Is Your Digital Campaign Flat? Capture Brand Loyalty By Getting Personal

They say that humanity has undergone three major revolutions: agriculture, industrial and information. Here we stand in the digital age, connected not by crop or factory, but now by data and the Internet of things. As we become more entrenched in the age of information, the less opportunities there are for personal and human connection, and yet, whatever age we live in, to connect with one another is essential to human well-being.

It is no wonder that 50% of every buying decision is driven by emotion, a personal connection and, in this case, a connection between our product and services to our customers.  American Express has built a powerful relationship with its cardholders by turning a green, platinum or black piece of plastic into a strong personal connection based on service and trust. It starts by deeply knowing one’s customer, and what emotion drives them. It also has a lot to do with how capable we are of personifying our product story in the digital age where it is difficult to interact face-face with our customers and create personal connections.

 How do we create personal connections?

  • Be Authentic. Are you authentically interested in your target? Why is this important? This establishes trust and a commitment to knowing what your customer is all about. If your authenticity is not “all there,” sooner or later, your customers can tell.
  • Be Relevant. Beyond authenticity, is what you have to offer or say meaningful and needed by your customer? Oftentimes, we may think our customer has a need, but do they really? Maybe we need to ask harder questions.
  • Respond. Everybody wants to be heard. According to David Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media, we spend a disproportionate amount of time talking. But communication is 50% listening and 50% talking. When we listen, we should also, respond. When we receive negative feedback from a customer but do not respond or acknowledge, we send a pretty big signal to our customer. On a personal note, one of my biggest customers started off as one of my biggest critics… who eventually became an advocate only after addressing their concerns.

Some companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, are taking this to heart and connecting their brands to personal connection. In their series, #howwefamily, Johnson & Johnson is embodying their corporate values/credo of a caring company and expressing this in Tylenol brand messages. #howwefamily, helps us differentiate Tylenol beyond its basic features and benefits, by tapping into the strong foundation of the J&J reputation.

REI (Recreation Equipment Inc.) too, has created its own personal connection with 1,408,117 followers through its OPToutside campaign, a bold message to consumers-at-large to enjoy the outdoors instead of shopping on Black Friday.

Bottom line is we live in an age where it is easy to get lost in the plethora of data and digits which makes forming personal connections harder but not impossible. Times have evolved, channels of communication have changed…. but the way to win hearts has not.

Diana Schaeffer is the VP of Business Development | Health and Pharma, for Consultants 2 Go.