Brands

5 Dimensions of How to Create a Loved Consumer Brand

In the marketing world, love is the ultimate competitive advantage.

“When customers are publicly praising you and sticking around for a while, everyone in their network will start to notice you as well,” Hubspot’s Pamela Vaughan said. “The beauty here is that when you continue to deliver solid customer experiences, your entire customer base’s network will grow with it.”

What makes a brand lovable? An employee base of stand-up comedians? A billion-dollar marketing budget? Products that are dirt-cheap yet outstanding? Not necessarily.

The most loved brands are down-to-earth, creative, and caring. They think beyond the immediate sale to focus on building relationships for the long-term. They woo through authenticity with the following five techniques:

1. Crowdsourced decision-making

“You may think you know what customers want,” writer Brad Sugars said in a post for Entrepreneur. “But what if you’re wrong?”

That’s precisely why women’s e-boutique ModCloth launched its “Be the Buyer” program that asks customers to vote on the products they want most.

“ModCloth takes its customers’ fashion advice to improve its buying decisions, but it’s also about building community,” CNET writer Sharon Vaknin said.

“Customers leave comments on clothing samples and vote, but can also share their views with friends via Facebook or Twitter.”

ModCloth’s business is one that its customers are helping build.

2. Humor

Laughter is a powerful sales tool.

As one example, outdoor apparel retailer MooseJaw makes everything funny — from its email campaigns to its legal disclaimers: “our lawyers made us write that…”

More often than not, the company’s humor has little to do with sports and outdoors.  It’s more about connecting with people on a human level.

“Though Moosejaw’s run-amok marketing style may seem novel to the business world, it’s really a contemporary take on a time-honored American fantasy  Moosejaw gives the impression it’s making serious bank by pushing the limits,” marketing writer Bruce Britt said. “That’s an appealing message for just about anyone but especially for Moosejaw’s 20-to 40-year-old core demographic.”

3. Personal appeal

“All customers want is a feeling that they belong,” KISSmetrics CEO Neil Patel said in a guest post for GeekWire.

Take a lesson from Zappos, the company that built its business on principles of awesome customer service.

“Lightening fast response” times, flexible return policies, and straightforward solutions are all invaluable for crafting the perfect personal touch.

Remember that people are the heart of every audience.

4. Energy

Through rockstar copywriting, energy is infectious and can put people in the mood to buy.

Consider deals sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Woot that rely on attention-grabbing copy to sell inventory in a flash. They generate enthusiasm by infusing excitement into their ad copy.

“If you’re looking to wash away the dirt and scum  you int’ gonna get results from some namby-pamby broom,” deals site Woot said in a recent product description, talking about an otherwise boring RugDoctor?

5. Gratitude

In the world of consumer marketing, manners have substantial pull.

“Customers love companies with employees who not only say ‘thank you’ but who are enthusiastic about saying it,” Patel said. “The cool thing is you can create a really great vibe at your company — among the employees and the customers — simply by making it a policy that everyone say ‘thank you’ to customers.”

It’ll keep them coming back.

Image courtesy of lznogood/shutterstock

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