5 Ways Brands Build Relationships to Connect With Customers

The giant world of advertising is dominated by branding. Overwhelmed with images, ads and sales pitches—the average consumer is exposed to more than 5,000 advertising messages a day. And with more computing power in their hand than NASA had to land a man on the moon—they can make a decision about your company in less than a second.

Successfully connecting with this new breed of consumers takes a mix of old-school logic along with modern day strategy. Why? Because brands aren’t about products anymore. They’re about people and purpose. It’s a powerful approach to marketing that captures and serves human needs. Bottom line: it’s about relationships.

By studying successful brands, it’s not hard to identify what it takes to build meaningful relationships. Here are five common strategies organizations use to connect with customers.

1. They Communicate

Aside from providing friendly, consistent customer service, brands that listen and respond to their customers have much to gain. Taking to social media, more and more people are starting conversations, asking questions and posting comments on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Organizations that take the time to engage in timely two-way communication build trust—a cornerstone in branding.

2. They Offer Rewards

From insurance agencies and retailers to travel and credit card companies, customer loyalty programs work well for a variety of organizations. The most effective programs offer progressive rewards, so the more they spend, the more they earn. This rewards your most profitable customers and cuts down on low-value price switch-customers who switch from program to program to get entry-level rewards. Additionally, offering coupons and in-kind rewards help remind your customers of your products and/or services.

3. They Share Information & Stories

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to post updates about your business. Giving them a behind-the-scenes look at what you are dealing with on any given day helps humanize your brand.

4. They Deliver on Their Promise

A brand promise represents everything a company stands for—or does not stand for. It’s their unique statement of what they offer, what separates them from their competition and what makes them worthy. When your brand promise doesn’t measure up to your customers’ expectations, you won’t just disappoint; you’ll lose their trust and loyalty.

5. They’re Passionate

More than a great product or service, it’s the passion and cause at the center of the company that builds a deeper emotional connection between the brand and customer. Through personal, significant and relevant content, communities can be fostered and awareness created. P&G’s #LikeAGirl campaign hit the bullseye on this one.

When brands are able to make sincere connections with customers, something powerful happens: a foundation for long-term advocacy and loyalty is formed. Businesses that can do this (and do it well) have at their core a purpose bigger than the bottom line.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.


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