The future of marketing success lies in love, not loyalty, emotion not engagement and in share of heart not share of wallet. The greatest connection your brand can have with your customers is one of love. American brands are bottom of the list when it comes to being an irreplaceable part of their customer’s lives. According to Havas Media 2015 global index of brand meaningfulness, only 5% of American brands would be missed if they disappeared tomorrow, compared with 60% of Asian brands.
Increased competition among brands, the commoditization of products and services and lack of connection with consumers all contribute to this disparity. From our point of view, “lack of connection” with consumers is the single biggest opportunity for brands to find and maintain valuable Heartspace.
We can define Heartspace as a deeper connection we have created and enjoy with our customers. There is emotion far beyond the transaction and a passion more normally reserved for our relationships. It allows for forgiveness when we make mistakes, means we are preferred over cheaper or even more convenient options and customers who are advocates and vociferous defenders of the brand and its products.
Brands that successfully create Heartspace stand for something and against something else. They have a point of view and a set of values that supports this view. Their purpose is always greater than their products or services and it’s easy for customers to evaluate whether this is a company that aligns with their own purpose and values.
Apple creates Heartspace by providing more and more avenues for self expression, Southwest creates Heartspace by putting the love into travel, Jeni’s Ice Creams creates Heartspace with their transparency and purpose and their customers write them love notes to show how much they care. Each of these brands is more profitable because of the place they hold in the hearts of their customers. Should these brands disappear tomorrow, a large heart shaped hole would exist in the lives of their customers.
The goal is not for everyone to love you. The goal is for you to find customers that align with your values and love you because of them. You’ve got a point of view and they share it. You live it through every interaction and action, you use your values to guide you, not the next big revenue opportunity.
Do you create Heartspace? Do you lead with love or strive for sales? Are you dispensable or demanded? Win the heart and you win the mind, the wallet will follow.
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Barry Chandler is the co-founder of Storyforge, a brand strategy company focused on helping companies discover their purpose to allow them achieve their vision, build preference and drive margin. Barry has been building award winning businesses since launching his first company in Ireland in 2003. His last company, a digital marketing agency, was acquired in 2012 by a California based publicly traded entertainment company which then hired him as Chief Marketing Officer. It is his belief that the greatest brands seek to change the world, improving the lives of their associates, partners and customers.