According to a book review by the Gallop Management Journal, “New Book Reveals Why Consumers Bond With Brands,” “The pursuit of brand devotion has driven companies to spend many millions of dollars every year on advertising, celebrity endorsements, loyalty programs, and fancy web sites. The result? Most companies still aren’t emotionally connecting with their customers…This research demonstrates that customer satisfaction is woefully insufficient when the goal is an ongoing exclusive relationship between a customer and a brand.”
The article goes on to talk about why William J. McEwen’s new book, “Married to the Brand,” is right on the money. “While these relationships are certainly affected by the classic four Ps of marketing (Product, Place, Price, and Promotion), McEwen underscores the fact that those four Ps merely represent the tip of the relationship-building iceberg. The most important aspect of a great many purchases, one that leads consumers to ‘marry’ a brand, is a fifth “P” — People.”
Bingo. It’s relationships with people, not brands, which inspire emotional connections. After all, while you may like Coca Cola or Godiva chocolate, you can’t ask a glass of soda how its daughter did in her soccer game or tell a truffle your latest woes. On the other hand, you can truly care about, i.e., feel emotionally connected to, the cashier at your neighborhood grocery store, the teacher who wipes the dirt from your child’s knees when you’re not there, or the dental hygienist who knows where you went on your last vacation. There’s a saying in the restaurant business that customers will return to a restaurant that’s dirty and has mediocre food if the service is excellent, but they’ll never go back if they’re not treated well.
Resolve to bond with your customers. The key here is to make the interactions genuine and mutually enjoyable for you and your publics.