5 Ways Brands Connect With Customers

After our last blog post discussing how to develop a brand, we’re on to the next thing to consider which is connecting with your customers.  You want to draw them in, but how do you do that and create loyalty? This is what will keep your business running consistently. When customers are extremely happy and well cared for, they tell others about it. Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of promotion. You also build a reputation, which carries weight with those interested in what you offer.


We’re going to examine some of the most well-known brands and dissect what sets them apart, and how they interact with their customers. You know all of these brands: Apple, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Google. What’s made them household names? Why are customers so loyal to their products and services? Let’s see what’s worked for them and how you can learn from it and apply it to your own brand.


Empathetic. Apple is legendary for their customer experience. They go above and beyond to be helpful and informative. One way they do this is through empathy. A few years ago, their Genius Training Student Workbook was leaked, providing insight into their thinking and methodology. It emphasized the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is the ability to feel sorry for someone. Empathy means that you actually put yourself in their shoes.


What customer wouldn’t appreciate that? Apple projects a brand that says, “I’m going to help you, no matter the situation or problem.” And the way they connect with their customers backs that up. You can do the same thing, regardless of what kind of business you own. Look beyond the superficial interaction with current and potential customers. Slow down, and mull over what they’re really asking. Why are they asking it? What does this tell you about their needs? In this way, you’ll give them a truly remarkable experience.


Informative. Apple is also a great example of being informative. Most people know about their Genius Bar, a designated area in the store that provides tech support for their products. Now, Apple employees will provide you with plenty of information while you’re considering a product. But the customer service they provide during and after the sale is exceptional.


When you talk about your products or services on your website, do you give enough information? Do you respond thoroughly to email inquiries or phone calls? Ask questions. Engage with them in a genuine way.


It doesn’t stop there. With continuing or recurring customers, check in with them to ensure that everything is still going as it should. Respond promptly to any concerns they might have.


Personal Interest. Showing customers that you care about them as individuals is vital to your success. Think about how you want to be treated when looking for a service for yourself. Starbucks is a company that excels so highly in personal interest and warmth that many people are willing to pay more simply for the experience.


Starbucks’ Mission Statement says they endeavor to create “a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.” Their massive success shows that they’ve fulfilled this. It’s an essential part of their brand. Incorporate that same sense of humanity into your brand.


Social Media Engagement. In today’s world, being passively involved in social media just isn’t an option. This is a place to connect on a powerful, individual level. Incorporating this into your brand is a must!


Coca-Cola has 2.4 million followers on Twitter. They tweet, on average, 60 times a day.  Most importantly, this has led to over 80,000 engagements. That means replies, retweets, organic mentions, and favorites. One tactic they employ is directly replying to as many of those who mention them as possible. No easy feat for such a massive company! How involved are you with your Twitter followers? Are you creating conversations on Facebook? Make it part of your brand. It sends a powerful message to your customers.


Storytelling. Google is a fantastic example of how to run a company. Over time, people stopped saying they wanted to search the internet for information – instead, the company’s name became a verb! Everyone knows what you mean when you say, “I need to Google that.” That wouldn’t have been possible without a powerful brand image.


Lorraine Twohill, Google’s senior vice president of global marketing, said, “You have to think about the consumer as a human being. What matters in his or her life. […] There has to be substance. So, we tell real-life stories.” She explained their process of sitting down and asking themselves, “Why does the world need this? What is going to change in a person’s life if they have this? What’s unique about this? What’s truly great about it?” Their success is a testament to the method, and it’s something to consider.


When describing your products or services, figure out how to create a story with it. How does it help your customer’s everyday life? What does it do for their own business, if applicable? Does it give them more time with their family? Perhaps it saves them money that can be used for vacations. Tell the story!


In summary, before you can truly fine-tune your brand, you need to look at the most successful ones. How have they engaged with their customers? What results have they had? How can it translate to your own business?


Share your thoughts about which brands you think do a great job engaging with customers!


If you like reading this blog, please sign up for the newsletter too!