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6 Ways to Build a Better Brand

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How can we improve brand loyalty and create more raving fans? One way is to view our brands as people. Building trusted, long-term relationships between buyers and brands is akin to building trusted, long-term friendships.

Brands I Love

Recently I've been asking friends and colleagues, “What brands do you believe in and tell other people about?” Everyone I've asked has strong loyalty to some brands and not others.

These are just some of the brands that I love, would return to, and tell others about. It’s probably different from your list:

  • Briggs and Riley Luggage
  • Audi Vehicles
  • Ovation Guitars
  • Kona Bicycles
  • Weber BBQs
  • Mad Rose (my local pub)

Some of these are not the cheapest option in their category, and so I'm paying a premium when I buy their products or services. Why would I do that? What keeps me loyal to these brands even though they are more expensive?

Brands are like People

When you think about it, brand relationships are like people relationships. The people that I am close to in my life include the ones I trust. I know they are looking out for my best interests, will keep their promises, and enhance my life. If something goes wrong, they take ownership and do what they can to fix it. I don’t tend to have long relationships with people who are self-oriented, finger-pointers, or those who don’t keep commitments.

The brands I promote have similar characteristics:

  • I trust them, meaning I believe they’ll deliver what they say they will, keep their promises, and have my interests in mind.
  • They enhance my life; they add value.
  • When something goes wrong, they take ownership and make it right.

This isn’t the only way brands are like people. Every good brand has a personality, a uniqueness, and it stands out from the others in its space. Brands learn, grow, and change just like people do, and sometimes they even reinvent themselves like IBM, Netflix, and Amazon have done.

My relationship with a brand is like my relationship with people. Over time, every interaction I have either adds to or removes from the emotional bank account I have with them. The account balance grows if I have more additive and fewer subtractive interactions. Those brands that have the highest balance are the ones I rave about.

A New Perspective on Your Brand

Thinking about your brand and the relationship your brand has with customers and prospects can unlock new ideas for growth. If you want to develop raving fans…:

  1. Keep your promises every time to build trust.
  2. Be sure that how you promote your offerings is truthful and that you deliver what is expected.
  3. When something goes wrong, own it, and fix it. Be attentive to customer feedback.
  4. Express your values; some buyers will choose you because they share those values. Our closest relationships are with people that share our values.
  5. Recognize that every interaction with your brand either adds or subtracts from the emotional bank account your customers have with you. Jan Carlzon, former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines, called these interactions Moments of Truth. Design your customer journey in a way that always adds positively to the account balance.
  6. Remember that price communicates value. The price of your offerings should be reflective of the quality, reliability, convenience, and service that is delivered.

Unleashing the Potential of Your Organization

Brand relationships are like people relationships. If we look at them that way, we have a greater opportunity to create lasting friendships and extreme loyalty with our customers.

If you’d like to learn more about how to build or create a winning brand, or other ways you can take the simpler path to creating a great business, connect with us or consider attending one of our upcoming leadership events.