Building a Lovable Brand: How to Create Brand Love

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In today’s crowded marketplace, simply having a quality product is no longer enough to stand out. Companies need to build an emotional connection and foster loving relationships with their customers. How can brands create brand love status?

Aaron Ahuvia, author of “The Things We Love” and who has studied brand love for over 30 years, joined me on this episode of “The Storytelling Show.”. He shared research-backed strategies on how companies can move beyond functional benefits to become beloved brands.

The key, according to Ahuvia, is to “get the consumers’ brain to start thinking about your product or brand using the same thought processes that it normally reserves just for people.” Our brains have evolved distinct ways of perceiving people versus inanimate objects. We need to spark the parts of the brain that feel emotion and connection.

Here are some top insights from Ahuvia on creating deep brand attachment.

Start with Relevance

First and foremost, you need to capture people’s attention. With endless competition and distractions, this is no easy feat. Ahuvia stresses that “relevance” is the best way to cut through the noise. Identify what your audience cares about and speak directly to those needs and desires. Help them see how your brand fits into their lives and provides value. Once you have their interest, they’ll be more open to bonding on a deeper level.

Relevance starts with clearly communicating the value you provide… without nonstop selling.

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Build Identity Around the Brand

Next, you want to elevate the brand from a mere commodity to an identity symbol. Ahuvia gives Apple as an example of a company that has successfully done this by cultivating an “Apple person” mystique. The brand taps into people’s self-image and lets them feel part of a tribe of like-minded creative spirits.

Figure out what values or lifestyle your brand represents. Then tell stories and craft messaging that brings those intangible attributes to life. Let customers adopt your brand as a way to express their personality and ideals.

Connect with an Iconic Face

An easy shortcut to humanizing your brand is associating it with a charismatic public figure. Ahuvia mentions how Michael Jordan became the face of Nike’s Air Jordan brand. Steve Jobs likewise was intrinsically tied to Apple’s ethos for many years.

Pick a founder, spokesperson, or celebrity or even influencer who embodies your brand promise. Make sure customers are aware of this special partnership. Then they may transfer the admiration and goodwill they feel for the person over onto the company.

Read next: How brands can build online relationships

Appeal to Nostalgia

Finally, brands can make an emotional link by tapping into customers’ memories and nostalgia. Ahuvia notes that people often become irrationally attached to objects associated with their past.

Think about how you can incorporate nostalgic elements into your messaging and design. Vintage photography, throwback music, and retro fonts are some easy ways to trigger nostalgia. Or share brand origin stories that remind loyal customers of how you’ve been a part of their lives over the years. Activate that sentimental feeling to strengthen their bond.

Creating a lovable brand takes time, strategic thought and empathy. Use these tips from experts to begin nurturing meaningful relationships with your customers. Don’t rely solely on product benefits or positive reviews. Find ways to make your brand a cherished member of their self-identity and memories. With the right approach, your brand can earn a place in their hearts for the long haul.

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