As we embark on two late-2019 brand messaging projects, I’m reminded to stand my ground on the balance between brand values-based messaging and product features.
Customers (whether B2B or B2C) are increasingly adamant that the buyer experience be holistically enjoyable. Yes, they need your product or service to solve their problem, but they also want to believe they're making a good decision -- and you need to be able to describe why they should invest in you.
Think of it this way... you could go to any number of restaurants on Thanksgiving day and get turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie. But, wouldn't you rather go to a family or friend's home where it's not just about the meal but also encompasses the warmth and welcoming nature that environment provides? That’s what your customers want to feel. Like they’re a part of the experience.
5 Rules to Live By
I’m slightly surprised that this is still a battle in this work, particularly in the midst of a competitive landscape that’s seen no equal.
Here are a few soft rules I'm writing in Sharpie on my hand as I go into these highly charged sessions:
- Belonging: Your consumers need to feel part of a larger whole. This drives so much social media chatter, so you have to mean it.
- Trust: There is no greater dynamic in a consumer/seller relationship. Maintaining sincerity will go a long way.
“That’s what your customers want to feel.”
- Empathy: When you have the insight to know what really matters -- on a personal level -- you’re able to define your value as a brand.
- Happiness: You may deliver this as an affirmative, or absence of the negative. For B2B messaging, this may mean defining success -- but on a personal level.
- The Stakes: Conveying what’s at stake isn’t just a fear tactic. It shapes empathy as well.
Remember, it’s not a sales pitch -- it’s a friendly game of catch between you and your audience. When you keep these five factors top of mind, and continue to live by them throughout, you’re more equipped to build lasting customer relationships.
What are you still fighting for so customers pay attention to your brand or business?