13 little ways to grow brand love today
In this post, I explain how little gestures can help you build brand loyalty and a connection with your customers and clients – and also give you a few ideas!
I have a confession to make. My husband Chris is way better at showing appreciation than I am. He does little things frequently and quietly behind the scenes, on a regular basis, to let me know he cares. When I have a crummy day, he comes home with takeout from my favorite Chinese food place. When I show interest in something in July, six months later it’s Christmas morning, and I’m unwrapping it in our living room.
What a guy, right? I think I’ll keep him.
How do I show affection and appreciation? Well...usually I wait for him to tell me about some problem he’s facing, and then I stampede in to tell him everything he needs to do to fix it. I fixate on big challenges – things I honestly don’t have much control over – and forget about the little things I can do today to make his life happier.
I blame it on my years as a project manager (I’ve been brainwashed to think I can solve every problem)! But I’m trying to retrain myself to take a more measured approach, and instead look for little opportunities to help and show I care.
You can’t always solve every problem, but you can do little things to help and show that you care
In many ways, building a business is the same story!
We can’t solve every problem for our ideal customers, but we can show that we care – and build loyalty and brand love in the process – through small, simple gestures that brighten their day and make things a little bit better.
put it into perspective
Marketing pros will tell you that the three essentials for building brand love (or any type of love) are chemistry, compatibility, and needs fulfillment. When you surprise your audience or customers with a little emotional pick-me-up, you’re meeting an emotional need or desire they may not even have known they had.
Little gestures aren’t the only ingredients for building brand love, but they do add up!
brainstorm for your situation
Large audience: The “little things” technique works well even if you don’t have a lot of facetime with individual followers and customers. You may focus on things you can do for everyone at once – here are a few ideas:
Video greeting of encouragement
Surprise downloadable freebie
Motivating song recommendation
Presentations / networking events: If you’re prepping for a big presentation or event, you might think about the mental space people will be occupying and how you can interrupt it with something delightful and fun:
Sweet treats – hand out to audience members when they ask a question
Release a bundle of balloons at the right moment (check with the venue first!)
Networking tips or conversation starters
Individual clients: If you work with individual clients, you can surprise them with something thoughtful that is tailor-made for them. I know a life coach who builds a specific music playlist for each client, and listens to it when she’s handling their case or prepping for a call. Until recently the playlists were just for her; then she decided to share them with each client as a sweet gesture and to help them get inspired about their goals, too! Here are a few ideas:
Favorite coffee beverage
List of book recommendations
Private note of encouragement before a big event
Introductory meetings with new clients: It’s your very first impression, and to be honest, if you’re a little nervous, having a little surprise up your sleeve can give you some confidence that things will start out on the right foot. Final wrap-up meetings are also a great time to deliver a little surprise as a thank you!
Printed list of ideas/suggestions that can help the client move forward
Local vendor recommendation sheet with contact info
Parting gifts (e.g., if you’re a photographer, print your favorite images from your client’s photo shoot as a small gift at the project closing)
keep it simple
I’m not suggesting that you sink lots of money into buying gifts for everyone! Not only does that get expensive, it can seem like you're trying to curry favor, and puts a lot of pressure on your client. The whole point is to give them a delightful surprise, not to indebt anyone to you. A thoughtful audio message of encouragement for a client only takes a few minutes but it can really brighten their day. Think of things that are small enough to do with just a little time, on a fairly frequent basis, to show that you care. Keep it simple!
pain points and delight points
You can think about your ideal customer’s pain points – problems they face throughout the day. I like to focus more on “delight points” – it’s more fun for me, and it shifts my attention to brightening their day and making their world a little bit better. I think about things I love to get from friends: a styled quote that gives me a little extra boost, a video message of encouragement, a funny cartoon that makes me laugh, and so on. You get the idea? It’s the little things!
curate a list over time
For now, start by picking one thing you can do this week! In the long run, you want to cultivate and curate a bunch of ideas. Keep a list out where you can see it, and add to it as new ideas occur to you (this is one of my favorite brainstorming techniques, by the way!). Then, when you have a few extra minutes here or there, you can take out your list and find the right little gesture for today.
What little ways can you use to let your followers and customers know you care?