Imagine this: you stop by your local shop to grab some essentials. You see a sign that reads: “To ensure the safety of our employees and other guests, you can only enter if wearing facial coverage and gloves.” Though masks are mandated in the area, gloves are optional. Yet small, privately-owned shops understand the needs of their customers in the current climate and took action. Doing this shows that they care about their customers, as well as the greater good, and it resonates with you. This act of care strengthens your relationship with this business.
Similar to most other relationships, there are several factors that can deepen the connection between you and your audience. Your audience’s perception of your brand is a contributing factor to its success; however, unfortunately, it’s much easier to lose audience sentiment than to gain or rebuild it.
How to strengthen your audience connection
For your brand to grow, you need to go beyond just attracting customers, you need to develop relationships.
Your brand’s perception is based off two modes of thought: your rational appeal and your emotional appeal. The rational appeal, the more functional benefits of your brand, include ease of use and accessibility of your products or services, your “bang for your buck” and how well your brand performs. While these all affect your audience’s perception of you, the emotional appeal specifically attracts your audience’s feelings.
One of the most important factors for building a relationship is understanding both the rational and emotional sides of your customers – understanding their goals and needs, wins and losses, areas of success and areas needing improvement. This requires a mix of empathy, connection, transparency, and integrity.
Empathy Having strong empathy shows you’re not in it for you, but in it for them. This reminds them that your success is directly related to theirs.
Connection Since a relationship is a give and take, not only must you understand your customers, but they must feel a connection with you and your brand. Whether it’s your mission, values, and beliefs, or your quality, relevance, and consistency, they need to feel that you truly understand them.
Transparency What aids this flow of understanding to build that relationship? Transparency. Being authentic and true to your brand 100% of the time builds trust, a foundation in any relationship.
Integrity And in order to solidify this trust and create credibility in your relationship, you must show integrity. Doing the right thing, regardless of circumstances, only helps confirm to the customer that their priorities are your priorities. Coupled with transparency, integrity is being able to admit when a mistake is made, solving the problem and communicating it honestly. This continues to reassure your customers that they are in good hands.
How to monitor your relationships
Though these main drivers for relationship building are all very important, like most relationships, sentiment can change. Though your audience’s feelings toward your brand can slowly adapt over time, there can also be quick spikes and drops due to various circumstances.
Take for example our current climate with COVID-19. Some banks are pausing mortgage payments showing they understand their customers’ needs. Several well-known car insurance companies are returning part of their customers’ premiums attempting to alleviate some financial struggles currently faced. Many companies are extending their return policies accommodating their customers. These adjustments will only strengthen these brands’ customer relationships.
The importance of tracking your audience’s views of your brand is very important, but being able to track this on a consistent, “always-on” platform allows brand managers and owners to ensure their customer relationships are as strong as possible.
This is what we do at proquo ai.
We've proven, through extensive work with over 800 brands, that there are 16 Drivers that determine the power of your brand-to-people relationship exchange.
Growing your brand includes many factors, including your audience’s perception of your brand, but you should always be doing more than just acquiring customers; you should be building relationships. The relationship between you and your clients is mutually beneficial and rewarding – a true quid pro quo.
Get a look at what your own customers feel about your brand today – check out our live demo to discover how it works.