Branding Is Like Dating. Can You Turn Your Fling into True Love?

    By Alise Robinson | Small Business

    Branding Is Like Dating. Can You Turn Your Fling into True Love? image dating content marketing 625x446dating content marketing

    Listen, I am a romantic and I believe love at first sight can happen. And when it does, fireworks go off! But more often than not building a lasting relationship takes time. Trust, honesty and respect are all required. Toss in the aspiration to live a similar lifestyle and you might just find yourself committed.

    The courting we do as brand marketers with our audience is similar and the requirements are very much the same. People fall in love with brands they trust.

    Branding is about making an emotional connection — like the pure happiness you feel when you take your first sip of a tall, decaf, skinny, two pump vanilla latte from Starbucks. It might even be your favorite part of the day. Somehow, it is always what you need and lives up to your expectation every time.

    Stay True to Your Story

    As branding and society evolves, now more than ever, the principles of content marketing are replacing many old, traditional marketing theories. Today, building a strong connection with your audience is extremely important. Don’t be afraid to share information. Tell your story. It is one of the most underrated skills in business.

    If you provide your audience with engaging experiences and content that resonates on a deep level, their loyalty will increase. Continue to stay true to what grabbed their attention in the first place and build upon those engagements with content marketing strategies.

    Content marketing is a way to share valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. Have you ever noticed Starbucks’ on-going commitment to raise awareness for social global responsibility? Their website is full of generous amounts of free information on how to minimize our environmental footprint.

    So, what brand does ALL this best? You guessed it, Starbucks.

    While offering high-quality whole bean coffee is the essence of what they do, it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of their story. Starbucks’ coffeehouses are the beacon for coffee lovers everywhere. You can count on genuine service, an inviting atmosphere and as they put it, “a superb cup of expertly roasted and richly brewed coffee every time.”

    Starbucks also prides itself on being a neighborhood gathering place and couldn’t be happier about it. How many times have you stopped by with a friend, a colleague or with just a good book, and spent an hour having your favorite Starbucks drink?

    Love Among the Lattes

    Their passion and desire to connect their brand with their customers is clearly a priority and shines through in their marketing and content initiatives. And for that reason, no one implements a social media strategy quite like them.

    For the second year in a row, according to a study done by advertising research firm, PhaseOne, Starbucks ranked number one in social media.

    Talk about building a relationship with your audience!

    Here are two more examples of how Starbucks stands out from the crowd:

    1. Starbucks created one of the most successful online/offline campaigns by placing posters in major cities across the country. People were then challenged to be the first to find and tweet pictures of the posters and submit headlines for future ads. They also invited employees to participate. A testament to their positive company culture and insight on the importance of turning employees into brand champions.

    2. Starbucks’ Facebook page has more than 34 million likes and engages their audience by speaking to their coffee preferences and personal stories. By incorporating the “idealized self” concept, (how people see themselves and what is important to them, based on their needs and desires,) Starbucks successfully “taps into individualized experiences that appeal to their unique preferences,” states PhaseOne. This strategy is then cohesively integrated to all online and social media engagements.

    With 34 million Facebook fans and over 3.5 million followers on Twitter, the proof is in the pudding — I mean latte. Come on, if that’s not love what is?

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