Every brand has a relationship with its customers. Great brands make those relationships last. The key to fostering long-lasting relationships with your customers is through a deeper understanding of their motivations to buy from you and engage with your brand. However, there are simple things you can do to make your brand more appealing to prospective customers and your target audience. Those things stem from empathizing with your target audience (customers) to personalize your brand experience for them.
There’s no “you” in brand.
It’s not personal. There’s no “i” in brand either.
Just like there is no “i” in team, a brand is much more than the personal preferences of one individual. Even if your brand comes from the work of one person, it needs to have a life and personality of its own. A brand is more about appealing to your audience than adding your unique flair. Knowing your audience well allows you to objectively cater to their wants and needs and make decisions based on what resonates most with them.
Here are five ways to personalize your brand for the customers you want.
Customers want to feel connected to their community
There are social aspects to branding that are often overlooked. Being on social media and creating a blog isn’t enough to foster a connection with your customers. You have to be conscious of how you use your platforms to communicate with your audience. Fostering a social environment for customers to share their experiences with your brand and engage with others can help your brand gain popularity. Using your social media channels and blog to highlight what is remarkable about your brand will make your followers feel like insiders. Giving your audience a reason to care and share will also expand your reach. If your content is valuable, helpful, and something people care about, they are more likely to share it with their followers.
You can create content of value for your audience by tapping into the things they like most about your brand. If you crowdsource opinions, ideas, and thoughts on your brand, you will receive useful qualitative data on improving your brand from the people who are already responding to it. You can also share stories about your brand and encourage others to do the same. If you personalize your brand story to include your customers’ experiences, you’ll form a deeper connection to them.
Above all else, be sure to make your content fun. Most people are tired of seeing advertisements, so if you are strictly using your social media for sales, it’s not likely going to get you very far.
Customers want consistent brand experiences
Every customer wants to feel special. Or at least they want to feel like they are getting the same service as everyone else that interacts with your brand. Exceptionally positive experiences equate to positive reviews, which strengthens your brand. A business can tell its audience about its brand value as much as it wants, but it becomes more legitimate with social proof. As soon as your audience tells a consistent brand story, it becomes more convincing.
Consistency also creates reliability. When your customers can rely on your brand to behave according to their expectations, they are more likely to return.
“When we try to please everyone we end up pleasing no one…least of all ourselves.”– Simon Sinek on Twitter
Inversely, if you try to personalize your brand for every single customer, you’ll confuse people and exhaust yourself in the process.
Customers want simplicity
Successful companies know this and do it well. From the awareness phase to the point of purchase and every customer touchpoint along the way, your customers expect things to be easy to follow. And let’s not forget the follow-up actions and customer service. Just because your brand has made a monetary transaction with a customer does not mean the relationship is over. One way to stand out from the competition is to personalize your brand’s customer journey in a way that creates a clear path from the point of awareness to the post-transactional relationship. The more straightforward this path is to follow, the more likely a customer will return.
Customers want human connection NOT corporate robots.
Be a human’s human. People connect to people, not robots.
Customers don’t buy from corporate entities and bots. They buy from people. If your brand behaves like an authentically caring person, it is more likely to form a connection with a customer. The reverse is also true. If your brand behaves dishonestly and uncaringly, you won’t keep your customers for long.
Show personality and human qualities like empathy, kindness, and intuition to anticipate the needs of customers before they come up. Solve challenges with creativity and passion to improve your brand. After all, enthusiasm is infectious. Above all, be responsible, bold, and brave. Own your brand mistakes and do your best to set things right.
You can’t personalize your brand with robots. They may come close, but nothing can fully replace human connection on the other end of a conversation.
Customers want a brand of substance.
“Syrup on shit doesn’t make it a pancake.”– Aaron Draplin, Things We Say
It’s not enough to have fancy graphics and bright shiny packaging anymore. Having a good diversity and inclusion policy is not enough either. In fact, these things are expected. Customers need to feel good about the brands they invite into their homes. This means they want quality products and services from brands that show social responsibility. Most customers want to know that the products they buy make a difference too. Brands that engage their community, protect the environment or help to affect social change make a great impression.
Be sure to be listening to what your customers expect from your brand with respect to social responsibility. Nothing is more damaging to a brand reputation than a product or service that doesn’t live up to expectations. Especially if a brand isn’t socially responsible. Brands that are all flash no substance usually don’t last long.
The actual title of this blog should’ve been “You want to personalize your brand for the customers.” You may have an idea about the kind of dream customers you want; however, your current customers are the ones that keep your brand going. But, more importantly, your avid customers and loyal fans really define your brand. By tapping into their needs and wants with respect to your brand, you create a relationship based on positive experiences. The more positive experiences you can deliver to your customers, the more loyal they will be towards your brand.
If you’d like to talk about how to personalize your brand to make it more attractive to your prospective customers, send me an email or visit my site – cyanbolddesign.com.
Check out my blog entry – 10 Reasons You Need a Brand Strategy, for more branding information.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions presented in this blog are my own. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the professionals I have quoted. The included quotes are by professionals that I admire and I encourage you to check out their advice and work online at the links provided.