Love is in the air. Emotion. Passion. Obsession. Commitment. In branding circles, it’s the intense effort by companies to woo customers. Consumer courting has been going strong for more than a century, and the goal is getting past the first date to a meaningful relationship and even marriage. But how do you build chemistry and customer connection? It’s cutting through the clutter and getting in touch with your customers’ deepest emotions.
Brands that Move Us
Just look at some of the most notable ad campaigns and slogans that have reached or continue to reach consumers on an emotional and personal level.
“I’m Loving it” (McDonalds)
“We bring good things to life” (General Electric)
“Reach out and touch someone” (AT&T)
“Share the Fantasy” (Chanel)
Popular brands strike a responsive and emotional chord. They extend to colors, packaging, texture, the senses, and the total customer experience. Consumers come to trust brands that inspire, comfort, entertain, and engage them.
Building Trust and Rapport
Trust is a key brand value for both companies and nonprofits. This is the basis for the Volvo campaign centered on safety. “Volvo for Life” is about commitment, assurance, and customer loyalty. Building trust is also the driving force behind Allstate’s “you’re in good hands” slogan that has connected with consumers for more than 50 years.
Embracing the Senses
Brands come in many shapes, sizes, and scents, and often embrace the senses. For 100 years, Crayola crayons have combined color and smell to create an unforgettable experience. Yale University researchers tell us that the smell of crayons, along with coffee and peanut butter, are among the 20 most recognizable smells in the United States. Smell has the ability to trigger the memory, but sound is also a compelling tool for altering mood and product experiences.
Who can forget the snack, crackle, and pop of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies? Or the plop, plop, fizz, fizz of Alka-Seltzer. Touch is another strong sense that builds lasting brand connection. “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.” And taste, too, has been the focus of several legendary campaigns. For example, “Tastes great, less filling” (Miller Lite) and “Sorry Charlie. Starkist wants tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste.” (Starkist Tuna)
Give Your Brand Personality
Many companies and the federal government, too, have created brand personality by introducing characters, including Uncle Sam, Smokey Bear, the Energizer Bunny, the M & M icons, the GEICO Gecko, and the AFLAC duck. These popular characters reinforce the brand and give it personality with humor, attitude, and lots of energy.
Reaching the Heart
The best brands reach into peoples’ hearts to let them know you respect them, recognize them, and want to build trust and a positive relationship. It is about being authentic.
Walt Disney summed it up well: “People spend money when and where they feel good.” Evoke positive emotions about your product or service and you can begin connecting with customers and clients.