A recent study conducted by the Good Relations, questioning 12,000 consumers on a 120 brands revealed an often forgotten ‘truth’. Brand leadership today is less about rationale benefits and more about how you make customers feel. All of the top performing brands in our study differentiated themselves (in the customer’s minds at least) by the feeling of ‘love’ they created. Think Cadbury, Paypal and Warburtons.
The challenge of course is how you ‘Open Hearts’ in a world of cynicism. A world where nothing a brand says is taken at face-value. Where a customer’s search for the true meaning can so easily give rise to myth or abandonment. Where the words of others have more impact than a brands own.
The study provided some fascinating insights into how brands are tackling this challenge. We have turned these insights into ‘Ten Good ways to Open Hearts’ to create a new agenda for Communicators in 2015.
1. Share the passion – find a bit of culture to own. Think Peroni and Italian style, Airbus and the freedom of flight, Red Bull and adrenaline
2. Be yourself – don’t try and be something you’re not. Find your business/brand truth and link it to your customers passion
3. Align every action – don’t build a façade in front of the real you (your business). Find and enshrine a red thread.
4. Exceed expectations – spice it up. Over deliver with unexpected acts of kindness.
5. Invite them in – open your doors, invite stakeholders in and get them to meet the real you
6. Give them their news – imagine your brand is a political party and the election’s every day. Don’t just communicate….. campaign!
7. Have fun – don’t be boring. Our greatest friends entertain us.
8. Show you care – demonstrate you can be trusted, even when your customers are not in the room
9. Build partnerships – share the stage with other like-minded brands. Their customers could and should be yours too.
10. Activate your following – invest in your advocates (fans). They are your most powerful sales-force
If you would like to find out more about this study please contact Richard Moss at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7861 3216