We all have a brand or company that we are drawn to time and time again and just love something about them. Whether it’s our favourite restaurant, our go to trainer brand or that business that we work with that makes us feel valued.
However, only a small proportion of companies can claim to be truly loved by the audiences that pay their bills and who we return to time after time, and even forgive when things may go wrong.
True love is a depth of affection, loyalty and passion . If someone could find a way for it to be easily bottled, sold or mapped by a fixed process then they would probably be the richest person in the world, however, as we all know, love is very much a fluid process than logical.
Building that special something between your business and your target audience therefore is hard, but not impossible.
We’re no love gurus at BrandStorm but here’s our 7 tips to help people fall in love with your brand and form long term relationships beyond the first date.
1. Finding out your ideal clients deepest desires
When you start dating you build up a picture in your mind of what an ideal partner would look like physically and what type of personality you find attractive, then your search for love begins.
When you find someone, you then try and find out more things that they like and try and surprise them with their favourite flowers or take them to their favourite restaurant. This builds trust and that emotional attachment begins and builds the depth of affection, loyalty and passion from that person.
When it comes to your branding you need to go through the same process. Be clear on who your ideal client is, what they look like and what are their deepest desires. Build up and document a detailed profile or persona about them.
Doing this helps you focus who you are directing your marketing your sales communications toward and you will naturally start to appeal more to your target audience and build that emotional attachment.
2. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Do you remember the first time you laid eyes on your partner? Before you actually met them to talk to? However it happened, it almost certainly started with their physical appearance.
We believe that exactly the same idea applies to your brand and why you should apply design thinking and capability to give it a striking appearance and identity - one that not only makes it irresistible to those who encounter it, but also invites you to get to know it better.
A well thought out identity should include appropriate imagery, typography, graphic styles and most importantly the right colour.
Avoid using your wife's favourite colour or the colour of your first car. (these are real reasons we have been given for a clients past brand colour choices.) Instead look at colour psychology and the emotions that colours can evoke in us to choose a colour palette that will get our ideal clients tingling at the very sight of your logo or website.
3. Getting clients to ‘second base’
Having met someone who attracted you purely by appearance you feel drawn to lean in and make contact. From there a deeper, more emotional bond begins to grow, you find out more about them, their personality and traits and find ways to delight them.
It’s exactly the same for your brand, once someone has made contact initially the real work begins on building trust. Trust and credibility has always been the secret to brand success especially through the early first dates stages.
Map out your customer journey, plan out where your clients will be interacting with your brand at every stage of the buying process. These are know as brand touch-points. At every step, try to engage the senses with authentic qualities that continuously surprise, delight and especially differentiate you from other brands.
By spending more and more time with you they’ll discover your true character and personality and begin to realise they’ve found someone they share similar values and beliefs with and whom you could build a truly loving relationship with.
Before you know it they’ve fallen for you and will want to come in for “coffee!!!”
4. Win your customers’ hearts with a love story
Purely and simply put, great brands tell a great story.
In an era when people are tired of being talked at and sold to, people crave genuine connections with brands. Through storytelling, you can effectively humanize your brand and communicate who you are, what you do and how you can help people. The better you do this, the better you can stand out and stake your place in the marketplace.
The classic love story archetype is as old as time. By communicating how you really care for employees, stakeholders and most importantly your clients, you help form an emotional attachment that lasts.
Weaving the story consistently throughout all your marketing and brand communications helps customers relate and form a more emotional attachment to your brand.
Try other story archetypes too such as:
If you have a founder or humble beginnings – try the ‘rags to riches’ archetype.
If you have a big rival dominating the marketplace – try the classic ‘overcoming the monster’ arc.
Want to focus on answering client challenges or objections? -try the quest story
If you find your business has lost its way at some point - try the journey and return archetype to show how you have returned to your roots.
5. Go back to your roots
We are not all global businesses but every business started somewhere and the best brands communicate their roots to us in order to generate an emotional connection.
Brands that communicate their roots to us instantly makes them more authentic. Jack Daniels whiskey is always advertising based on the old Tennessee traditions, and Jack’s original recipe. This makes us feel a bigger connection to them than just selling whiskey.
Likewise, companies that have rooted themselves within certain location to become known more locally makes them loved by others locally and they feel an affinity to them because they care about the place they live. Use statements like “Proudly Rooted in the Heart of Hampshire”. Locals will love you and word will slowly spread.
Your roots don’t have to necessarily be a physical location. You may have heritage in your brand ie “A family business handed down through generations” or still using traditional techniques.
Can you communicate your roots? Try thinking about:
Being proud to operate in your local area, championing whats good about it by sourcing locally or supporting local events or charities.
Where your business started from and it’s founder.
Is your business built on traditional values/ processes?
6. But they can’t love me, they’re out of my league
We all experience that imposter syndrome at some stage of our business when trying to attract new or bigger clients. “Are we good enough?”, “they won’t give me a second look!”.
On the one hand you have a good pool of clients that already love you and you want to continue those relationships. There is comfort with familiarity, however you know deep down, to grow there is a potential to tap into a new audience or market and ones with potentially deeper pockets. But fear of being taken seriously by these new people is what holds many back.
A re-brand exercise will certainly help with this by making often subtle but meaningful tweaks to your brand to help give it an updated look and feel which current clients will notice. It will intrigue them and it may just have reminded them that you are still there and importantly, still current. It will also give you the confidence to approach that new market with your offerings because you have thought clearly about their needs and desires whilst going through the process.
The other option is to create a sub brand and develop a new arm to the business to service this new client base. You can get more laser focused with the branding to target exactly this new type of client. It must retain the essence of your main brand that everyone has come to know and love but have a more focused and tailored look and feel. It will open doors to this new market and it may also entice those that currently love you, to help grow themselves and switch over into this new sub brand offering
7. Have you lost that loving feeling?
Brand love starts from within. If you don’t love your brand no one else will.
We meet lots of business owners who are swamped with self doubt or who have fallen out of love with their own brand. They are embarrassed to send people to their website or apologise when they hand over their business card. They know things are not gelling, staff are not fully engaged on their work and the business has simply lost its way.
This usually comes when a company has experienced huge growth in a relatively short space of time. They are living in the day to day, teams grow in all directions and the business has lost sight of the first love and passion they had for their business.
Customers will smell this a mile off and will quickly move onto the next, more exciting brand next door if things continue.
You will find that the answers are often simple but have been buried in the how we do things and what we do but have neglected the why - why do we do what we do and more importantly why does it matter?
When you feel the need for a re-brand, include all employees. not only will you gain some useful insights, it will also make them feel valued again and become the beating heart of your business, attracting like-minded, like-hearted people.