Even “interesting” companies cannot completely rely on a flashy product or a unique concept to make customers develop an emotional attachment to their business. For traditionally unglamorous companies, it can be even more difficult to market themselves in a way that allows their customers to feel like they know the people and the values behind the brick and mortar façade. That’s really what humanizing your business comes down to. With the marketing tips found in this blog you can begin to create an emotional connection with the people who really drive your business.
For businesses that manufacture something basic, yet essential for everyday life like cardboard boxes, or steel beams, that emotional connection is the key to standing out amidst the varied competition from all over the world that builds similar commonly used products. There are multiple ways to go about creating a persona, or a personality that your customers can connect with. Here are a few suggestions that 360 Direct Milwaukee has found useful for our clients.
Use a Little Humor
Some businesses, depending on the marketing angle, have benefitted from poking fun at themselves in a way that builds trust and comaradarie. One of our clients, Converting Solutions Inc., ran a campaign with our team’s guidance to help do exactly that. CSI’s owner happens to be a vocal Bears fan despite living deep in Packer territory, and he’s never been one to pass up the opportunity to engage in good-spirited trash talk with his team’s number one rivals. To reward his customers for their loyalty and engagement with CSI, he ran a Trash Talk with Al competition, where the competitors could sling their favorite one-liners his way, with the best dig winning tickets to a Bears v. Packers game at Lambeau Field. After a few days of fielding creative zingers, Al awarded one loyal customer with those tickets, and succeeded in building a great relationship with all of the participants. As a result, CSI strengthened their image as a creative, easy going, and fun-loving company that treats its customers like friends instead of a paycheck. That kind of rapport can generate continued business over the course of decades through brand loyalty and emotional connection.
Let Them Get To Know You
Some business owners don’t interact much with customers, depending on the structure of the business. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s nevertheless important for owners to not shy away from injecting personality into their company. When a potential customer has to choose between you and another business that provides similar products and services at comparable rates, the way they feel about you personally can sway them in their final decision. To build 360 Direct’s presence in the Milwaukee area, our founder and President, John Bernhoft, participated in a Q&A session with Biz Time Magazine. That article generated a measurable increase in the hits to our website, and gave current and potential customers positive exposure to the person behind the company they’re working with. It may seem like a small thing to conduct an interview with a blogger or industry publication, but in reality, those positive, humanizing aspects of marketing go far in strengthening your brand and building relationships.
Stay In Touch
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses neglect important vectors of communication with their clients via social media, email subscriptions, or product and service reviews. These days, a phone call can still go a long way in building trust and relationships, but most people today use their smart phones and social media apps to engage with both social and professional networks. Online mediums are an easy and profitable method of reaching out, letting your customers know you care what they think of you and the kinds of products and services they want from your company. They’re also excellent tools to show a little personal and memorable flair in your posts. However you want your clients to feel about your business, you can build that perception effectively by utilizing an email marketing campaign, creative social media posts, and engaging surveys. Responding to concerns and praise online helps customers feel heard, and that alone is a powerful way to build trust and loyalty.
This is by no means a complete list of all the ways to humanize your business through relationship building and marketing strategies, but they are good starting points. If you’re interested in learning more about what you can do to strengthen your company’s public persona, get in touch with one of our marketing consultants. We’d be happy to meet with you and see how we can help you find creative ways to outsource your marketing.