It isn’t only prices, product features or customer service that lead people to flock to one brand over another. Often, these objective factors have very little relevance. Brands that are outstanding succeed in making their customers feel the brand belongs to them, and they do so through a number of strategies. Below are three of them:
This quality shows that you espouse the same values as your customers. That you respect the principles, values, beliefs and opinions of your customer base. A good example of a business that is explicit about its relatability to its customers is the beauty site Beauty Sage. The site has a clear, unambiguous commitment to giving its customers the very best, demonstrating this through its unique vetting process for all its products. All the products are selected by the company’s beauty editors, tested by chemists and validated by users. The site conveys its uniqueness through its respect for the beliefs, values and preferences of its customers: the need for products with integrity, which really do work. Relatability can also be conveyed through a motto or strapline – Tesco’s “Every little helps” strapline expresses the sentiment that the company is ‘on the side’, of its money conscious customer.
Perhaps your brand stands for all things fun and/or whimsical, or serious and erudite. There are many good examples of brands with have a well- defined style that oozes out of every pore of their marketing collateral: videos, commercials, taglines, updates and blogs. One example is the excellent Think Geek, which has ‘fun’ embedded into every line of content (e.g, “Geek, Clothe Thyself”). Proactively encouraging its numerous fans to join in on the fun, inviting them to post pictures of themselves with Think Geek products, for instance (“Show Off All Your Geeky Glory”). Other (very different) examples worth checking out are Zendesk, Hermes and Modcloth.
Very often, a brand is an extension of the personality of its founder. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help you think about the aspects of your personality you’d like to express through your brand:
- What makes you angry – or what really irritates you?
- What’s wrong with the world?
- What is important to you?
- What would you like to see more of in the world?
- What really pulls at your heart strings?
- What are you passionate about – so much so that you could do it for free?
- How would your closest friends or family describe your personality – quirky? Urbane? A good listener? Intellectual? Funny?
Many businesses have successfully breathed their personalities into their business – for inspiration, have a look at Hipmunk, which takes the familiar concept of price comparison and humorously applies it to the process of booking flights and accommodation. For example, users are allowed to sort flights by ‘agony’(a “combination of price, duration and number of stops”) and hotels by “ecstasy”; Urban Daddy (“Only what you need to know”) and Stacy Blackman Consulting, with its no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point personality.
You don’t need to hide behind tropes and superlatives such as “best in class” or “world class” to convey the uniqueness of your brand. Instead, carve out your own identity based on your style, personality or relatability to your customers. You will attract the right people to your business – people who will remain your customers providing you stay true to your brand, and who will help your business thrive.