You can meet hundreds of people, your brand can have thousands of customers, but if you fail to connect emotionally, on a personal level, you will eventually be forgotten.

We all understand the importance of having healthy relationships in our lives, and we shouldn’t forget how relationships affect our businesses. Of all the success metrics, if we measure brands the way we measure healthy relationships, we will be able to effectively assess where we stand in the market. Just like human relationships, brands need to take elements of traditional relationship building and apply them to their strategy.

Customers want to find long-lasting relationships in brands, not one-off transactions. Brand relationships are strengthened by sharing beliefs and delivering experiences that fill them with meaning.

Marketing or advertising no longer drives consumers to brands, but rather it is people who select which brands they want to build relationships with. That is the strength of branding, which nourishes the very essence of business.

Brands from all sectors have renewed their communication strategies. They have strengthened their transparency. They understood that the power is in people and tried to adopt Customer Centric strategies. They did not always succeed, often because they started from a vision that was interpreted as opportunistic, since it did not affect their true nature, did not question their role in society.

Technology has brought speed, the desire for immediacy. Customers now expect their issues to be resolved without calling or emailing customer service. They take their grievances directly to social media, as this also naturally amplifies their voice. Their opinions can even go viral and negatively impact the brand’s reputation. As a result, companies have had to take a proactive approach to solving consumer problems by incorporating tools such as active social listening. Today, recommendations or user-generated content are more reliable than traditional media.

 

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How to create more emotional connections?

  1. Build trust. Trust is an important part of every relationship, so make sure you keep your promise at every touchpoint. It’s not about words but about deeds.
  1. Show who you are. Brands must go from being entities to reflecting humanity. It’s time to break down barriers, lose fears and show up authentically. Let customers in to see who’s behind the company. Take advantage of social media to introduce your team and share personal stories. Create community, open dialogue, invite your audience to share their stories. Including them in the conversation is a great way to build a deeper relationship.
  1. Share your beliefs. A brand goes far beyond a product or service. A brand is the representation of who you are and what you are for. In a changing world, where an emotional bond is created with the brands that attract us the most, it is essential that you know how to identify among their values those that make them unique. While the image projected from signs of identity and voice can help build notoriety, it is the values that are responsible for creating a brand meaning and beliefs that will achieve true engagement with its target.
  1. It adds value. Beyond providing value in the form of products and services, customers expect to be valued as individuals and for their voices to be heard. For this reason, brands today are called to compete on multiple levels of value: the mind (rational), the heart (emotional), life (experiences) and action (purchases). When a brand manages to be present in these four aspects in people’s lives, it enters a higher stage and protects its growth in the market.

 

As in any personal story, emotions trump rationality. Winning hearts through feelings is the key. Brands must sensitively support the relationship that customers aspire to build with them.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward