Brand intimacy – what is it? Creating not just a connection, but an intimate connection with your brand, sounds potentially farcical, but before you judge, just listen and observe. People can and do get very close to brands. Why on earth would someone buy a $400 T-shirt from Gucci?
I once was asked, by a marketing team (of course!), if a brand was actually a person, who would I want to share my bed with? Sounds ridiculous, until you start to think about how you would answer the question! Then your inner dialogue starts, and you are thinking maybe this brand, maybe that brand!
We all use brands in our life to demonstrate to ourselves and the entire world who we are, how we think, what we like and what we don’t like. Social media has only exemplified this form of aligning ourself with brands, giving us a platform to scale our associations.
So knowing this, how can we build on the relationships customers are having with our brands, so they become more intimate? So they become an extension of the person. This is not limited to fashion brands. All brands can find a way to build deeper relationships with customers by finding the balance between resonance and aspiration.
Promotional items can definitely help with this. It’s a great way to invigorate a brand … but first dedicate the thinking around selecting the right item and the message.
Find the sweet spot, that encourages your customer to get that bit closer.
We spend a lot of our time in the digital world, seeing brands. An Apple study found that on average we unlock our phones 80 times day. The mobile has been referred to as an extension of your body. Are we saying that your phone is a new body part… well close enough!
Despite spending more time in the digital space, our appetite for ‘living experiences’ has grown. This may well be in direct relation to, the life we would like to portray, through the digital world, or that, we want more from life. The booming travel industry is proof of this.
How does this relate to your brands and business? What experiences are you creating or being apart of to connect with your customer in the real world? If you are creating experiences that are memorable and have high talk-ability and Instagram-ability then the life of the experience extends beyond the moment.
How can you do this and do it better? Some questions to ask:
- Who are my customers?
- What’s important to them?
- What do they do?
- Where do they go?
- What do they do for fun?
- How can my brand play a role?
We are seeing brands become savvier in how they are connecting. Nike Running Groups, Google Digital Garage, Restaurants offering Cooking Classes, Starbucks Country Origin Merchandise. These experiences are seen to be designed for the user, with the brand being a complimentary partner in how they live their life.
Adding value to customers in the space that they are already in or through creating new spaces, whilst still maintaining brand positioning, is the win-win for everyone.
It’s a great place for any brand to be.