Engage by Brian SolisWhat’s engagement and why it’s the key to modern marketing. “What you have not seen you’ll find it where you’ve never been (anonymous African)”. “You cannot travel on a road without being yourself the way (Buddha)”. “Leave the big roads, take the paths (Pythagoras)”. “It is not the way that it’s tough, it’s the tough that is the way (Kierkegaard)”. We could go on forever. There are plenty of enlightening aphorisms about journey.

But the journey that interests us is the customer journey and in particular the way that leads people to talk about a brand (brand love). It’s a strategy that can produce tangible results, or, better, it’s a way to build relationship between brands and individuals.

Often I see brands (large and small or simply individuals) working on social networks in a way that resemble a famous dialogue between Alice and the cat:

  • Alice: Which way should I take?
  • Cat: it depends where you want to go.
  • Alice: But I do not know where to go.
  • Cat: So no matter which way to go!

Although the road is indicated by high-profile cases on large corporations (Lego, Apple, Starbucks, etc.), it is treaded by Italian brand, likes Caffè Carbonelli, Berto Salotti, Centro Ottico Caradonna and many other brands closer to the majority of Italian business.

What they do is starting from inside, from who they are, why they are on the market, what inspires them, what their products or services mean to them and above all what are the stories that fascinate them in their daily work . Stories and content they share, which involve emotionally many individuals, not prospects or leads, people like me, people who remember them for how we felt and which pops up when we have to buy coffee, a sofa, a pair of glasses or thousands of other products we often buy.

None of them talks about their products. They build relationship talking about problems (and pains) we are most familiar with. Thus making us trusting in them, in their competences, in their capacity to understand our problems, problems for which their product could be a solution.

They do not do it as a tactic, they really put the soul in the relationship. Their passion (the focus) is building their personalities and this enables them to look at what we (suspect) see. Stimulate us to the point that every time we look at them we see the sector differently (I cannot enter anymore in an optical shop without thinking about Nico and looking at things in a way I’ve learned in his blog and social media posts).

So like a good shop assistant that do not interrupt my browsing around asking me if I need help (thus being perceived as someone pushy who wants only to sell) each one of them forget about my needs and focus on what I really want. They do it naturally so that marketers like me can write that “branding is related to emotions because people will soon forget what you brand said but they always remember how you made them feel.” Or “The brand is a story. But it’s a story about you, not about the brand”.

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