Are we human or are we data?

Full-service brand agency Woods reckons relationships have a lot to teach us about brand strategy.

At its simplest and most powerful, brand strategy is the acknowledgement that you’re in a relationship with your customer, one they can leave if they’re not being satisfied. If customers are looking for a deeper connection, how do businesses move from casual flirtation to lasting love?

From data to dating: it’s a match

If you’ve ever used a dating app, you’ll know how statistics and data are used to help people filter through profiles that meet their selection criteria. It’s enough to arouse interest in a potential connection, but no one ever ran off into the sunset on numbers alone. That’s why smart brand strategies take a more holistic view of data, layering any insight with empathy and human context to enable better decision-making.

Rules of engagement: finding that common ground

If you’re lucky enough to steal your customer’s attention away from all the charming suitors waiting in the wings, it’s time to take the next step. But how do you know what to say? If conversations are the building blocks of relationships, brand strategy is the DNA that shapes your voice, your content and your story.

A good strategy is a rulebook for everything brand-related. It goes beyond logo, font and colours, aligning your business with your customer to understand how they connect and providing guidance for every single interaction between the two. 

It’s not about you: the power of listening

‘Empathy’ might seem like a buzzword, but businesses that truly understand their customers are instantly ahead of the game. Although it’s easier to talk about yourself, better brands ask better questions, then they listen, through customer research, through social channels, through every piece of data they can get their hands on – and they use this information to constantly improve what they offer the relationship.

Going exclusive: can you be their one and only?

We’re all born with a need to connect with others – the deeper connection, the deeper the affection and loyalty. Carefully considering every touchpoint on the customer journey is a surefire way to build a three-dimensional brand that feels more real and alive than any competitor. By showing how much you care about their experience, you’re convincing your customer that there’s no one else quite like you. 

The truth will set you free: grow together, not apart

Relationships evolve just as the people in them do. It’s possible to be on a different page from your customer at times, but it’s important to understand when you’ve messed up and need to apologise – and when to stick to your guns. The best brand strategies enable businesses to be authentic and transparent about their purpose, vision and values, allowing some flex to evolve as long as it doesn’t conflict with these fundamental brand commandments. 

Relationships are never easy, but when you find that special connection, sparks can often be kindled into an everlasting flame. Branding is no different to the relationships we develop throughout our lives – the more we put in, the more we get out. 

Woods Agency specialises in connecting real people to real brands. For more, email [email protected], call (07) 575 5588 or visit woodsagency.nz

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