If I asked you what really matters to your brand’s success, you would probably only talk about things that can be explained rationally and measured empirically. Nothing wrong with that, after all that’s the way we think and talk as business people.
However, if I asked you what really matters to you as a human being, I bet you would find yourself talking about things that are hard to explain rationally and virtually impossible to measure. You know, messy things like the need for safety, the desire for connectedness, and the joys of love and beauty.
What really matters to your brand’s success?
This contrast actually points out what really, really matters to your brand’s future success. Your prospects, customers and employees, hungry for meaning in their lives in this time of economic and social uncertainty, are reawakening to their core human needs, desires and joys. Successful brands going forward will develop an ability to connect their offerings and ways of being to these “messy” human domains.
Once a brand creates a meaningful dimension for itself, based on empathy, things start to change for the better. That’s because when people care about a brand, they are more likely to do what benefits that brand. Once a strong emotional bond is created around a rational proposition, people positively change the way they think, feel and act on behalf of brands.
Empathy is the path to a more meaningful future state for your brand.
Empathy is the practice of stepping out of the box that your industry and business works to keep you focused on 24/7. When you are empathetic, you start to see your business and brand through the eyes of the people you serve and employ. You suddenly see what really matters about your brand by seeing what your business does, and how it does it, in light of human needs, desires and joys. By then redefining the way your brand reaches out to people, you start to forge more meaningful connection with the people vital to your brand’s success. And when you treat them this way, they gladly pay you back.
Empathy isn’t easy. It forces you to let go of long-held beliefs, familiar language, and well-entrenched ways of behaving. But at the same time, it opens up new paths for brands that face an uncertain future of competition and commoditization. It give brands a new and powerful way to create appeal, differentiate and sell. It builds stronger bonds with customers, giving them more compelling stories to tell others. It helps employees feel they matter and that the work they do matters.
As babies, we were all naturally sensitive and empathetic to others. As our rational minds took over, and our emotional defenses grew – all within a culture that emphasized “me” over “we” – most of us have lost touch with our innate empathetic power. Outsiders can help inward-focused executives reinvigorate this helpful human trait by promoting the ideas of mindfulness and advocating for the humanity of customers and employees.
Empathy is within you. Let it rise to the surface and help you manage your brand to a brighter future.
Emotive Brand is a brand strategy firm.