It’s really easy to say, “Of course our brand is an advocate for our customers.” But I’m not talking about what’s expected. Like having a customer service pledge or a department dedicated to addressing complaints. That’s simply the price to play in today’s world. I’m talking about going beyond caring. That means building something special into the bones of your brand. Empathy.
When helping to build or evolve a brand, I look at four main components. One of those components is the people you hope to serve. A great brand has an unparalleled empathy for those it hopes to serve.
How do you give your brand that empathy? Here are a few tips.
Stop calling them your target audience
These are the people you hope to serve. When you refer to them as a target, you dehumanize them. How can we truly develop empathy for them when we talk about them as if we were hunting them down?
Create personas for your segments (the groups of folks you hope to serve.) Personas have you build a description of a person who represents the segment that you hope to serve. It’s easier to develop that empathy when you spend the time to describe the humanness of those you hope to serve.
Get to know what freaks them out
Go beyond describing who they are (age, education, etc.) and start to describe what’s in their heads. Most importantly, get to those really motivating things — like what keeps them up at night. When you demonstrate that you understand something this emotional to them, your brand begins to create exceptional bonds with those you hope to serve.
Connect with their hopes and dreams
To create the strongest bonds, reach past what worries them to connect with their hopes and dreams. Show them how your brand can help them work toward their aspirations. Even better, show them how your brand can help them feel like they are part of something that is making the world a little better for those around them (I call this your brand’s Big Audacious Meaning.) This depth of empathy is unparalleled.
You don’t have to have some miracle claim to create an unmatched connection with those you hope to serve. You just need to demonstrate to them that you understand what is important to them (their troubles as well as their aspirations.) Build that into your brand and you’ll do more than create customers. You’ll create believers.
Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.
Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on December 19, 2019.