Apr 17, 2012
by Paul Ruettgers
With vast amounts of marketing and advertising messages barraging consumers every second of every day, your brand has to be adored and cherished above all others. A brand is the emotional and psychological relationship your company has with your customers. A brand resides within the hearts and minds of your current and future customers. So, how do you know if consumers truly love your brand?
This is a hard question to answer, isn’t it? You could send out surveys or ask people to fill out customer satisfaction cards to find out if they love your brand. You could scour the Internet and look through Google and Yelp reviews. You could send out invitations on Facebook to see if people “like” your company. While these tools may give you a glimpse of your customers’ contentment level, they don’t reveal their love for your brand.
So, how can you get people to love your brand? You can’t force people to love you. You can’t buy love.
The secret in making a heartfelt connection with consumers is not forcing them to love your brand, but in understanding what they don’t love. While this sounds like a futile endeavor, you actually know your customer better than anyone. You know what they don’t love, and what makes them frustrated. In fact, it’s likely that you started your business because you saw that consumers were dissatisfied with the status quo. You created products and services to make their lives better. When you grasp what consumers don’t love, you’ll realize their felt needs, and then you’ll discover why they will love your brand.
A felt need is anything people consciously lack and desire. People buy products and services that satisfy their felt needs. Too many businesses focus on the features of their products and the benefits of their services when communicating with consumers. This is a company-focused approach that does not center around felt needs, but on products and services. Consumers cannot relate to these messages because they don’t address their felt needs, which are at the core of
We all have fundamental desires that drive our buying behavior. If you can understand which specific human desires your target audience has as it relates to your products and services, then you will know how to make deep emotional connections with them and meet their felt needs. Consumers love brands that faithfully and fervently meet their innermost desires.
In future “Emotional Branding” columns, I will reveal as many as 20 core human desires that will help you understand how to make a strong emotional connection with consumers. Such desires, like “Control,” “Belonging,” “Status,” “Achievement” and others are at the heart of consumer buying decisions. In order to connect with consumers on a personal level, your organization needs to understand these deep-seated desires. Only then, can you deliver a message that will truly connect and cause them to fall in love with your brand.