Building Brand Admiration in Customers

“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” – Seth Godin

The quote above states lucidly what building brand admiration is all about and why companies must focus on this activity. With so many brands and companies mushrooming all around, it creating admiration for one’s brand has become even more critical. Brands that are admired are so because they offer exactly what customers may want and need, make customers feel valued and important, ensure people connect emotionally with it, and do so in a consistently interesting and engaging manner. In offering all these aspects to customers, a brand would build, strengthen, and sustain admiration and respect for itself, which would be hard to beat.

Building brand admiration is all about ‘getting under the skin’ of the general public, staying in their minds, and ensuring that they associate happy times, experiences, and memories with the company. Building brand admiration is no mean task – it takes time, genuine desire, sustained effort, and investment of resources. However, admired brands gain the love, respect, and trust of customers because they feel emotionally and personally connected with the brand. It would become the first thing they would think of when they seek to buy an offering that the company produces. Brand admiration will get the happy customers talking enthusiastically about the brand, and they would become less sensitive to the price – thereby willing to pay a little more for their ‘favourite’ brand. The best part of building brand admiration is that customers become more forgiving, and tend to want to remain with the brand forever. The good news – any brand can attain such admiration, provided it is willing to invest time and energy in doing so.

Building brand admiration is a process. Hence, it would happen in stages and companies could have it varying measures, but the goal for any company would be to become as admired as would be possible, improving on the level of admiration each day. We know that companies cannot compete on products and pricing any longer, which therefore means that they must do other things in order to stand out from the crowd. Becoming the most highly admired brand requires patience, resilience, and tenacity.  The value of a brand will increase by becoming highly admired, not just for customers but also for employees, investors, and other stakeholders. A respected brand becomes a leader and authority in the market, raising its brand equity and influence – such a brand would naturally then earn more revenue, increase its profit margins, and continue to have opportunities to grow and become larger.

Is not building brand admiration then, worth every effort and investment?

  • Foremost, it helps build authority, credibility, and sway, which means that people would be more likely to follow and pay attention to the brand. Some companies stand out conspicuously simply because of what they have created for themselves – people listen and instantly buy any new products or services from the brand, and encourage others to do so too. When such brands ‘speak’, their customers and others in the market pay heed – such is the power of brand admiration.
  • We know that customers are extremely demanding, and are short on patience – meaning that they are unlikely to forgive errors and service lapses of companies. This is where brand admiration scores – customers are more forgiving and ignore mistakes, simply because they are certain that their ‘revered’ brand would make amends instantly and ensure that their customers never need to worry about the same thing again. Such brands, even though may face challenges and controversies, would always come out unscathed since they have customer support and respect.
  • As mentioned, admiration and respect is not limited to the customer base of companies. They are also able to attract the best and brightest talent in the market, have investors lining up; vendors and suppliers offer heavy discounts and great prices – all to ensure that they are associated with an admired brand. It is natural – since the brand would be respected and popular, all those associated with it would also get a juicy ‘piece of the pie’. Through brand admiration, a company adds power to itself, which means that it can be extremely selective and can get what they want with little or no effort. There may not be as many companies that have this respect, but the ones that do – shine and inspire.

All these factors ultimately, add substantial ‘weight’ and have a tangible effect on the company and its profits. As mentioned, there is no ‘secret sauce or recipe’ for building brand admiration – every company has the ability to achieve it. It may not be an overnight or easy task but through sustained efforts and focused dedication, brand admiration does become a reality. Research has backed this through years of studying customers and researchers have concluded that gaining respect and awe for your brand is possible. The basic premise is that a company must consistently be able to make their customers lives easier, solve their problems, keep costs low for them, and most importantly make them feel good about themselves. In addition, such brands treat their employees well and ensure that all those who associate with them are always treated with empathy and care. Such brands become strong internally first – which in turn allows them to spread care and respect to external ‘associates’, which further strengthens them and leads to admiration and respect.

Building brand admiration is a process. It starts with a company creating a strong and robust culture that conveys empathy, and the culture would stand out in everything it does. The company’s mission, vision, and value statements all would reflect care, and the brand would be willing to invest a substantial amount of resources to ensure that their brand’s ideologies are clearly and amply visible. This is what would help a brand stand out and above its competitors, and get customers talking well about it. The employees too would serve as brand ambassadors, showing respect and concern for their company. They would be more likely to refer the company to others – be it for job roles or other types of ‘partnerships’. Brand admiration comes when the brand is able to, consistently, enrich, and touch the lives of with whomever it associates. People feel good, not just emotionally but socially too – with social media forming a large part of lives now, social recognition has become a-must have. Strong and respected brands are able to make their customers and all their ‘partners’ look good and important.

A company that is able to build brand respect would see a high ROI from every ‘quarter’. With the right systems, focus, promotional and marketing activities, and proper utilization of resources, any brand can become a respected and admired one. We reiterate though – this is not a given or an uncomplicated task. Serious efforts are required such that all the ‘investment’ made in building brand admiration bear fruits, and become worthwhile – that is resulting in a brand becoming truly respected, admired, and feared by competitors. Each person in the company would need to work cohesively, such that people would be able to ‘see’ and feel the brand’s essence through every interaction.

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