A Love* Story
It’s in our DNA as humans to connect and belong. Also true, humans are wired to share — stories, ideas, feelings, inspiration and aspiration — things we value and find meaningful. Talking about things sticks. What those we trust say carries significantly more weight than what the TV or the web tells us.
Customer loyalists shout the value of your brand from the retail and online mountaintops. Be it through online social channels or in person, here are a few things worth knowing and leveraging:
- Word of mouth is still one of your brand’s most valuable assets and only 7% of word of mouth happens through social media. Yes, real people talk about your brand to other real people outside of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
- Retail is increasingly social. People talk in droves and it is essential to create brand affinity. Without your brand’s purpose infused throughout the sales process your brand affinity doesn’t stand a chance. The predicted social commerce value is upwards of $30 billion (2015).
- Remarkable social media is critical. According to a Social Media Week report, 55% of people follow a brand with the intent to make a purchase. The strength and consistency of your social media programs will add fuel to the passion-fire of the water cooler conversations about your brand and its products or services.
I believe that it is completely possible to have a love affair* (philia, not eros) with your customers. And, we believe that your customers can fall in love with your brand, too. Further, we know through our applied experience that this affection can take place through meaningful experiences at the point of sale. Here’s how:
Your word is your bond.
The promise of your brand and the value that you present to your customers through the marketing and sales process creates an expectation that you’ll deliver. If you live up to the promise and value proposition, people will talk. If you don’t live up to it, people will talk louder.
Human nature proves that when we’re emotionally engaged, we speak up. Your brand living up to its word at the point of sale is perhaps the most poignant thing you will do to get your customers talking. How you do it will determine how they talk.
Consistency creates understanding.
If you’re like most brands, you have a complex marketing program with many touchpoints and programs, above and below the line. The level to which you weave and fuse consistent stories, messages, imagery and behaviors will either create clarity or confusion.
Ensuring that your sales team is well trained, well aware of your product value and is armed with the right information to share, is critical. And, get your sales people talking to one another on the sales floor and through your LMS. The more they talk, the more they engage with your brand and products.
Passion is infectious.
There’s nothing more exciting than excitement. If you’re passionate about your customers, they’ll be passionate about you. But that passion for your customers has to be authentic. Do you take advantage of people you care about? If you attempt to, chance are they’ll smell it a mile away and, if they don’t and then feel used, they’ll talk. Loudly. (See image above).
Our goal at Mth Degree is to help the brands we partner with define who they are and what they stand for — then, deliver that courageously to their customers. By creating customer value your brand will grow, thrive and profit.
*Philia, a type of love as defined by the Greeks: Love of friends, family and community with a shared appreciation for common values, which require virtues, equality and familiarity.