Increasing Positive Sentiment for Your Brand
Americans are spending almost three hours a day on mobile devices and about three hours a day watching television, according to a 2014 study by digital analytics firm Flurry, giving brands plenty of opportunities to reach customers on screens. How effective those brands are at their advertising campaigns goes beyond slapping a commercial on TV or a website though. Just look at how HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver skewered “discreet cheating website” AshleyMadison.com’s commercial in a 2015 episode, blasting the business for promoting affairs via a cheesy jingle. Along the same lines, a 2012 Reebok ad that told viewers to cheat on their girlfriends, not their workouts, was pulled after backlash, ABC News reported.
Being a likable brand can be the difference between turning a profit and going out of business. Here are tips for increasing positive sentiment for your brand.
Think Like a Psychologist
Don’t just think of your brand as a business that needs to sell products. Think in terms of pain points you’re relieving for your customers, suggests digital marketing agency co-founder Jeremy Ellens on Entrepreneur.com. The strength of emotions in decision-making dates back to the beginning of humanity. While the aforementioned brands who encouraged cheating in relationships were appealing to emotions, they effectively alienated a significant segment in their marketing messages.
To increase feelings of happiness in customers, craft marketing messages that:
- Clearly define the product and the benefits, including what pain point it will alleviate
- Convey positive sentiment via the display of smiles or the inclusion of customer testimonials
- Incorporate feel-good visuals or messages, such as pictures of happy gatherings, cute babies or animals, or copy that is humorous, upbeat and non-offensive
While you want to offer solutions for your customers, don’t demean them or make them feel bad about themselves. In the 2014 ad by Subway, the brand encouraged consumption of the product by women who want to look sexier in Halloween costumes, as reported by media news magazine Adweek; and the 2014 “perfect body” campaign featuring stick-thin models by Victoria’s Secret, as reported by UK newspaper “The Telegraph.” By writing messages and delivering them in an optimistic, cheerful tone your target audience can relate to, you’re adding a joyful emotional layer that makes your brand seem approachable, trustworthy and one people will want to do business with.
Build Genuine Relationships
Another tenet of creating positive brand sentiment is to authentically convey investment in your customers and the people your brand affects. Nonprofits are pros at this, and the ones who transparently show their donors how their assistance is impacting people keep the checks coming in. For example, Make-A-Wish America displays Wish Kid stories on their website and social media outlets that tell narratives of how kids with life-threatening illnesses got to live out their dreams, thanks to supporters of the charity.
One way to make customers more invested in their relationship with you is to solicit feedback from them about your brand, and then put a spotlight on the customer by showcasing their testimonials in a public forum. Your brand can also create loyalty programs that reward customers for repeat business, or create fun activities and engaging content related to your brand that helps keep you at top of mind. Satellite service provider DISH, for instance, has a blog on its website that covers the latest developments in television and technology. Their quiz about media streaming service Netflix is just one piece of content that is full of playfulness, while also reinforcing a brand related to their business.
To build up genuine relationships with your brand’s customers and potential buyers, incorporate these actions into your strategy:
- Talk to potential customers as if they’re friends. Use the word “you” in messaging to create a personal connection
- Create beneficial content and freebies that are interesting and provide value-adds to make customers feel special
- Invest in exemplary customer service, including diligently monitoring social media channels for feedback, adding live chat to your website for easy customer support access, and promptly following up on problems and working to resolve them
- Solicit suggestions and feedback; make customers feel like they’re a valuable part of your brand, too
Relationship building and taking the time to learn about your customers is also vital for creating new products that are appropriate for your audience. It’s crucial to view your brand as a living, breathing, emotional entity with human aspects your audience can relate to. Before creating a message, think about how you’d want to be treated by a friend, then apply it to your brand.