Smart brands form an emotional connection with their audience. They create moments we can engage in, telling stories that influence behaviour and inspire action. By connecting on an emotional level we can increase engagement, engender trust, and ultimately drive sales.
Authentic connection is a basic human need. Our desire to form emotional bonds has precipitated our social migration into the digital world, as we go in search of common ground and shared interests. People now share more than ever, looking to their peers, family and friends for validation and recognition.
We believe that successful brands of the future must embrace, nurture and celebrate the power of community. But before we expand on this idea, what do we mean by ‘community’?
Well, thanks to our friends at the Oxford Dictionary there are two ways of looking at this:
- A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
- The condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
The first definition seems cold, almost coincidental, we just happen to be here at the same time. Conversely, the second definition possesses intent and more emotion. This is vital because emotion underpins the process needed to drive consumers to take positive action.
Feeling creates memory. Memory inspires loyalty. Loyalty drives action.
Once we understand this process, we can tailor our marketing activities to meet the emotional or cognitive needs of our audience. By involving the audience we invite collaboration and connection with the consumer on a more personal level.
Connecting through stories
Sharing stories is a fundamental part of human society, and stories are being shared every day. Consumers identify with particular brands because they are attracted by certain characteristics and personality traits. The more the consumer sees themselves in a brand’s identity and behaviours, the more connected they feel.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers prefer to purchase products or services that reflect their own values and beliefs1, and 87% said they’d purchase an item because a company was they cared about2.
In today’s content marketing landscape we have a multitude of digital channels at our fingertips. By actively engaging with your audience’s network you can turn customers into brand advocates, creating a truly connected community that will help to drive your brand forward.
If you would like to discuss how this approach can work for your brand, do get in touch with our brand team: firstname.lastname@example.org