If a brand has depth, it means the brand can connect to the human psyche on multiple levels. It’s a more meaningful, complex relationship. Depth isn’t established instantly. It takes time and strategy. Companies can create this depth in stages using a variety of tactics from a variety of angles.
Here are three examples of tactics that will immerse customers into the brand and create a depth that keeps them coming back to your company:
1. The Airbnb Example
Airbnb’s new logo wasn’t received with great fanfare. However, as Entrepreneur noted in a recent article, what Airbnb did during the logo reveal was noteworthy. It began with a live webcast that drew viewers into an in-depth experience with the brand:
…the company walked viewers through the redesign strategy, outlining the brand’s many facets, identifying core values and objectives and reinforcing the dedication to an honest user experience. While the intention of the webcast was to reveal the new logo, those 45 minutes became a deeper experience, forging a sense of community, home and culture.
Airbnb continues to build out its brand in a deep and emotive way, updating security measures with full transparency and regularly communicating with customers through curated offerings and multifaceted messaging.
Like any relationship, if you invest plenty of detailed, dedicated one-on-one time with a person, you will create depth in that relationship. Airbnb poured plenty of time and effort into these customer experiences, and it paid off.
2. The Power of Human Attributes
According to Merriam-Webster, to anthropomorphize something means, “to attribute human form or personality to things not human.” Humans have a strong in-born desire to anthropomorphize things. It’s not a coincidence that many of the most successful movies and books in modern history involve non-human things acting quite human (i.e. the many talking animal Disney movies, the talking vehicles in Pixar’s “Cars,” the “Transformers” movie series — even classic books like Beatrix Potter or “The Chronicles of Narnia” with their anthropomorphized animals.)
Brands have used this desire to great effect. Studies have shown, such as the fMRI studies by Daimler-Chrysler’s research centre (as noted in the book The Science of Branding by Mark Prus) that the “faces” of certain cars, like the smiling VW Beetle or the Mini Cooper or the intimidating, growling face of the Dodge Avenger, cause emotional reactions in people.
As Prus notes, you can name your product, design your logo, or craft certain customer encounters with your brand “in a way that facilitates your target customer’s desire to anthropomorphize it.” When you embed human attributes into your product or service, it does two things: 1) It makes your brand memorable; and 2) it can invoke an emotional response that builds a deeper connection between your brand and your customers.
3. Find Ways to Include the Concept of Love
Behavioural psychologists have discovered that just the simple concept of love, and permutations of it (i.e. words that may not include “love” but are related, like “helping” or “caring,” etc.), have profound effects on people.
French researchers Jacques Fischer-Lokou, Lubomir Lamy, and Nicolas Gueguen conducted an experiment, and they published their results in the article called “Induced cognitions of love and helpfulness to lost persons,” published in Social Behaviour and Personality in 2009. In their study they interacted with people walking by themselves on a street filled with shops. On one end of the street, a researcher asked them to complete a survey that asked the person to remember one incident of love in their lives. Other pedestrians were asked to recall a memory of music. Further down the street, another researcher, in disguise as someone lost, asked directions from the person just surveyed. The people who were asked about an episode of love in their lives were statistically more helpful in giving directions.
It’s no coincidence that many brands include the concept of love wherever possible. Using words or symbols related to love inspire more positive interactions with your brand and customers. For example, in another study done by the same researchers, when a charity changed their sign to “donation = helping,” they received 14% more in donations. They also found that diners that used heart-shaped boxes for tipping jars had 17% more in tips than a normal round-shaped jar. As Prus wrote: “[Love] is scientifically proven to be a universal truth that can be leveraged in branding and marketing.”
Contact us at McAllister Marketing for more helpful tips on branding that will bring meaningful growth to your company.