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In part 6 of our blog serialisation of the latest Webhelp whitepaper “Emotion: Establishing emotional connections with customers: What brands need to know” Guest writer, Brand and communications specialist, Rebecca Price, Partner, Frank, Bright and Abel talks about how brands can use emotional connection to lead to profitable customer behaviours.
How can brands create emotional connections?
Without a clear brand purpose,that goes beyond practical product or service benefits, customers might not see any reasons to commit to a brand. A brand purpose focuses on the more emotional, social and ethical benefits the company stands for. As new generations become paying customers, we’re seeing brand purpose become increasingly important in terms of creating meaningful emotional connections, as organizational purpose and values are key purchase decision factors.
Customers are self-informed and very savvy when it comes to making brand choices. To compete, brands need to make sure their purpose is compelling, and bring it to life in the competitive landscape and on key issues. Often, apart from the point of sale, customers experience a brand when they have questions or a problem that needs solving. This means that brands should think of their purpose in a wide context of great products, presence in the community, and very importantly, through the customer experience.
Brand purpose strengthens customer connection. When combined with brand values and all the other things that constitute a brand, this connection can be very powerful and lead to profitable customer behaviours.
How do you create a compelling brand purpose?
Core to defining a brand’s purpose is a deep understanding of the customer. Today, that goes beyond traditional demographics and incorporates customer behaviours – and even ideologies. Purpose-driven brands need to have an ideology too.
Before a brand can determine “why” it exists, it needs to determine what it stands for, and what it’s willing to fight for. A strong brand evolves over time, and having a strong ideology provides the compass needed to remain consistent and likeable over time.
Brands and customer relationships are based on emotion. This means that brands need to have authentic, ‘on brand’, two way conversations, and consider how those conversations will impact customer sentiment.
How can brands help their people connect with customers?
To help employees represent the brand effectively to customers, employers are increasingly focusing on benchmarking, enhancing or recalibrating their employer brands. Employees live the brand through their behaviours, so helping them to understand and live the brand’s purpose and values is vital – particularly in customer service environments.
Employees essentially act as brand advocates, so the potential to positively impact customer perceptions through customer engagement is huge.
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