As you consider creating a strong and powerful brand, a significant philosophy to consider is creating an un-selfish brand. This was important before the advent of social media, but now that many brands find themselves online in social media (Facebook and Twitter) the stakes are much higher. Here are some principles to consider:
- People like people (and brands) that are like them. No one wants to sit across a table and listen to someone’s diatribe on how great they are. (Remember this as you sit down to a holiday meal with relatives you haven’t seen in a while). Similarly, only hearing about a Brand’s accomplishments are tiresome and not conducive to creating a relationship. Find commonality and common ground.
- People like people (and brands) that are interested in them. Ever notice how much easier it is to strike up a conversation when you get genuinely interested in the person you’re talking to? The same is true for Brands as well. People tend to feel an affinity for Brands that seem to speak directly to them, that are genuinely interested in understand who they are. So get interested! Ask questions, find out who you’re talking to.
- People like people (and brands) who use their connections to promote lesser-known individuals. Ever sat at a table you felt completely out-classed/out-networked/or just out of water? Remember the person who took you under their wing and introduced you to the people at the event and not only made you feel welcome, but made you feel a part of it? Remember your gratitude in that moment (and now) to that individual? That’s a powerful emotional resonance if a Brand can capture it. Look for complimentary Brands and forge a relationship to cross-promote each other to the room of “strangers.”
- People appreciate people (and brands) that improve their community. Where would our communities be without those pillars that are the glue that holds the community together? We may not hang out with them regularly, but we do usually know who is making a difference. When a Brand makes a difference in the community — we notice that too. Lead the way, make a difference, create a better community.
- People like people (and brands) that support what’s important to them. It doesn’t really matter where you passion lies, green issues, gun rights, youth programs, hunger, etc. Whatever it is, you’re likely to align yourself with other people who also feel passionately about those things which you feel passionately about. Brands that support those same things individuals are passionate about will benefit from a similar affinity. If your passion is the school’s swim team and a Brand supports your team monetarily, or on a volunteer basis, you’re much more likely to have a great feeling about that brand.
Understanding that great brands are at their core, unselfish, will help you to position your brand to support others, and in so doing, create a strong brand affinity with your target audience. And Brands with a strong affinity will be infinitely more successful, own their share of the marketplace, and make more money.