From finding the elusive perfect match to reigniting a long-term relationship, romantic comedies show that falling in love and staying in love can be a real challenge.
And I’ve come to realize that the same thing goes for brands trying to lure consumers into their arms for a lifetime of loyalty.
So, with some help from one of my favorite rom-coms, Hitch, I’m here to bring you some tips that can help get consumers to fall in love with your brand.
“Basic Principle: No woman wakes up saying, ‘God. I hope I don’t get swept off my feet today.”
The same is true for consumers. You can’t just expect them to come to you. You have to pursue them and make them feel wanted. You have to be willing to put in the effort, time and money to sweep them off their feet and into the checkout line. Use all of the tools that you have to court them, pique their interest and convince them to give you a shot. And if all goes according to plan, it will be love at first try.
Love Notes: Gain a clear understanding of who you are targeting and what they desire. Based on this information, figure out the best mix of communication tools that you can use to win them over.
“Sixty percent of all human communication is nonverbal, body language; thirty percent is your tone. So that means that ninety percent of what you’re saying ain’t coming out of your mouth.”
Today’s consumers consider much more than just traditional advertising. They look at a brand’s website, Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter feeds, Pinterest posts, corporate responsibility statements, packaging communication… the list goes on and on, and it all matters.
So it’s critical to make sure all of your communication elements are engaging, consistent, and working hard together to woo consumers. These components are like your love letters to them. And remember that there are always other suitors trying to win the same hearts and wallets, so make every note count.
Love Notes: Make sure that every consumer touchpoint delivers on your positioning. It should clearly communicate your unique point of difference and what your brand stands for.
“A woman who doesn’t want to kiss takes her keys out, puts them in the door, goes in the house. A woman that wants to kiss, she fiddles.”
This is a great analogy for the shopping experience. Current non-buyers tend to breeze past entire brand blocks and shelf sets. They either already know exactly what they want or just aren’t interested. However, if you can create a shelf presence that catches their attention, they may stop and start to fiddle. And if they stop and fiddle, it means you’re in the game—they are open to making a purchase. In fact, if they’re enchanted enough to stop look and linger, there’s a good chance they are just looking for a reason to pull the trigger. And that means it’s time to seal the deal.
Love Notes: What can you do to warrant the attention of your target? Leveraging trade partnerships can often enable you to do something unique that helps you better connect with consumers.
“The secret to a kiss is to go 90% of the way, then hold. If you’ve made her want it, she’ll come the remaining 10%.”
They’re standing in the aisle. They’re lingering. You’ve gotten this far, but consumers need to see that you’re genuinely going the 90%, daring them to come the rest of the way.
This is why your package design is so important. It’s what caught consumers’ attention in the first place. Now that they’ve stopped in their tracks, it’s time for your packaging to turn up the charm, quickly and concisely making the case as to why they should say “yes” to your product.
Making your package the “total package” takes a disciplined approach —one that is grounded in strategy, clearly communicates the product benefits, stands out against competitors and is positioned in a way that, no matter where it’s placed on the shelf, consumers can see your effort holding at 90%, beckoning them to lean in and take a chance on living happily-ever-after with your brand.
Love Notes: Optimize your packaging to deliver the three W’s”: who you are, what you are and why consumers should buy your product versus the alternative.
“One dance, one look, one kiss, that’s all we get… one shot, to make the difference between happily ever after, and oh-he’s-just-some-guy-I-went-to-some-thing-with-once.”
Even after consumers lean in and buy your product, the war for their hearts and minds is far from over. The real test comes when they use your product and determine whether or not it delivers on the promises your brand has made to them. Needless to say, you better ensure that first experience is a good one if you’re hoping for a long-term relationship.
This means the product has to be easy to use. It needs to fit seamlessly into consumers’ lives. It has to have something unique that keeps them coming back for more. And, most importantly, the product must go beyond functional benefits and connect with the consumer on a deeper level.
At the end of the day, true love and loyalty is based on a compelling brand promise that has been elevated to an experience. Enhance that experience and consumers will fall hard for your brand. Fail to meet expectations and they’ll file you away as just another bad decision or one-time fling.
Love Notes: Conduct regular usage tests and keep an eye on consumer feedback via social media and other outlets in order to ensure that the product experience continues to pay off the brand promise.
“So how does it happen, great love? It happens in the blink of an eye. One moment you’re enjoying your life, and the next you’re wondering how you ever lived without them.”
Just like Hitch realizes at the end of the movie, it’s just as important to put yourself out there and take a risk every once in a while as it is to know the basic principles. Make no mistake, consumers cherish steady consistency, but they also want to experience the impassioned thrill of something new. Showing that you’re willing to take some risks and try new things proves to them that you value the relationship and want to generate the kind of sparks that keeps it interesting and allows it to reach new heights of love and commitment. Finding the just-right balance of old and new—now, that’s amore!
Love Notes: Winning the affection of consumers requires leaving all fears at the door. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to take risks, to make choices, to place bets on things that will potentially have a big impact?” Because chances are, if you don’t, another brand will—swooping in and stealing your beloved in the process.
Edited by Adam Siegel. In addition to being the Editor of The Accelerator, Adam is a Creative Director that draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.