In this concise but valuable post, Susan Meier explains how looking at a brand through the lens of empathy can inform and build strong brand relationship marketing strategies.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s putting yourself in their shoes. And it’s the key to good branding, because the brand relationship is built on understanding the customer’s world view and desires.
Hey, you got a lock?
Would you make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open?
To make good products and services, you’ve got to think first about how they’re going to be used and care about the people who’ll be using them.
Draw a small circle.
You can’t be all things to all people. Whom can you best serve? Draw the circle as small as you can – that’s called your minimum viable audience. Identifying who’s in and who’s out will save you a lot of effort in both product development and marketing.
Once you’ve identified that specific group, you’ll want to find out: What do they care about? What makes them tick? What are their aspirations? Because knowing your audience and what’s important to them is critical to building your brand.
Show me your underwear.
Ask your customers these questions. Listen mindfully and humbly. Get to know them as human beings.
Better yet, observe them in their natural habitat. I have crisscrossed suburbia taking photographs of peoples’ bookshelves. I’ve spent hours watching college students shop online. I’ve grocery shopped with moms and hit the dog run with dog owners. And I’ve had scores of women show me their lingerie drawers.
Key points include:
- Beginning with brand purpose
- Identifying brand benefit story
- Drawing brand boundaries
Read the full post, Choose Empathy, on SusanMeierStudio.com.
In this podcast, Susan Hamilton and Ethan Beute discuss brand psychology and how your breakfast cereal makes you feel about yourself.
Much like having a relationship with another human, a lot of it is about how that other party makes you feel about yourself. Or how you are able to see yourself via that other party.’
You know, I think the customer experience is very much about the relationship that you are building with your customer. In fact, I often define the brand as the actual relationship, and the experience is an important part of that. And the relationship can be on many platforms, and many formats, but it’s that feeling that you have when you’re connecting to the brand, the product, to the people that are involved, and I think that’s the most important thing about your company and your brand, is that relationship that you’re building.
So, I think it’s really interesting and truly goes beyond what we, as humans, traditionally think of as relationship between person and person, and I think what really drew me into branding actually, coming out of a pure strategy background, was seeing how people had these really intimate personal relationships with brands where they didn’t have connections with people. You know, it wasn’t a retail situation it was cornflakes! Right? It was a product where they had never met any of the people that worked for that company, personally interacted with any of those people, but they had an actual relationship with that product that made them feel a certain way, that made them loyal to that product, that made them, you know when social media became more vibrant, that made them want to engage with that product, and I remember thinking in the early days of Facebook, how poetic it was that people were friending brands on Facebook. And I thought that was such a nice metaphor for that relationship that people have between themselves and those products, before you even get to the people in customer service, or the retail environment.
Points of discussion include:
- The relationship between brand and customer experience
- What people are really afraid of about creativity
- The pervasive contempt of design as a waste of time
Listen to the full podcast, From Cornflakes to Customer Experience, It’s All About Brand, on CustomerExperience.com.