Engagements That Truly Engage (Part 1)

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Engagements That Truly Engage (Part 1)

Towards the end of last year, I sat down and I tried to reassess all the efforts I had put into my business, then it slowly hit me, asides ensuring that my store was always stocked, I realized that I hadn’t taken proactive steps into successfully engaging my customers.

To build a brand successfully you need to do a lot more than keeping your aisle filled with products your customers want to buy, you need to build brand engagement. You need to give consumers a reason to want to take time out of their busy days to engage with your brand. Ultimately, you want them to engage with your brand again and again — and tell their friends and family to engage with your brand, too. That means you have to answer to two key questions before you can build your brand: what do consumers want that my brand can deliver which will jump start engagement and how can I motivate consumers to engage with my brand?

Over the next few weeks I will share with you my secret to Engagements that truly engage. you’ll learn how to build brand engagement, but first, you need to fully understand what brand engagement is. To clear up confusion around the term “brand engagement,” let’s first take a look at the definition of engage.

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According to the Collins English Dictionary, engage means:

• To involve (a person or his attention) intensely; engross; occupy

• To draw (somebody) into conversation

• To take part; participate

• To promise (to do something)

All of the above definitions of engage can be applied to the concept of brand engagement where your goal is focused on four main areas related to overall brand-building:

PERCEPTION Involve consumers and their attention intensely with your brand so it occupies their time and a place in their minds.

COMMUNICATION Draw consumers into a two-way (or more) conversation related directly or indirectly to your brand.

EXPERIENCE Motivate consumers to be part of or participate in brand experiences.

PROMISE Reinforce the brand promise to consumers.

Brand engagement is the process of providing branded communications and experiences that add value to consumers’ lives and foster relationships between brands and consumers. In other words, every consumer touch point with the brand should reaffirm the brand promise and whenever possible, open the doors to establish a long-term relationship this extends beyond a single purchase. (get it now)?

Now let’s have a mini brain teaser. Think about who your close friends are.  Hold that thought. Think about the people you like, think about your favorite restaurant. For me my favorite place to Chill is Bheerhugz Café, asides from their tasty chicken wings, Bheerhugz makes me feel at home, from the warm friendly smiles to the beautiful waitress who knows my name and doesn’t hesitate to ask me how my day was.  The same Logic applies to any and every business. Consumers interact with brands similarly to how they interact with other people. Just as a person is unlikely to engage with a stranger standing next to them who offers no “opening” to strike up a conversation and doesn’t add value to the experience of being in the same place at the same time, they’re unlikely to engage with brands that don’t open the doors to conversation and add value to experiences that provide an opportunity for engagement. In simplest terms, don’t be stand-offish. Instead, welcome conversation but be prepared to do the heavy lifting to get the conversation started and keep it going. If you don’t continually offer interesting content that adds value, your relationships with consumers will be short-lived.

Do you see a pattern now?

The very first step in our sequence is INTERNAL BRAND BUILDING

Keep in mind, brand engagement doesn’t just apply to consumers and external audiences. Internal brand engagement is equally important for brand building. If your employees don’t believe in your brand and aren’t motivated to engage with it, then why should consumers?

Internal brand building and generating employee brand engagement at every level should be ongoing and consistent. Remember that pretty lady at Bheerhugz. when she tells me about the specials for the day, she owns the business, When I ask her about a meal on the menu she doesn’t say “its nice” the standard response of most other waiters, in her service you can clear see passion and ownership towards the business.

This is not to say that your sales are destined for failure if your brand engagement efforts are lackluster. However, brands that learn how to engage customers are far better positioned for long-term success. That’s because brand engagement leads to loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing that money can’t buy. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Engagements that truly engage series to learn specific steps for building brand engagement.

Questions?

Please feel free to reach me any time on nneoma@loyaltysolutionsnigeria.com or drop your comments under this blog post.

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