Creating brand love
There are different types of love each with its own characteristics, the love of a parent for a child, romantic love for a partner, even altruistic love and so too brand love has its own flavour that distinguishes it from the rest. Brand love is a step beyond brand attachment, you can be quite partial to a product or service but when push comes to shove and you are invited to show your colours perhaps by paying a premium, like just doesn’t make the grade. If you love a brand you extol its virtues to others, will walk the extra mile to obtain it, defend it and forgive it the odd blip.
As business owners we strive to have happy employees who can then provide optimum customer experience, but we often forget that happy customers can make happy employees. We all want to be loved and employees are no different. When customers love a brand, are devoted to it and would put that brand above all others they see employees as an extension of this. As a result brand love can improve organisational performance and energy, and it is said, even improve the cognitive capacities of employees, akin perhaps to how a switch in the brain is flipped and endorphins are released when we are in love. Creating brand love can enable you to attract the best staff, and keep them happy and motivated.
Commit to long term. Whilst brand infatuations are not unheard of, long term love for a brand is a process that is a lot like dating. The customer may have heard of you or seen you around and subconscious thoughts are formed, you meet for the first time and a belief or attitude about you is developed, date one leads to numerous other dates and if all goes well, the relationship will continue to deep brand commitment, and even love. Be prepared to commit time and effort to the relationship and this will be rewarded.
Create a sense of natural fit. Often we can’t explain why we love something or someone, it just feels right. The experience of using your brand shouldn’t jar or feel in any way incongruous with the customer’s sense of self and this involves a meeting of hearts and minds, or the core values of the brand with the core values of the customer. No match? Time to work on those core values, or perhaps refine your ideals for a perfect partner.
Emotional connectedness. What bonds us is shared experiences and as we recall a special moment enjoyed through a brand, love can develop. Now obviously service brands are at an advantage here as their offering is the actual experience which they can develop and relate to emotional, important moments in their customers lives like weddings, anniversaries and birthdays but product brands can do this too, such as relating jewellery to mother’s day and so forth. Preview and special customer events are also ideal for increasing emotional connectedness with services and products.
Heighten the experience. As love is an emotional response to a brand, look at the experiential elements of your offering and how you can develop these to be the best that they can be. If you are providing a luxurious service then luxury is the byword for everything from tangible aspects to the experiential. Work with your employees so that they understand how intrinsic the service elements are to the customer’s overall experience, and outlining the benefits to everyone, them included, in having a successful, loving and committed relationship.
Luxury Academy London
Paul Russell is co-founder and director of Luxury Academy London, www.luxuryacademy.co.uk, a multi-national private training company with offices in London, Delhi and Vishakhapatnam. Luxury Academy London specialise in leadership, communication and business etiquette training for companies and private clients across a wide range of sectors. Prior to founding Luxury Academy London, Paul worked in senior leadership roles across Europe, United States, Middle East and Asia. A dynamic trainer and seminar leader, Paul has designed and taught courses, workshops and seminars worldwide on a wide variety of soft skills.