Name me a business who wouldn’t want these sorts of gains?
To achieve results like these, your customers have to invest emotionally in your company as well as your products. This is done through “emotional brand awareness” campaigns.
Very few businesses do this however. It’s a strategic commitment, not a tactical one and it doesn’t appear to bear fruit straight away – which is why a lot of businesses are reluctant to invest the time, money and energy into this type of activity.
Nevertheless, the magnitude of not investing over time is enormous on two accounts. The first obviously is that the business misses out on results like those above!
But, more frighteningly, while you may not be investing in building emotional brand awareness, your customers are forming their own opinions about your business anyway. So isn’t it better to take control rather than be subject to the fickleness of customer perceptions?
BUILDING A BOND
Emotional brand awareness is about building trust. And trust can only be built over time.
Nonetheless, once established, there’s clarity for customers about who you are, what you stand for and what makes your business a better business to deal with (in fact all the things we’ve addressed earlier in this series).
Importantly, your customer has invested emotionally into your business. They’ve started to identify with you, they feel connected to you and they feel a greater loyalty to you regardless of how illogical this could be. Consequently they’re more likely to spend more with you, pay more for what you sell and are easily encouraged to come back more often.
I don’t care what size of business you are, I don’t care whether you’re selling a service or a product, emotional brand awareness is critical. Whilst it does require time and effort, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune at all.
In the book Every Bastard Said No: The 42 Below Story, by Justine Troy and Geoff Ross, there are many stories of how they built emotional brand awareness on the smell of an oily rag. And you can too! The reward for 42 Below through its various brand awareness strategies and tactics was to eventually attract the attention of liquor giant Bacardi, who paid millions to buy the brand.
WORKING YOUR BRAND ESSENCE
If you’ve been following this series, the starting point to building a brand awareness campaign is quite simple – you’ve done the hard work already in the previous articles!
You’ve identified the core essence of your brand, (see the article on being your brand page 83 of the November 2014 issue) otherwise known as your “brand essence”, which is the foundation for all your emotional brand awareness activities.
One of 42 Below’s activities was in New York – it had been snowing heavily but they wanted to get their vodka sold in a particular bar. So two burly Kiwis turned up in 42 Below puffer jackets and, each with a spade, set about clearing the sidewalk outside the bar entrance making it easier for patrons to walk in.
The patrons were noticeably surprised and pleased. The bar owner was also pleased his patrons could get in without falling over! This was a low cost activity which got the vodka brand onto the bar shelves. More importantly, this was totally aligned with 42 Below’s brand essence.
As you can tell, a certain amount of lateral thinking was required to pull this off. You don’t have to do this on your own though – getting people in who understand your business and brainstorming with them can generate ideas very easily.
Brainstorming ideas is the natural way to generate ideas for brand awareness activities that can be planned into your year’s marketing activities. But be prepared – nine out of 10 ideas may be absolute rubbish, even if the 10th turns out to be gold. So be patient, you will get numerous ideas that can be developed and refined.
One of the main purposes of committing strategically to emotional brand awareness activities can be likened to creating a highway through the customer jungle. Your customer has clarity and everyone in your business has clarity too.
The alternative is that your customers get lost in the jungle unable to distinguish you from anybody else. For your business, without clarity, every activity can be likened to tactically swinging from branch to branch – a constant and quite exhaustive behaviour resulting in lower productivity, lower margins and lower sales.
Emotional engagement brand building works. You will achieve faster growth, higher margins and increased net profit. Why ignore the evidence?
Michael Major can help you explore and leverage your inherent competitive advantage. Follow his articles over all of the 12 issues, answer his questions and email Michael on firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback. If you send answers for all 12 issues you can be one of four people to win a free half day consultation with Michael.