Connect
Description:
In this issue we explore how brands make connections and build relationships in the crowded, noisy, competitive digital space. We promise there are very few pick-up line puns.

Connect

Fall 2011

Hostess with the Mostest

by: Alan Gilleo
How do brands build a sustained relationship with their consumer, one that keeps the consumer coming back year after year? By connecting with them.

Finding a connection with a consumer can be as simple as hosting a dinner party; act with kindness and hospitality and your guests will want to return. Forget your manners, and your bad behavior will be the subject of stories told at someone else’s dinner party.

Businesses like Zappos.com and Patagonia know how to host a party; their customers come back again and again and sing their praises loudly. Their websites are user-friendly, service is speedy, employees are helpful and happy, and the products are of good quality. Consumers want to feel they are valued — and they will return to what they know is good.

Even though good manners and delicious fare are key for any good hostess who wants returning guests, consumers also need to feel good about purchasing a product. For their dessert course, Patagonia is part of 1% For The Planet and supports numerous other environmental efforts. Zappos.com has a series of “Family Blogs” — including one written by the CEO — displaying just how happy and caring the employees are. Consumers will be more willing to spend their hard earned money, knowing they are supporting philanthropy and good business practices. Their shopping experiences leave the consumer with a warm and fuzzy glow and wanting more. Consumers feel like their choice of brand is more than just a purchase; it is helping make a difference.

Connecting to the consumer is the best way to ensure a continued relationship. So invite your consumer in and show them a good time. Just remember to mind your manners.