Advertising takes many forms today. It’s in magazines, it’s in films, it’s even in video games (called IGA, or “in game advertising,” a captivating topic we may get into in an upcoming blog post). Without calling into question why you are advertising, you should be able to examine the effects of it. But to look more in depth at it, consider these three questions that you should, but probably haven’t, asked yourself.
1) Can you name 5 things your customers like about you?
This is a serious question. Do you have a relationship with your customers or do they just use your product because it fills whatever need they have?
Let’s use a super simple example. Think if your company makes notebooks – the kind in which you write, not the laptop type – and someone goes to the store to buy a notebook. Do they just blindly choose whatever product they want? If so, you probably don’t have a committed customer.
Are they going to pick yours because they can describe 5 things they like about it? Can they tell you why yours is better than everyone elses, and more importantly, do they actually value you as a company?
This last point is key and something we will get to in a moment.
Actually, if the only reason your customer bought your product is because “it’s a notebook and I can write in it” you basically got lucky with that sale. But, if that individual can tell you why they like it, why they chose it, and how they use your brand for all their writing needs, you’re doing it right.
The name here is brand loyalty, and it occurs when a person sees the company as more than just a manufacturer. To illustrate, let’s talk about laptops now (the other kind of notebook, try to keep up). Apple has done a phenomenal job building a devoted client base. Ask someone their opinion of iPod and you will probably get “it’s the greatest thing ever!” or “I can’t believe people spend so much on an .mp3 player that prefers its own proprietary format!” In fact, there is often no grey area: it’s one or the other. Again, this is emotional connection.
People that get Apple products usually like them because they like the company. It’s more than just a product, it’s a culture. Let that sink in for a moment. Individuals don’t necessarily buy Macs because they think they are better computers, but because they have a connection with the brand. Apple fans are often criticized for this, with claims that they buy inferior products simply because of the name. Whether or not that is true, proponents of this company often have a strong emotional response when asked why they like those. Indeed, Apple vs non-Apple debates are very common all over the internet as well as in real life and are responsible for bulletin board arguments, blog battles, and (we’re speculating here) broken friendships. The question was, can you name 5 things your customers like about you? We think Apple can name 5 reasons their fans love them. We think Apple can name 100 reasons, definitely.
Can your brand?
2) What do your customers think of when they think of you?
We love Apple, but it’s time for another example. Quick, think of a headphone company! If you’re not an audiophile, in which case you probably said Sennheiser or Audio Technica, you probably said Beats by Dr. Dre – which is funny, because that’s a company that is synonymous with a product: an incredibly well-known and well-marketed product. Well, sort of. Beats Electronics is a subsidiary of Apple (so we technically we are still talking about them). You may believe all headphones are the same, but for anyone who has dabbled in getting a good pair of headphones, they have certainly heard of Beats and absolutely have an opinion on them. Without getting into specifics, people either love them or hate them.
But why? You can name 5 headphone companies and nobody cares, but mention Beats and suddenly everyone has an opinion. An emotional response. The fans are super devoted. The fans immediately think quality, sound, and cool.
Headphones can be a fashion statement. Strange, right? Headphones are a listening device. Who cares what they look like? More people than you would think.
Beats have a characteristic logo that is visible when you view them. People know it when you’re wearing Beats. They desire to be part of that image. It tells the world you care about the quality of your music and that you can afford nice headphones. Be very careful how you interpret that last sentence – we’re not saying everyone cares about that — but enough people care that Beats uses it to their advantage. Think we are kidding here? Beats saw $1.5 billion in revenue in 2013 (source). People who wear Beats are part of an elite club, and that’s a very successful brand impression to make.
People who buy Beats know that other headphone brands exist, they just don’t care, and if that’s not an emotional connection we don’t know what is.
What do people think about your brand?
Join us next time as we reveal the 3rd question you should be able to answer and explore in greater detail what and how people can value your brand.