by Bill Pemberton, Chief Strategy Officer
When your prospect looks “across the room” and first notices your brand, amid all the others, there’s got be something that whispers, “come dance with me.” Call it a brand promise, or a value proposition, but it has to tug at both the mind and heartstrings in a way that resonates with an expectation of a uniquely gratifying experience. That brand aura reflects the time and attention you put into crafting an alluring persona, one that moves your prospect across the floor—with a desire to give it a whirl. Without that singular allure, there’s no chance to dance.
Ideally your agreement to engage with your dance partner is smooth and intuitive—with no awkward disconnects at the very beginning. Once on the floor, the key then becomes to maintain—or better yet, to increase—that brand attraction over the course of the “touchpoints” that ensue. Nothing could be more awkward than a spirited spin that leaves your partner confused and feeling off balance. Or clumsy miss-steps that leave their toes bruised.
As you progress through this dance of the Customer Journey, it’s vital that there be an exchange of cues on how the dance should unfold; clear direction on timing on next set of moves. The sum of those interactions defines your dance partners overall customer experience (CX). As long as there are no disconnects from your original impression, chances are good that your dance will come to a successful completion. That’s when the romance can begin with your newly acquired and enthusiastic partner— called a Resident.
As that relationship deepens over time, it becomes a mutually fruitful experience that may continue for many years. But the key will be your commitment to keep your brand on target, and continually evolving, to anticipate partner needs and expectations. This will result in a richer and more multi-layered experience over time, creating—you guessed it—brand loyalty.
Yet, why do so many such partnerships end in separation or divorce? The Brand stops caring about the resident experience. Your partner feels taken for granted and underappreciated. Nothing can substitute for an authentic and partner-centric brand. While it may cease to seem totally new, your brand must offer unstinting dedication to remaining fresh. That takes effort and some expense. But it’s never as expensive to keep a partner as it is to acquire a new one.
While the metaphors may seem a bit simple, relationship dynamics between humans always live or die by the same basic set of principles. Without a very positive first impression, and equally positive experiences to confirm that impression—a relationship is never born. Without a knowledge-driven investment each day, relationships cannot thrive—even if they survive.
The moral of this essay on “romancing your brand” is this: never see your marketing and customer service as a series of impersonal commercial exercises. Always see them as an extension—a very personal expression—of the brand your senior Resident married for life. The honeymoon may not last forever but the glow can go on forever. Mazel Tov!