We are plagued by them. Some share intimate moments with us. Others come in to collect a check and unfreeze the smile once the damn thing clears. Still others hire us to plot ways to put us in review. Yes, they are around us and go the name of naysayer. The surname can attach to a woman or a man. I call them D. (short for ‘Doubting.”) Thomas Naysayer. He’s hangs out with a woman named Mary Contrary (Naysayer is a her maiden came).
I had this discussion the other day, and of, Thomas Naysayer doubted what I said when I offered that I am a strong advocate that a client bond emotionally with their customers. Mary Contrary chimed in: “That’s not what I learned in marketing class. No…uh..uh.”
The reason why I am such a strong advocate for this emotional bond paradigm between customers and client is that emotion is foundational to marketing. That old adage, “Sex sells”
is another way of saying it. The correlation is rather simple – desire. People buy because they perceive one product is better than a similar product. The thing desired is the thing one must have. The right circumstances of customer and product will lead to a union as it would people sexual drawn because attraction is the key ingredient. That’s what successful marketing does for brands.
Don’t fool yourself that ads (even the badly crafted ones), public relations and even social media marketing does not create a Pavlov ian response. (In case you missed it in school, Pavlov was the Russian psychologist in the early 1900’s that proposed a physiological account of conditioning that involved connections between brain centers for the conditioned and the unconditioned stimuli.) This is trigger device, plain and simple. Don’t believe me? Have you ever heard the expression “If I don’t have a cigarette I’ll die?” Or, “I couldn’t leave the house without it.” Only a person with a relationship with a brand would dare utter either of these statements. No one is brand-proof, or without desire. This is why every waking second by something being marketed we are assaulted by marketing messages.
Does that mean a firm offering PR, marketing or advertising has an easier path? Not really. It only helps us if we engage the process. In this situation you must keep reminding to how intimate my relationships with brands are.
I have asked myself repeatedly if I love our brand, Carson Dunn Media Advertising or do I just show up to occupy a chair? Sure I do. After all, I started the firm, and have on more than one epoch been the only one with a sense a dedication and calling. I preach our brand hoping to cause others to catch my fire. I once attended a meeting and during one those perfunctory speeches one gives at a networking gathering, actually became misty eyed talking about how CDM makes a difference. Emotion can actuate growth. It can actually force us to improve the delivery of services and offer a wider range of marketing and public relations. If this true for me, an emotional connection with a brand by consumers is not far fetched. I don’t see any reason why a customer should not feel a similar visceral connection with a product.
Whenever we gain more staff with the next crop of interns I am watching for this trait. If the client is just a hand that hands us a check, or remains a voice at the other end of a telephone we will fall short of our advocacy of brand loyalty and affinity. We will fail to put out anything that will resemble anything that will invoke an emotional reaction. I am not about failure. At times like that I want to ask: “What is your role if not to stir up an emotional bond for a client’s product?”
Imagine, I counter: “Imagine if every branded product that you use regularly speak back to you – would you be survived? To the logical reply that products don’t speak, I say, ”Imagine any way – go develop copy and ads that will trigger sentiment in everything our clients do from operating spas or manufacturing hair care products, restaurants, office products, electronics, cars, everything. The client will gain sales because brand recognition is the end game any business.
In exploring this idea of branding affinity we must keep in mind that we must continue to evaluate our campaign. It may be necessary to stop and change directions. It all boils down to offering a client what is necessary to make money from our efforts.
Is that hard? No. It is called working your ass off – that’s our brand.