Consumer experience is fast becoming a key marketing element for businesses – so brand messaging needs to make a lasting impression.
It is no longer acceptable to give generic brand messaging, as consumers look beyond clichés and prioritise a brand’s values and unique offerings instead.
So, how can you build genuine customer connections to create that desired brand loyalty? To help spark an emotional response, Tim Fuller, managing director of Discount Displays, uncovers the most effective ways to communicate business messages.
Connections are key
Businesses have the opportunity to build and inspire loyalty if they focus on clicking with their customers’ emotions and identities. Brand loyalty plays a key role here. This is your ability to connect with customers and share something that interests them at present and moving forward.
A prime example is John Lewis’ annual Christmas advert. Each year it takes you back to childhood, using nostalgia and commonly shared experiences, to play on viewers’ emotions. In the past, this has included a focus on the care and thought that goes into choosing a present or the importance of sharing Christmas day with loved ones.
Yes, John Lewis has a substantial budget, but you can still achieve emotional connections with customers without large funds. For example, you can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to carefully craft online ads to target specific audiences, for a fraction of the price.
Smaller organisations can also be nimbler and faster than larger companies, who tend to have more fixed hierarchies and internal processes. This means they can be better placed to run social ads more effectively, as they can adapt to online insights in real-time.
Colour evoking emotions
We’ve already established emotions determine buying. Did you know colours can impact your sentiments too?
A recent study of the impact of colour marketing found up to 90 percent of snap judgments made about products can be based on colour alone. For example, when it comes to buyer behaviour orange provokes a call to action and yellow attracts attention.
Choose a few key colours for consumers to begin associating with your business. The colour palette should be made up of two main colours and one accent colour. For example, EE uses turquoise and yellow as its main colours and white as its accent colour.
Combine offline-online strategies
Many companies assume digital is the way forward. However, expert market research analyst Mimi An found 81 percent of consumers have closed a browser because of a pop-up advert. With ad blocker apps becoming increasingly more prominent amongst online buyers, organisations should be starting to re-think digital-heavy strategies.
Old school marketing techniques are making a comeback, from flyers around local areas to custom flags outside stores. These techniques are more likely to tap into consumers’ subconscious decision-making as they feel less obtrusive, meaning the individual doesn’t feel overly “sold” to when taking in the messaging.
So, what is the solution? Pumping all funds into digital marketing may mean you’ll be missing a trick in the long run, but perhaps a combined online-offline marketing approach could be the answer.
Keep it short and sweet
Traditional marketing, especially outdoor advertising, is becoming increasingly more competitive. A new measure businesses should use to ensure they are able to compete is the six-second rule, which is designing a campaign, based on how long advertising or display boards typically hold a consumer’s attention.
A good example is the BMW “billboard boy” who sat on top of a billboard in Connecticut – drivers passed and thought he was real. Adverts like this are both unique and eye-catching consequently creating that desired brand attention.
Businesses must keep in mind signs or billboards should be designed to raise brand awareness and recognition to influence buying behaviour, in a subtler way than a direct sales pitch.
Creating a sign full of sales jargon can mean they aren’t as effective because the messaging becomes too complicated and full. Wording needs to be short, sharp and impactful.
Clarity is quality
As mentioned above, clear concise messages are the ones gaining recognition. Companies who use financial jargon are losing consumers’ trust whilst those using customer-focused language are leading the way.
The first step in avoiding this is to have clarity and the ability to describe your service succinctly. How does it benefit your customer? What is its unique selling point? The “elevator pitch” is a good test as it forces businesses to summarise their service in thirty seconds.
Avoid cliché descriptions. For example, if you were selling fudge, it would not be beneficial to use generic terms such as “cheapest” or “best fudge in Kent.”
Instead, you should focus on promoting attributes that actually benefit buyers such as flavour combinations and crumbliness. This will achieve more genuine interest from potential customers.
Building emotional connections with audiences should be a key focus for organisations when it comes to gaining customer loyalty and trust. Meaningful messages are more significant than ever before, and organisations should present balanced ideas to show they have consumers’ best interests and needs in mind.
Tim Fuller is managing director of Discount Displays
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