If you’re in business, you want to be a brand that people adore. The brands that people really love, know exactly how to create big impact with their customers, keeping them at the top of their market. They do what it takes to develop affection for their products and services, and make a direct connection with their customers, which ignites a passion in their fanatics, who spread the word about what they do, like a juicy rumour in a high school.
Great to know the overview, but what are the actual steps you have to take to kindle real adoration?
Well, first you have to start off with something that people will actually value, and that has to come from their mouths not yours.
You might think you have the greatest product since sliced bread (which has only around since 1928!) but if your prospective clients don’t have any use for it, you’re not going to get anywhere.
Take Colgate Kitchen Entrees as an example. Colgate is a great brand when it comes to dental hygiene, but that affection sure didn’t translate into love for their line of ready-made meals. If they had just polled their fans first, they probably would have found out that people just don’t want to equate that fresh minty taste with their stirfry. Their target audience found no real value in this new product line, and they just didn’t buy the connection to the brand, which chalked up to some pretty major losses for Colgate.
Thing #1: Go to the source and ask the people what they want.
Once you have something they really want, you can move to creating affection. The best brands know how to create loyalty by doing things for their clients that are completely unexpected in a very delightful way.
Morton’s Steak House did that in a BIG way for Peter Shankman, after he made an off the cuff Tweet. Amazingly, the company saw it, tracked down his flight, and the time he landed, and then did something quite incredible – a tuxedo-clad representative showed up at the airport with the porterhouse, shrimp, potatoes, freshly baked bread, napkins, and real cutlery.
That kind of service not only made a customer for life, who will talk about his experience for years to come, they also caught the attention of many more people who would become new customers and raving (dare I say ravenous) fans. Who wouldn’t want a Morton’s porterhouse? YUM!
Thing #2: Go out of your way to create the most amazing experience you possibly can.
Developing a real connection with your audience will make a huge difference for your brand, and the impact you can generate. A true connection will have people chasing you down, waiting in long lines, and doing whatever they need to do to get what you offer.
Now there are a lot of big brand examples I can use here, like Apple, Starbucks, or Tickle Me Elmo, but you don’t have to have a big budget or a big name to build a big connection. You just need to be true to yourself, your brand and your customer. That’s why I’m using Johnny the Bagger as the example here.
Johnny is a young gentleman with Down’s Syndrome who, as I am sure you figured out, works at his community grocery store. He wanted to make a difference for the people who shopped there, so he came up with the idea of “the thought of the day” and had his father help him put it together. Each night he searches for a quote to use, or he makes up his own, and then he prints the quotes, cuts them out, and puts them into people’s bags the next day. Not surprisingly, Johnny’s till has the longest line ups of people contently waiting for Johnny’s “thought of the day.” This young man came up with a simple way to make a connection that people adore.
Thing #3: Your customers are real people. Find ways to connect with them that they’ll appreciate.
When you combine the value, affection, and the connection, it triggers a real passion for your brand. Take a look inward. What brands have you talked about, and encouraged friends or family to use? What brands can’t you live without? Or, how about your go-to brands that you use to make yourself feel better when you’re having a bad day?
These will be brands that you’re absolutely passionate about, because they bring so much value into your life that you completely connect with them, and have a great affection for them. So much so, that you’ll engage in word of mouth marketing, promoting your loved brands.
Thing #4: Value + Affection + Connection = Passion (and word-of-mouth marketing)
If you’ll spread the word about an amazing product and experience, so will your customers. So take a step back, think like your customer, and do something they’re going to completely adore.