“Brand loyalty has always been primarily driven by emotion,” says Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff. “More than ever consumers are seeking to connect emotionally with brands that actually stand for something, and to connect with each other too.”
It’s no secret that emotionally connected consumers have greater brand loyalty. An emotional connection to a brand is a strong bond that is completely independent of temporary sales or clever marketing pitches. A consumer has decided to give you their business because they believe in your brand.
It’s almost enough to make you shed a tear.
The best weapon in a brand’s arsenal for creating emotional connections is social media. One of the truly remarkable aspects about social media is its ability to break down walls that once separated the “few” from the “many.” Want to connect with your celebrity idol? Try Twitter. Many celebrities will interact with their followers. Likewise, brands that engage their followers have incredible opportunities to forge bonds with them.
Yet, the power of social media extends beyond mere conversation. By using the vast resources of social media, brands can create a unique experience that draws consumers deep into the brand culture. By doing so, consumers feel like they have intimate access to brands, which creates a strong emotional bond.
Vitrue, a social media agency based in Atlanta, gets this concept. On their YouTube page, Vitrue sits down with Ed Thralls, the social media marketing manager for Vintage Wine Estates, to discuss how the winery uses social media to enhance their stable of brands.
"With social media, everyone has unprecedented access," says Thralls. "That's pretty exciting to a lot of people out there, so one of the things we try to do from the social media perspective is to provide that experience."
Access. No other advertising medium can give consumers the access to brands like social media. Use it to your advantage, and create a social media experience that invites consumers into your world. And, leverage that experience further by creating a strategy that funnels consumers on social media networks towards making whatever action it is you consider valuable.
As emotionally connected consumers, they are more much more primed and ready to do so.