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Howard Schultz, the brilliant mind behind one of the most recognizable brands in the world started with the company as its Marketing Director. Schultz vision & execution undoubtedly played an integral role in Starbucks success. In his 1999 best seller Pour Your Heart Into It, he shared an insight that just might be more important than ever before. “In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart.”
(Photo credit: Getty Images)
Obviously, Schultz was onto something. Starbucks has made something as simple as the green straw mean much more than just a tangible item and has built a brand-driven empire that has spread from a single store in Seattle to over 20,000 locations in 62 countries across the globe. So what can we learn from this corporate behemoth that has managed to create, nurture, and maintain an emotional connection with their team & customers while also sustaining continual growth? How does a brand build a connection with customers that provokes emotion, creates organic brand ambassadorship, and drives brand loyalty?
Here are three (3) pivotal yet straightforward ways any business can build an emotional connection between its brand & target audience.
(1) Consider the Experience
If you have read any of my previous articles, you know I'm a firm believer in the importance of research & strategy when it comes to branding. Invest time in evaluating & understanding what is most important to your target customers, this will equip you with the tools necessary for effective communication.
For example, are you using the right mediums to connect with your target audience? Are you speaking in a way that is easy for them to understand? Are you communicating why your product or service is a benefit/asset to their daily life? Are you using language that elicits a positive emotion? How easy have you made it for customers to connect with you to express their experiences with your brand?
Customer experience plays an integral role in developing an emotional bond between your brand & target demographic.
(2) Be Genuine
Another effective way to build an emotional connection is to simply be genuine. We live in an age where consumer trust is no longer freely given; it has to be earned. With consumers holding brands to higher standards and expecting more for their loyalty, genuine transparency and communication are invaluable. Consumers will notice when you’re pursuing a real connection as opposed to pushing for a sale. Authenticity goes a long way, and keeping it real with your customers can build up a lot of emotional capital.
(3) Share Your Story
The story behind your brand is another powerful tool that can help establish an emotional connection. This narrative has a lot to do with who you are as a business and what your identity means to the market and your customers. Sharing your story provides a great opportunity for handing the customer a reason to care about your brand. After all, you can’t have an emotional connection without being emotionally invested. Look at your narrative as a chance to highlight what it is about your brand that is worthy of that emotional investment.
According to the Harvard Business Review, one of the most universal ways to maximize customer value is to invest in creating and then strengthening emotional connections. Researchers have found that a positive emotional experience increases the likelihood of future purchases by six-times. Customers who see their interaction with a brand as emotionally positive are also twelve-times more likely to recommend that brand to a friend or family member.
When it comes down to it, people decide which brand to support based on how that brand makes them feel. Be a business that people want to connect with. Ensure your communication strategy emphasizes that all verbal & visual representations of your brand authentically reflects your brand personality. Once you master these things, you will find that your customers’ emotional connection to your brand will soar, and you will have established a foundation that will provide both intrinsic and monetary value for your business.
Is your brand effectively creating customer emotion? Are you aware of how your brand comes off to the consumer market? Need help establishing an emotional connection between your brand & target audience? We can help, Click here to learn more.