How Marketing Leaders Can Create More “Brand Obsession”
We all have brands we love. We cherish the products they offer, we closely watch their every move, we follow them on channels where they don’t even publish content -ever follow a furniture brand on Linkedin? Yes, $4000 couches will do that to you.
What drives this kind of love? Is it unattainability? Guilty pleasures? Aesthetic perfection? When we’re obsessed with a brand, it’s usually because it speaks to us in a way no other brand does. Sometimes, we’re the early adopters or the exact fanatics and ambassadors they’re looking for. When we act as promoters or advocates, the part of a brands message that we amplify is the one that speaks to us most.
That’s why fanatics are the exception, not the norm – it’s sometimes a matter of probability that brands will speak to us in our own unique way. So, instead of relying only on the consumers you happen to speak to, brands need to start thinking about curating “brand obsession” with every consumer in their own unique way. There are a few methods available to do this today, but they’re rapidly being changed by the growth and development of conversational AI.
How to Start The Conversation
What do great conversations start with? It’s definitely not smalltalk, talk about the weather and, only in the right circumstances, religion and politics. What really kicks things off is confidence.
How can you tell? Well, we’re attracted to people who carry themselves with confidence. This doesn’t mean that we always start a conversation or want to talk to people at every moment of every day, but confidence is what encourages us to find out more about what someone has to offer.
For brands, it can hardly be said that any one brand talks itself down. At the same time, wild promotions and outlandish claims may help attract business for a short time, but they’re hardly the kind of pristine eminences that earn the love of consumers in the long term.
At times, it can be easier to go all the way to the poetic in order to inspire. For most brands, you can build positive associations. However, to get consumers to convert, you need a clear journey towards that goal.
If your marketing is already positioned in such a way that it allows your brand to be taken seriously, then you’re not going to be challenged to find consumers who’ll love you. What you will be missing, however, is the ability for your brand to be introduced to consumers in more ways that drive stronger belief in what your brand offers, and ultimately creates more of that love.
There are a few ways that brands are trying to do this today: experiential retail, engagement marketing, different means of brand activation and differentiating themselves with powerful, compelling-yet-relatable key marketing messages. These are all well-established strategies where leaders with a knack for the art of marketing thrive, but they are also styles of communicating and campaigning that consumers already know and expect.
Instead of only focusing on the basics, you can also think about enhancing these strategies with the right personalized technologies. With this approach in mind, you can create individual conversations that let more consumers feel the love and even “obsession” your most loyal customers already do.
How to Generate Strong, Individual Belief
Any one-to-one marketing practice, or just any good personalization method, is going to use one-to-one tactics that go hand-in-hand with any basic understanding of social psychology. Instead of thinking of your broad based messages as the only way to influence consumers, starting conversations with solutions like conversational AI can help you prime consumers with both questions and answers, creating a better understanding and, yes, stronger belief in your brand.
Conversational AI, generally in the form of Virtual Product Advisors, enables you to talk to your consumers in a one-to-one way. Where this steps up your ability to reveal “obsesses” consumers is not in its advocacy for your brand, but in its ability to educate and inform your consumer in a simple and effective way.
If you’ve ever talked to someone one a special diet, for instance (vegan, keto, anything in between), they’ll usually tell you how it has all the answers. Want to lose weight? Diet. Want to look better? Diet. Want to feel better? Diet. Want to have more energy throughout the day? Is it the right thing to do? Well, you already know those answers.
Of course, this is remedial content for brand experts, but if more consumers can identify with brands on a social basis, they become more willing to trust and invest in them.
This kind of advocacy is all about the consumer: how it’s solved problems for them, how it’s improved their life, how they’ve had such a great experience. This kind of advocacy, where informed, reasonable, personalized and thoughtful, is the same kind you need to be shared with your consumer.
Your existing consumers (or a league of influencers) can only go so far. The most intuitive way to start conversations like these with consumers and create stronger beliefs about your brand is with a – yes – “conversational” virtual product advisor.
How to Make People Feel Like Your Brand Is Just for Them
Virtual Product Advisors talk to consumers, learn about their needs and personalize the best possible products and experiences for them. That kind of interactivity, thought and care is essential to making someone feel like a brand’s products are made “just for them” and, incidentally, that’s how consumers usually also feel when they love or are full-on goo-goo ga-ga obsessed with a brand.
Particular to this, Virtual Product Advisors allow brands to ask consumers questions in series that build up to personalized recommendations. By learning important facts about an individual and tailoring product choices to them, it makes it easier for consumers to see the unique value of each and every product – as well as the brand who offers them. This is something that can only be achieve, however, with the right conversational intelligence, and AI that knows how to analyze and present the entire product offering of a given brand.
Conversational AI doesn’t just allow consumers to consult with your brand however they may be shopping, but makes it easier to discover things about your brands you’ll absolutely love.When you converse with your consumer, you take the first step to generating real results. People know what you offer, they’ve seen the ads, but how are they going to know what’s best for them? You have to make this process easier – if you don’t get more people engaged with your content and products, if you don’t make it easier to enable your ambassadors, then you’re never going to feed the kind of mass obsession that makes your brand one-of-a-kind.
How to Amplify the Experience
Content and connection are the two ways your brand can grow. The things we share, the things we learn from and the things that make us happy are the “connective tissue” of our day-to-day experience.
The thing is, if someone’s obsessed about a brand and tells you all about it, you may or may not listen. If someone educates you about a brand based on things you’d be interested to know, then one customer becomes two.
So empowering your consumers to educate one another is critical. And wherever you’re not doing that, you can look to conversational AI to do it for you – all while increasing engagement, purchase intent and conversion throughout your relationships with individual consumers.
Talking to someone about a product and getting them to engage with a brand is no different from how most brands have grown in the past. Technology is changing what’s possible on a one-to-one basis, and consumers can now get access to guidance, recommendations and advice that offers them amazing experiences and connection with a brand.
As it turns out, this is all coming just in the nick of time. Product discovery has only become more complex, and that means consumers are looking for opportunities for their purchase process to be simplified. Your brand can get consumers more “obsessed” with you by playing into this: enable consumers to understand the value of each product and how it’s right for them, and their love for your brand can only grow.
If you’re the type of person who’s ever been obsessed with a brand, you know it’s because you’ve seen something of yourself in that brand, and you’re also likely to already have strong feelings about who you are to base that on. With the right solution, you won’t see 100% of consumers beat a path to your door, but in a world where you might only see a fraction of consumers truly embrace your brand, a little love and even obsession can make all the difference.
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