Name a brand you dislike. That wasn’t too difficult, was it? You can probably name the reason you don’t like it, too. Maybe it was bad service, a negative attitude or how the brand handled a certain situation. Now, name a brand you love. Still a fairly easy question, but can you explain why?
People have a love for brands that sometimes can’t be explained. That love (or dislike) affects a consumer’s behavior more than they think. How can your brand get on the most-loved list along with companies like Coca Cola, Apple, Disney, Nike and Lululemon?
1. The brand centers around the audience
Imagine you’re at dinner with a new acquaintance, and all that person does is talk about him or herself. You’re trying to get to know each other, but instead, the conversation is centered on the other person. That’s no way for a relationship to grow! It’s the same with a brand. While you’re trying to get your message across about your values and latest sale, you should also listen to the other person, in this case your consumers, to make sure that their voice is being heard, too.
A few years ago, Coca Cola launched the Share A Coke campaign. At first, not many understood it. Then, consumers saw the commercial. It’s not about how Coke is made, how delicious it tastes or how sustainable the company is. It’s actually not about Coke at all. The campaign was about bringing people together. Then, everyone had to find a Coke product with his or her name on it.
2. The brand shares a positive message
People hear negativity constantly in their daily lives. Brands that offer a positive message are like a breath of fresh air. These messages are centered on inspiring hope, fighting for peace, keeping promises, improving self-image and making the world a better place.
Dove is consistently inspiring us with its beauty campaigns. After surveying 3,000 women in 10 countries, Dove found that only 2 percent of women thought of themselves as beautiful. Through a billboard campaign in the early 2000s to a digital strategy and commercials, Dove continues to encourage a positive body image for women around the world.
3. The brand is reciprocal
You may have heard Millennials complain about being “ghosted” by a date. It’s when someone goes on a date and then never hears from that person again – no explanation, nothing. As it turns out, consumers don’t like to be ghosted either. When they reach out to a brand, they want to hear back! It needs to come from a person, not an automated robot reply, with a clear brand voice.
Lululemon does an incredible job at responding to their customers. Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, there is always a quick, detailed response. They even sign their name so the consumer knows exactly who they’re talking to.
4. The brand shows its value
Instead of centering content on the latest sale price or their new product, the brand centers on the value of its product. This can include different ways to use the product, tips for more effective use, where you can take it and why you should use it. Rather than telling what, the brand shows why.
Disney does a phenomenal job at showing the value of visiting their amusement parks. They’re not selling the rides or the gifts. Instead, they’re selling the excitement, the memories and the magic of Disneyworld.
5. The brand tells stories
Imagine a life without stories – not just the stories we read in books or watch on television – but the stories we hear from our coworkers, the stories that inspire us to give back, or the stories we tell our children about what life was like before they were born. People thrive off of stories! Whether it’s a story of success, love, hope or redemption, storytelling is an integral part of life.
It’s no different with brands. Kate Spade New York launched the #datingmypurse campaign a couple of years ago featuring various Kate Spade purses in “date” locations – at brunch, at the cinema and at a concert in the park – using the hashtag #datingmypurse and calling it “the ultimate love story.” Not only does it offer humor, but it’s something many women can relate to, and it reflects the lifestyle of the audience.
Brands are a lot like people, so the relationship between a brand and a consumer is similar to our interpersonal relationships. Just as someone would put effort into a personal relationship, a brand should put effort into its relationship with consumers.