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Brand engagement: are you ready to tie the knot?

December 02 2013 4:39 PM

A personal question I know, but I’ll explain…

Trawling through the web you find so many definitions of ‘brand engagement’. Marketers have certainly spent a lot of time and energy defining it. So I began deliberating what brand engagement means to me and started thinking there are significant parallels in the commitment you make to another individual in your personal life.

A hard word to commit to: “commitment”…
Companies need to commit to their own brands first in order to develop the very important attachment with those they wish to attract, and this attachment has to be created through deep involvement and understanding: the brand must know its audience and the audience has to understand the brand in order to trust it and then commit to it.

So companies should ask themselves if they are ready to ‘tie the knot’ with their customers and would-be customers. Are they prepared to get involved at all levels to reach that key group of people they’ve been after? And more importantly, once reached, are they prepared to stay the course and take them on a long-term journey?

To form this kind of brand attachment companies need to create, over time, the opportunities where customers and would-be customer can see them, hear them, learn about them and understand them and so they develop credibility and belief in their brand.

Don’t start what you can’t finish…
Once a brand has established a good level of engagement with its audience, the hard work really begins as they try to sustain the interest and trust that’s there. Just like a relationship between two people, a long-term view is crucial.

So brand engagement for me is: the long-term commitment of a brand to its audience through ongoing understanding, involvement and nurturing.

Be a good partner and stay relevant…
The content you use in this journey of involvement is also instrumental in building that credibility, but needs to be presented where your audience feels more comfortable to enter into that conversation with you. It also needs to be relevant for whichever stage of the buying process they are in that moment: are they still defining their needs and in an exploratory mood or are they clear on what their goals are but not sure which brand can help achieve them? It needs to be on their terms.

Sharing the right knowledge in the right places is paramount to achieving a successful presence and giving a positive experience. A well-managed brand presence delivered through online communities where individuals come together by choice, can be more credible and earn trust for that brand.

Make it a great experience…
Above all, no matter how great your message may be, it’s how it’s delivered that draws attention and keeps the interest alive. And so it’s key that the brand offers the best experience and that each experience builds on the previous one, giving more value and personalisation than the last one.

So to sum up my thoughts: brand engagement is the long-term commitment of a brand to its audience through ongoing presence, understanding and involvement, achieved through relevant ‘conversation’ delivered in a personal and valuable way.

Get this right and you’ll engage hearts and minds. See any parallels to a successful relationship?

1 Comment

December 04 2013 11:17 AM

Really nice post, Ada. For me, the key to engagement is thinking of it as an outcome not a metric.

October 21 2024 2:22 PM

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