In 2020, amid social distancing, things are getting more personal than ever.
A Deloitte study clearly shows that brand communication is no longer a one-way street, where brands do all the talking and customers only listen.
Now, customers come with high expectations: they don’t only want to talk to you… they want to be heard. And the most loyal fans expect to strike a friendship where brands get to know them too!
However, it’s a thin line between being just the right amount of friendly and being obtrusive.
And while some brands manage to walk that line with dignity, while building powerful communities, others seem to struggle.
Bearing that in mind, here are some of the do’s and don’ts of brand communication in 2020 that could help you build genuine connections with your audience and stand among the crowd.
Don’t: put your brand in the focus
Do: put your customer in the focus
Think of it this way: you wouldn’t strike a friendship with anyone who’s always “me, me, me!” now, would you?
Your customer should be the primary centre of all the brand communication you do – no matter which language you opt to use. After all, without the customer, there would be no brand.
A genuine, heartwarming brand story that revolves around the pain points (and the solution your brand offers!) and glorifies the average user as the hero of your brand is an excellent start.
The Volkswagen Passat 2011 Super Bowl advertisement is a terrific example of how to achieve just that.
Don’t: only stick to what you’ve been doing
Do: explore new horizons
Even more conservative brands can benefit from following the trends – especially the digital ones.
The online presence nowadays isn’t optional, it’s mandatory. The online world offers plenty of opportunities to build brand connection and generate more engagement with your audience.
For instance, TikTok is generating quite the buzz lately. What was first dismissed by many as a spot for bored teenagers, is now seeing major brands rushing to join the short video craze.
Of course, it goes without saying that TikTok may not be the perfect choice for every brand. The point is to always keep an eye out as to where your audience is moving. You never know when you’re about to discover a whole new communication language.
Don’t: settle for bland, impersonal language
Do: consistently create personalized brand experience
Everyone loves feeling special.
If you consistently manage to make your customers feel special, you’re in for long term loyalty. What’s even more, not only are they going to remember you for it… but they may as well tell their friends all about it.
One way to personalize the language you’re using is to offer authentic experiences at every single touchpoint along the way.
A little goes a long way in this case.
Let’s say, if a brand is present in multiple locations, then consider how you can share a client’s preferences between each location and award them for their loyalty. Small, scented gifts – think something along the line of candles – are another great alternative to speaking the language of gratitude towards customers.
Quick tip: Use the same bespoke brand scent and help them re-live cherished memories every single time they take a sniff!
Don’t: wait for the need to arise
Do: anticipate – emotional! – needs
In the 21st century, there’s no room for brands that feel bland… or even worse, for brands that don’t provoke any feelings whatsoever.
Since a brand is always one click away from its competitors, infusing emotion in everything a brand does is essential.
Take Apple as an example. As much as they’re offering products that people rationally need, the branding behind every single one of their products is fulfilling an emotional need as well.
And with most of purchasing being influenced by emotion, it’s no wonder they’re doing so well, right?
Don’t: use only visuals and text as a communication channels
Do: diversify the way you communicate as a brand
Brand communication should be so much more than formal leaflets and the occasional PR announcements.
The brands that make a difference know that a brand communicates even at times they’re not actually saying anything. Find ways to diversify a brand’s message so it’s not only emotional but it appeals to the senses too!
Utilizing scent as a language is a very subtle, unobtrusive way to make a statement in a way different than most.
Not only do pleasant aromas create unforgettable moments, they serve as a sophisticated reminder of a brand that truly and genuinely cares for its customers.
Ready to diversify the language you speak to your audience?
Click here to contact our team of olfactory branding specialists and help your brand become fluent in the olfactory language!