomes in the eyes of their customers.
Unlike every cliché cheerleader in a 90s romantic comedy, you cannot expect to be loved instantly and/or immediately. That love you seek needs to be earned, trust needs to be built and devotion and attachment benefit greatly in today’s media-saturated world.
So the question here is; how to stay relevant and be the best damn life partner, I mean, brand there is?
1. Stay on top of their needs
Build a solid relationship and keep tabs on pending issues within it. No relationship is perfect, but the effort counts. Visit and communicate with them regularly, not only when one party needs something from the other.
2. Be visible
As egotistical as this sounds, you have to know your strengths and make sure they’re aware of your value continuously. Are you the funny one? The one who’s not shy of public displays of affection? Convince them that your part in the relationship makes their lives easier and better by providing them with information they value and care for. Play your part and play it well.
3. Go the extra mile
Do things beyond the scope of what is expect of you. It’s a potent mixture of spontaneity and creativeness that will keep them on their toes, in turn, never letting the relationship get stale. It’s about going above and beyond your normal routine.
4. Include a personal touch
You are not just another face in the crowd. You have substance, you have something to bring to the table and most importantly, you are you. Whether it is your brand or love in question, add that human feel to it because we usually forget it so often.
Creating value is about staying relevant in their eyes. It enables you to connect your actions with what they deem important, transforming you message and intentions into an emotional one. Once they realise you are committed to them they will return that commitment to you.
For example, SIMILAC have created a speciliased website called Diaper Decoder to help new parents to navigate the mysteries of a baby’s diaper. By doing so it has successfully increased top of mind recall in the diaper category.
Similarly, American Express has done something many banks, issuers and other payment-related companies have struggled to do; take on the social media scene. They launched numerous initiatives that help small businesses grow and flourish. These include; OpenForum.com, Project Re-Brand and Small Business Saturday. They listened, engaged and displayed acts of sincere concern rather than sell, sell, sell.
Now, is your brand giving as much as it’s receiving?