There are some products that we buy for rational reasons. We are looking for some features at a reasonable price. Those products are not meaningful for us. We just want them to work and, from that point, we look at the lowest possible price. The differences with other brands are not relevant. We can consider in that category, generic brands or many of the things that companies buy.
In other cases, the heart is also necessary. When we buy, we do not analyze only features and price. A product may give us something more that's hard to describe. We become willing to pay a little more for that intangible asset.
Love to be loved
My mother and my older sister were teachers. I remember a conversation between them. I was a child of no more than ten years old. My sister was quite new in the profession. She was whining about the difficulties of their job. The problems with attitude, discipline. She was discouraged. Then she asked:
- "What can I do?"
- "Make your students love you," answered my mother
- "But, how can I do that?"
- "Love them first."
My sister said nothing for a few seconds; she was shocked.
That experience came back to me many times. I taught at university, I have done some lectures. On too many occasions, I could not make my students or listeners love me. Perhaps I did not value, appreciate, and praise them enough. Or maybe all that is much easier and I did not prepare the class the right way. I am not sure.
On some occasions, I can establish a real connection with the audience. There is a general understanding. In those cases, there is a feeling of affection, respect or even admiration too.
In conferences, you do not have the opportunity to know the audience. At university, there are many students. Making a personal connection is hard.
However, there are some things that you can do before the conference takes place. You can have information about the audience. Demographics, special needs, expectations. Sometimes you should refuse some offers. They could not be the right audience for the content. You can also have an informal, personal contact with the people before getting in the room. During the speaking, you can look at the eyes. I mean, instead of talking to the group, in general. You can explain each concept looking at a particular person. All those things communicate feelings. What you feel can have a more significant value for the public than just facts and data.
Brands that create an emotional connection
The relation firm-consumer have some points in common to what I have explained. To make consumers buy your products, you have to make users love them first. Perhaps, just a little. The most successful brands can build an emotional relationship with their public. Some people love a car brand or a football club. Others have an emotive connection with a brand that solves a small everyday problem.
Love the product you make
What can you do to make people love your brand? What can you do to get their attention and buy it? You need to like your customers or consumers. That means to have a legitimate interest in them, not as an impersonal group. Think about the people that your brand can help in any aspect, even a small one.
The people who are behind the brand communicate the illusion and interest they have. That could be more important that physical features or technology.
Marketing is a group of strategies that try to know the needs and desires of consumers. With that information, we can create companies or services to solve that needs.
Some entrepreneurs or businesspeople are passionate about their product or service. They believe in what they do. They feel the excitement to build and change things. They have a personal relationship with the product, the service, and the users.
Love your customers. Solve their problems
A good way to start a new project is to focus on a small group with a defined need. The honest desire to help and to solve one problem they have is the first step. In those cases, the user builds an emotional connection to the brand. There is something more than trade money for service.
Start with a small group. To have a personal, direct relation with a few people, help them to solve just a problem. Change the features until the user is happy. In that initial phase, you will have to make a lot of things without the help of a software, I mean, without automating things. You will need to spend many hours and may not be cost effective.
In that phase, the aim is to know the user. To have a direct and personal relation, you must adapt, make constant changes. That is the best way to do market research.
Those first people are the best evangelists. They will spread the advantages of the product. In some way, they will act as marketing and communication tools.
Then and only then, you can scale and go to bigger groups. It is when you automate a lot of the steps. When you already have tested the options and fixed the processes, it is worth to invest in software. Face to face lets you learn at low cost. With software, you can scale and replicate to a larger audience.
Now, the firm focuses on a group of people that are more anonymous. The personal relation and emotional connection are hard. However, it is likely that something remains.
We all have a personal relationship with a few brands. When we see that in another person, it could be hard to understand. Why do they love objects or ideas? Some argue that companies manipulate just for gaining money. Perhaps there is something there, or perhaps there is something more.
Some people start a project with a strong desire to help, solve a problem, or meet a need. They want to build a product or service that could be useful.
That desire to help is contagious; the consumer can perceive it. How can we make users love our products, our services, our brands? First, we need to love what we do; we must be sure that it is useful, that this world needs it. And that drives us to what is more important: love our customers. Products are an instrument, a tool to help, to make this world better, just a bit and just for a small group of people.
Like the teacher I talked about at the beginning, we should love to be loved.