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Classics: Building Brand-Love: How to Get More People to Choose You: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Jun 27, 2023

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we’re talking building brand-love. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: Classics: Building Brand-Love: How to Get More People to Choose You

Why is Brand-Love important? Because 90% of decisions are made from the heart. As consumers, we are constantly inundated, which means setting your business apart from the competition requires you to emotionally connect to your consumers. After learning the tools we discuss in this episode, check out Anne’s book The Super-Highway of Relevancy: Getting More People to Choose Your Brand, More Often, Indefinitely (available on Amazon here) for a deeper dive! This episode covers everything from brand-love to being relevant. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you build brand-love?
  • Does brand-love work for B2B brands?
  • What are the biggest mistakes people make in trying to form brand-love connections?
  • How do brand-love vehicles work?
  • What is the “What-if” ideation process?
  • Why should you consider what your competition sells?
  • How do you identify the emotional impact you make?
  • What role do logos and iconography play in brand-love?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

  • Classics: Building Brand-Love: How to Get More People to Choose You
    • [0:00] Welcome to Marketing Smarts
    • [0:14] Anne Candido, April Martini
    • [0:17] How do you build brand-love?
    • [2:02] Consider what you sell vs. what your competition sells
    • [3:32] Nike, Disney, Chick-fil-A
    • [7:29] Identify the emotional impact you intend to have on your client/consumer/customer
    • [12:47] Define the proof points your client/consumer/customer needs to believe you and integrate them across your branding
    • [14:37] Iconography
    • [17:35] Determine how you will best reach your client/consumer/customer to create an emotional connection
    • [20:31] Recap: How do you build brand-love?
    • [21:16] Do you want to stand out in your industry and get more sales? Show you’re different to attract and retain top talent? Build a brand that drives real business results? Grab your Brand Strategy Workbook at:
    • “In the Trenches”
    • [22:30] I can see how you would build Brand-Love for products, but how does it work for B2B (Business-to-Business)?
    • [27:47] What are the biggest mistakes you see people make in trying to form Brand-Love connections?
    • [33:52] Can you give a more specific example of a “Brand-Love” Vehicle?
    • [35:12] Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand
    • [40:25] Can you say more about the “What-if…” Ideation process?
    • Marketing Smarts Moments

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. Welcome to Marketing Smarts! I am Anne Candido, and I am April Martini. And today’s another Marketing Smarts Greatest Hits, building brand-love: how to get more people to choose you more often. Building brand-love should be the objective of any business because achieving the status means you have successfully captured the hearts and minds of your target consumer, customer or client. And when you do this, you could command higher prices attract even more consumers, customers and clients and scale more quickly. I mean, who doesn’t want that. So enjoy this episode and let’s make some love. And if you’re craving more after this episode, you can get my book which dives into brand-love and a lot more detail. The book’s called The Super-Highway of Relevancy: Getting More People to Choose Your Brand, More Often, Indefinitely and it’s on Amazon. mouthful. It’s good title. I like it. Yeah, thank you.

April Martini 0:59
So first, let’s define brand-love really specifically, number one 90% of decisions are made from the heart. In the world we’re in of saturated consumerism, you have to hardwire your brand to your customer in ways that they’re not expecting, but that are very authentic. So in other words, you have to trigger in a rational affinity for it, in order to differentiate and rise above the noise of the competition, and what can honestly be worse, which is pure complacency. And in doing so you drive exponential brand growth, which means ensuring that your product hitches a ride on to your consumers, hearts and souls as well as their minds. So it’s not just about the logical choice, it says if they just can’t help but choose it at this point. And when you get to these really strong emotional connections, that is what we mean when we say brand-love. Absolutely.

Anne Candido 1:54
And make sure you’re hanging around to the end because I’m going to tell you how to get free access to one of the tools we talked about in this episode. Okay, so let’s jump into how building brand love can get more people to choose your business. First, you need to consider what you sell versus what your competition sells. So I want you guys all to do this exercise for me. And if you’re worse, someplace where you can write something down, write down if not just think about it. But I want you to think about your business or what business you’re in, or what business you sell. However, you’ve framework your business. And I want you to think about what it sells. All right. Now think about your competition. And think about what they sell. Is it the same thing? Danger? If it is? Yes. And most people would say, Yeah, and it’s kind of a little bit of a ha moment for people. Because a lot of people frame this question in what they actually do. Right? So it’s, I sell fantastic food that people enjoy. I sell clothes that people feel good. And I sell top rated expertise and insert the field. It’s very common vernacular when somebody says, What do you sell. But really what this is, is it’s the product that you sell is the thing that you put the price tag on. But it’s not actually the whole full potential of what you could sell in order to actually drive more value for your business. So this is what I mean. Let’s take a few brands here for an example. So Nike, and we’re going to use a big brands, a lot of big brands in this case, not because this is big brand stuff, but just because it’s easy for you to guys to go find this research this, look this up, because I want this to really resonate. Okay. So, like I was saying Nike, if you would ask Nike what they sell. You know, in the purest form, they would say shoes and apparel, right? Disney sells entertainment. Chick fil A sells a chicken sandwich. And if these brands just stayed at this commodity level, they would have a ton of competition, because there’s a gazillion people that sell shoes. There’s a gazillion people are selling her to but there’s a gazillion people that sell chicken sandwiches, right? And what to commodities compete on, they compete on price. So we don’t want to stay there. And these brands realize if they stayed there, then they were going to be constantly at a struggle to be able to drive, the only value that could drive which is based on the lowest price. But instead when I say the brands like Nike, Disney, Chick-fil-A, they evoke a different feeling right? They have a deeper, more meaningful connection with their consumers because they have been able to develop an emotional connection that supersedes and transcends that basic product that they deliver. And this is that emotional connection. And that defines those brands and that’s actually what they sell. Now, the great thing about this is when you can really harness this and you can really identify what this is you’re able to scale faster, you’re able to will build more consumers more quickly, you’re able to command higher prices because you’re creating more value. So for example, again, we’ll go back to Nike Nikes. Just do it, it’s more than just a tagline. It is actually a lifestyle. All right, other places can try and claim to be the most magical place on earth and air quotes. But what is the first place you think of when you I say that, and there must be absolutely something in the chicken sandwich because I personally mom gluten free too. But my daughter loves I’m like, I don’t understand the irrational like cult-like following for Chick-fil-A. But there is something there that creates this affinity that people will come from, like everywhere in order to have this tick chicken sandwich. So these brands have been able to transcend that basic product benefit, that commodity pays product benefit, and are able to drive differentiation based on an emotional factor that they authentically and solely own.

April Martini 5:54
Yes, and a couple of things that I just want to add here. So for one thing, one of the exercises we always talk about that I think can be really helpful in visualizing what it looks like, if you are a commodity is if you can cover up your logo, and anyone could put their logo there and your place, whether it’s on a package, a website, a billboard, all of those different types of things, you are a commodity. However, on the other side, I would imagine that pretty much all of you listening, when an ran through Nike’s “Just do it” or “The most magical place on Earth,” or the feeling you have when you’re going to Chick-fil-A for that chicken sandwich, right? All of us in our minds just naturally envision some experience we have had. And we go to our happy place, I would say in a lot of cases associated with those brands. So it is that very surface level kind of stagnant feel of being able to, you know, cover up that logo and put anybody else’s there versus the emotions that just come up when we speak to these brands, which again, to Anne’s point is why we’re speaking to big brands today, versus using less known ones.

Anne Candido 7:04
Yeah, and I think that’s a really good point. And I love the exercise of putting your hand over your name and trying to put any competition there and see if it still makes sense because it really brings the light very clearly if you have a differentiation problem. And if you have a differentiation problem, there’s no way you can develop brown love. And that is the very, very first step in order to be able to build brand love is to recognize that. Now the next thing is you need to identify the emotional impact you tend to have on your client consumer customer April, I’ll let you take this one.

April Martini 7:37
Yep, I’m always the one to talk about the emotional connections. Yep. Anyway, soft. If which is not me, which is funny, but in any case, different timing. So and book does go through in detail a little plug here, the eight step process called the what if ideation. And so this will allow you to pretty clearly and concisely and effectively step through how to get to this intended impact. But in this episode, we’re going to summarize initial steps to kind of help you start to think through in the right way and hopefully uncover an emotional connection that you can uniquely oh, maybe not all the way there, go to that process, get the book if you want to do the whole exercise, but we’ll start here today. So where are you start is with understanding, of course, who is your client, consumer customer, and what is the tension point or angst that they are feeling and the emotional impact they’re having as a result of that, that is where you can insert yourself and connect with them. That is where you sell the solution for them. That is where you become the hero, so to speak, and have the ability to elevate the connection with them to not just a commodity, again, not just a solution of a thing, but the actual intended brand love on that higher level. So let’s think about some of these examples again, right? So with this one, I’ll use Nike, Nike, once, once every single person to feel empowered to become an athlete. It doesn’t matter your body, your gender, your size, your experience level, your agility, your ability, any of those types of things. They know that the moment of anxiety starts, when physical activity comes into play, and especially if you’re not the most season conditioned athlete in the world. So if they really want to take that hyper athlete feeling and distill it to the masses, they have to build energy and excitement through the brand that helps the consumers get over that angst to get over that hump and not be thinking about things while on a scale from everywhere. I’m not the next, you know, Michael Phelps or whoever but I want to swim or I’m so out of shape that I can’t imagine putting this on and getting out there right so their address Sing that entire spectrum. And they do it so well, because they pump people up, right? When you think about the advertising, when you think about those huge visual images of the athletes that are larger than life, when you feel the energy, when you go in their stores, when you see the swoosh itself, right, all of that builds that energy in the proper way to get people motivated, no matter who they are, to go and live that lifestyle on whatever terms makes sense for them, but to be part of the Nike brand, and be proud of it. On the other side, I’ll use us as an example. So for three people, we know that small and midsize brands don’t have the time, money or talent, or in some cases, all three to activate high quality marketing campaigns. And so our infrastructure is very, very on demand as a result of that. And what we do is bring top talent and experience in any or all of those areas. So you’re not sacrificing time for money or money for time, or talent or any of those things, you get all of it in this package where we come in and help you wherever you are in your lifecycle, or wherever you’re having challenges or even we offer to do things like train new team members to be able to do it themselves. So we’re really addressing that, Oh, I love to do marketing, but fill in the blank moment. I don’t have the time. I don’t have anyone on the team that can do it. I don’t have the money, whatever it is, and we solve that problem for you.

Anne Candido 11:27
Yep. And I would say in that moment, we saw marketing savvy, that’s what we’re talking about. Right on? Yeah. And I think that’s a really important distinguishing factor, because a lot of people would say, we sell the marketing deliverable. Yeah. So we sell social strategy, we sell a TV ad we sell, you know, that’s what they sell. What we want to sell is in helping our teams be able to feel smarter about their marketing, feel more competent, and confident in their marketing, and if so desiring, feel good enough to be able to do some of that on their own. Like that was one of the big things that we decided to bring in Clifton to differentiate us from other agencies is that we weren’t going to hold back that expertise in order to create a need for us that, you know, to, they can’t live without us. So that we would constantly have like work that’s coming from them, we wanted them to feel empowered. And and so doing that has helped us actually continue to even keep those clients going forward. Because they trust us, they know we’re going to give them really good work, they know we’re going to be very transparent, and how much the work costs. And that is exactly what they need when they need it. So I think those both examples are really, really good at giving an example of both on a product side, but also on a client side, server side and a service side, like how this comes to life. Right. So yeah, perfect examples. So the third point of how to get more people to choose you by building brand love is to define the proof points, your client, consumer customer needs to believe you and integrate them across your branding. Alright, so now that you have uncovered the emotional connection, or maybe you’re on your way, and you have some like little thoughts, and you need to think about some more, but just totally fine, you need to determine what proof points you need in order to get your consumer, your client, your customer to actually believe you. So a lot of people will just put it out there and declare it. And that is absolutely the first step that you need to do. But you also need to consider again, back to that angst and attention. Also what skepticism surrounds what you’re trying to claim, right? You have to think about where they might have been like, kind of like, confused before, maybe they were, you know, underwhelmed before, like all those feelings that they might be feeling as a result of other interactions that they have had in the market or in your industry, as a result of why now they have this tension, anxiety. And you need to think about how you’re going to address those. And this could range in way your business and brand looks. It could be incorporated in a way that it sounds it can be incorporated in what you say and the claims and the promises you make all of it to the style and tone that you need to embrace in order to get them to see that yes, I believe you I believe when you tell me you’re going to deliver this emotional impact that you’re going to go do that and I want to take a bet on you. So then what you want to do is you want to incorporate all these signals of performance, credibility, reassurance, whatever they happen to be, and all your visual branding. All right. This includes your logo, your colors, your iconography, your photography, for example, if you want your consumer to feel trust as a result of the product that you’re putting out there, you better make sure that your logo, your colors, your iconography, all of those elements, those visual elements, reinforced that there are certain colors that make people feel that a brand is more trustworthy. There’s certain very textures that you could use so all these things help build a story and signal that you are trustworthy brand. It seems very nuanced but the brands are really get this like especially like as we talked about the Nikes the Disney’s of the world You will see as you work through all of their visual elements, it’s all very consistent. And it’s all very much leaning back to that one emotional impact that they want you to take away. Now, you also need to think about what you say and how you’re saying it. So these are your verbal toolkits, your tone of voice, your message tracks, you may need specific words, you may need certain tones, that all trigger this emotion, you may even need claims as proof points, or eight, and now be very, very specific with what these claims are. So for example, if you want to build trust, I know a lot of people will use like, nine out of 10 consumer kind of claims, this probably is gonna require you to do some research, you know, you’re not gonna able to just pull these out of the air and put them on there and be able to use them, but neither can your competition. So this is why it’s really important, and can be a really big differentiator. So if they, you can construct this verbal message track around all of your ways that you’re building the proof points, it really helps the consumer to see that you’re everything that they want you to be. And then you need to activate it across all your marketing channels, right? This is could be all across your social digital, your TV, the choice of spokespeople and talent products, your big brick and mortar retail stores, wherever your brand is showing up, you want it to consistently thread through all of those, so that people can feel that emotion, that impact wherever they’re engaging with you. And then you’re building then that proof that you are going to deliver what you promise you’re going to deliver.

April Martini 16:30
Yes, and I would just add a reminder here to make sure that it ties back to the way you’re addressing that moment of angst or that tension point and that you’re using language that is relevant to the consumer. So to Anne’s point, doing research or whatever it is you need to do to make sure that you’re getting those claims, right. I think this is sometimes can fall on the wrong side into things like saying we’re the best, or, you know, stuff that really doesn’t right entry, right? Yeah. And so those are areas where again, you could cover up the logo, and anyone in the category who’s making money could say that they’re the best, right? So it really is making sure that you’re using language terms and enticing information that your consumer is connecting with, and then all the other things and said to making sure that it’s on tone for the brand that it looks like the brand. And it’s consistent in the messaging, all of those types of things, but really first embracing and knowing your consumer well enough to know what they’re looking for from you. Yeah, absolutely.

Anne Candido 17:35
So the fourth point about building brand-love and how to get more people to choose you is determine how you’re best reach your client, consumer customer to create an emotional connection, April, let you just take this one,

April Martini 17:45
back to the emotional connection. Mm hmm. So we call these things brand love vehicles. And what that means is, it’s actually the the thing, you create an order to reach your consumer with the right message from the right person at the right time through the right channel. So that’s a lot. And we’ve said this before on the show, but I’ll just say it one more time, what you create an order to reach your consumer with the right message from the right person at the right time, through the right channel. So that’s a lot of things to check the box on. But that actually is a really good checklist to make sure that you’re addressing it all the way around. And that will help you assess whether it is the right vehicle. But these are the things that are intentionally created to make sure your activation is consistently communicated and talking about what you sell. But again, how you’re different in the language that the consumer wants to hear at the right time. And then as we always say, We’re huge fans of tests and learn. So do that optimize, when you hear have learnings, that’s another way to do really good research on the fly and see what is resonating. But overall, this should become the basis for marketing campaigns and special promotions and the way that you build these vehicles, so that they’re unique to you. And they’re consistent with what the consumer is looking for. Because they’re satisfying the need they have from you. Yeah, and

Anne Candido 19:05
it’s really intentionally done to Yeah, because you want to make sure that you are really driving down, I would call it the superhighway, in my book for a reason, a superhighway that you create, and not one of somebody else is creating. And that is the hardest thing to really think about as you’re addressing how you’re going to reach your consumer because it’s very easy to look at what somebody else is doing and be like, I’m just gonna go do that. Yep. And then you find when you start to try to do that you’re like, This is really crowded, and maybe I don’t have enough money, or maybe I don’t have enough time, or maybe not enough people to kind of break through here and be able to really play that game. And that is a really dangerous game to get into. Because what happens is a lot of businesses run out of money before they’re able to break through that. So I know it feels like you know, time consuming. We hear that a lot. And I know it feels like oh that’s gonna take you know, a lot of effort to be able to create these but this is really the way that you’re going to authentically reach your consumer the fastest and most complete and compelling way possible. And if you need a little bit more of a simplified structure for kind of thinking about it when you when you get the book, and if you get the book, you’ll see that it’s mentioned, and I’ll come back to this later it t question. Yeah, right. It’s three distinct elements here for the brand love vehicle, which is your storyteller, your message and your engagement point. So that’s just puts it in a different framework in Atlanta. And like I said, when we get to the ITT, we’re going to talk about that a little bit more. So just to summarize how building brand love gets more people to choose you. Consider what you sell versus what your competition sells. Now, as April said, If you and cover up your name and put your competitions in it makes sense, then you aren’t differentiated enough. Next to GT identify the emotional impact you tend to have on your client, consumer or customer. This is the basis from which you build an authentic connection that only you can own. And this is actually what you sell. Next is you define the proof points your client, consumer customer needs to believe you and integrate them across all your branding. This is what you will build your outreach on so that your client consumer customer believes you will deliver the emotional impact your promise. And finally, determine how you’re best reach your client consumer customer to create an emotional connection. And these are the brand left vehicles that we just talked about. All right, our next segment is in the trenches where we give real world examples. And we’re going to use some probably some big brand examples here again, just so you guys can really understand and internalize this. Please don’t look at the big brand examples. Again, I think there’s no possible way I can do this, anybody can do this. This is why we want you guys to think about this, because it is a philosophy. It’s not exactly what you go do, you’re not going to do it exactly how the big brands do it. But if you adopt a philosophy, you’re going to find ways of being able to take this big brand thinking if you will, and distill it down into ways that you’re going to be able to really make a huge impact for your business are first in the trenches question, I see how you build brand love for products, but how does it work for b2b? April, you wanna take this one?

April Martini 21:58
Sure. And I would say the same way, the targets just different. So an went through the tongue twister to say client, consumer customer, how many times and

Anne Candido 22:07
I know and whenever we don’t do that, but I feel like people need to hear that in this episode, right? They just need to hear that it’s all of those things. Yes,

April Martini 22:14
but here, right, we’re probably talking more in terms of your client or customer in the b2b space versus the consumer of the product that you’re selling. But this is really the main difference, which means there really is very little difference in the process applies. And on, you know, just to add emphasis, this actually can be an immediate differentiator for you, because many businesses in the b2b space, don’t feel like brand is important, let alone going as far as to make these brand love connections and all the work that it entails. In order to do that, they just don’t believe that the payoff is there. And they don’t necessarily understand how to get there. Right, right. So let us use an example for us again, so we sell to our customers marketing savvy. And I mentioned this before, but I’ll talk a little bit more about it here is we deliver on this not only by doing the work which again, I talked about the point of talking in terms of deliverables, this is what you get, right, this is the product essentially that we’re going to give you. But here we’re talking much more service based, which is more of a b2b term overall. And here we’re offering to teach. So a lot of what we saw early on, and a lot of the reason we went into this business individually and then together is to be able to serve less savvy customers that know the importance of marketing and branding, in theory, but feel really nervous about it, because they believe it’s a black box. And they either don’t even know how to get started, or they don’t trust that someone’s not going to pull a fast one on them. Or they just think that there’s no way they have the investment needed, again to that time, money or team to be able to do it. But we spend a lot of time actually educating, explaining what we’re doing, why we’re doing it this way. And then ultimately, if they want it, we will give the tools to be able to do it on their own, if that is the way they choose to go. And this really is that on demand nature of our business, it’s meeting our clients where they are and giving them what they need, not what product we have for three people want to sell to them. And really this is a differentiator from other agencies, because what tends to happen is they won’t share this information because they want their clients to be reliant on them. And this is really where some of that angst comes from is. Well, I don’t want to feel stupid, first of all, but also, I’d like to be able to do this on our own or we can’t afford to always do this with an agency and the inability to be able to get from point A to point B because the agency keeps it kind of behind the curtain so to speak and doesn’t educate and explain on how to get it done. And so our intent is not to do that. But it is a major differentiator for us. And this is where we build a brand love connection, because we are creating tangible value at every turn. And we are respecting the business, we’re respecting the clients, and we’re empowering them to be able to do this work on their own. And you can’t put a price on that. And you can typically buy that from other agencies.

Anne Candido 25:24
Yeah, and I think that that last point is like, it is such a good, good one. And a lot of especially service based businesses, in the b2b range, forget about that piece. Like, they want to really like focus on the fact that they’re the smartest, you know, group or they had the most talented people out there. They want to focus on the fact that they give like the best customer service out there, they want to focus on the fact that, you know, they have all these other clients that they’ve done work for, right? All that, again, is table stakes, like your competition can say the exact same thing. Yep. So if you were to assume that everybody else can do that, too, because everybody else has smart people, everybody else gives good customer service other people have worked with like other, you know, big brands or notable brands, what else are you going to do in order to make that human’s life on the other end? Much easier. And that takes some work to kind of go figure out, you have to do a little bit of research to uncover Hey, what really like, is a big tension point for my potential client. Like, what could I do in order to make their lives easier? What me and April figured out was, we can make them to teach them marketing? Yeah, our biggest compliment walking out of work is Dang, they do fantastic work. And I actually know why. Yeah, right. That’s what we want people to say about that. Not just Oh, I think we’d got good work. I think it turned out okay. I mean, I got the things we got the things you know, I guess it was fine, right. So that is what you need to think about for your own business, too. That takes us up to the next level. That’s what creates tangible value and that you can charge for Yeah, and that is a premium. Yeah. And because people are going to really appreciate the way that you’re doing the work, not just the work that you’re doing. Yep, exactly. Are second in the trenches. Question, what are the biggest mistakes you see people make and trying to form brand love connections, a role that you take them into? Yeah, I’ll throw in a couple as we go. But

April Martini 27:18
all right, so I have a whole list here. Number one is they try too hard. And this is kind of to that point where making an ad, just emphasize around the other agencies is trying to push off your expertise being salesy not being forthcoming with how the work gets done, it really comes across overly promotional and really inauthentic. And so it makes it really hard to make that strong emotional connection. Because people are feeling on their heels like they’re having to react and they just get the sense in their gut really, that it is not the right fit, because it’s too overwhelming and the pressure. The second one is trying to be like someone else. So we’ve talked a lot about differentiation and using brand love as differentiation throughout this episode. When you don’t do that, and you take someone else’s superhighway as an said, and try to make it your own. That does not work out well for anyone we’ve seen because as much as you might look similar to someone else from the outside, you aren’t them. So you it’s the same same thing is true with a company, right, you can’t be them, you can’t mirror and mimic them because you don’t know all the things about being part of their organization. So don’t try to just be like somebody else in the space and think you can shortchange the process by operating that way. Yes, the opposite of differentiation. Oh, by the way, I’m baiting and switching. And this is where I’ve seen things be promised. And then what actually comes out is not that I wish that this was few and far between it’s not. I think that because there isn’t always a ton of transparency. There’s this feeling of well, we can say this, but actually deliver something else and nobody will know the difference. And that’s actually not true. And so this is a really bad business practice. But also you’re not going to again, form that authentic relationship and connection. And then next, when it comes to building brand love, it’s like a relationship, right? And a relationship takes time to develop. And so I think another tendency is to pretend we’re BFFs from the beginning, right? When you, you basically I’ve seen it where brands or companies or businesses talk at people instead of engaging them and having a conversation and thinking that that’s going to build some type of affinity and strong relationship and all that brand love over time. And that’s just not going to happen because that’s not how we operate as human beings in total. And then I think the last thing is not doing the hard work to actually build the brand from the foundation up and do all the work that we’ve talked about throughout this episode. So starting with uncovering really how You’re going to be different from the competition. But even more importantly, or more in the direction of building that brand love is making sure that you really have uncovered a true angst for your consumer client customer. And being honest with yourself about whether you actually have that I remember so many times in agency life where it would be like, that’s an insight, that’s an insight, that’s an insight. And I’m like, number one, you typically get one big insight per audience, those are observations, those are not true insights. That’s not actually where that anchor point is coming from. And we better keep digging, or it’s going to come off flat, right. And so it’s all of those things. And then also then building the consistency of the brand voice, the right messaging for the customer, at the end of the day, making sure that you’re continuing to deliver on that and continuing to build and strengthen that relationship. It’s not actually as hard or as much work as people think that it is, if you follow the right process and do the right work from the beginning, because then you have all the what to dues set, versus trying to undo the whatnot to dues that you’ve done along the way. And it sets you up for success over time. But again, I think that people just want to jump the gun and put something out there and think that people are just going to come and that’s not the way it works.

Anne Candido 31:15
Yeah. And I think that’s the biggest lesson to learn too, is building brand-love takes time. Yeah, it really does. It is according kind of relationship. It’s you know, and you want to build it from that standpoint, and had a mentality of that because as soon as you try to shortcut it, all these things kind of come into play you people feel like you’re trying too hard. People feel like you’re you’re just acting like somebody else. So it takes some time to build that authentic relationship with folks. It doesn’t necessarily need to take years and years and years. But the sooner you start it, the sooner you can cultivate it. And the important part about it of this too, is being consistent with the way that you show up so that people learn what to expect from you. Right. And then one of our also favorites that we talked about here as well is that you need to make it more about what they need for them versus what you want to necessarily give them or what you Yeah, what you want them to know about you. Okay. So think about it from that standpoint of like you want somebody to like you, so therefore, you need to learn more about them, and how the connection is going to work well, versus just like a big smattering of like, you know, you need to like me, because of this, you need to like me, because of this. I mean, we’ve all made got up and been on dates like that, and I’m just like, oh my lord, you know, so, um, that is really, really important is that even though you know, brand Love feels like, very, like, it’s everybody’s like, when we say love, everybody feels like, oh, I need to have like this passionate, emotional feeling about it. These emotions aren’t necessarily although a lot of times, they do come like I love that brand. I love that brand. But it’s these words of are like, you know, the trust the competence, like, those are the emotions that you’re going for. So think about that in a broader scope, too. And don’t just think, oh, brand love, like, nobody’s gonna love an accountant. So why should you even try kind of thing, they’re gonna love what you do for them, right? They’re gonna love how you do the work. They’re gonna love how they feel as a result of the work that you do. Think about that. All right, are third in the trenches? Question? Can you give me a more specific example that brand Lufia Cool. Alright, so So we come back to this. So if you recall, the brand love vehicle is your storyteller, your message and your engagement points. Okay, so think about like almost like a Venn diagram of those things coming together. Now I’m gonna go back to the Nike well, and before you sigh again, is because this is easy to look up, okay, but I’m gonna take it a little bit different direction. So here we go. So Nike, as we talked about, is all about an empowering lifestyle. That’s what they sell. That’s what the brand is about, right? But there are several kind of underlying stories underneath too, that have become very, very pivotal for that brand. One is performance. So if I was sitting there thinking about if I was a Nike brand manager, and you know, trying to develop like what would be a brand love vehicle in order to be able to convey performance, but I still need it kind of tied back to my brand. This is not like a total offshoot is still need to be connected back to Nike. How do I talk about performance? Alright, so interestingly enough, when they decided to talk about performance, they used a method that we talked about a lot in marketing campaigns, and they borrow credibility from somebody who already exemplifies performance. And that is Michael Jordan. And Michael Jordan became their storyteller. And not just because he was a beast on the court, which absolutely was a beast of fierce competitor, one of the most iconic of all time, iconic of all time. He also had a story of empowerment. He talked a lot about when he was in high school, he got cut from his team. He had to really work hard to really showcase what he was good at. I mean, he was just a Avid, Avid, just study of the game practitioner of the game. First one on the court, the last one to leave that was That was him, right? The message had developed around Michael Jordan was simple. It was Be Like Mike can’t get worse than that. But again, a very empowering message in the context of this icon, this idol that exemplify performance. Now the job became developing the engagement points that surrounded Mike. And being that that that performance base kind of like feeling an emotion that still connected back to the powering lifestyle. And this is even to this day, when you go to the Jordan Brand, and you look at the Jordan Brand, which has its own kind of life, it has its own kind of ecosystem, the digital social content showcase spectacular MJ moments still to this day. The man has not played basketball in a couple of decades, I think now, still, those still stand as icons of performance in the eyes of so many people. You have shoes and apparel that exemplifies the essence of performance. There’s a whole big ecosystem around how these shoes are developed. That in itself is a way of really reinforcing performance. There are sponsorships with teams that epitomize performance, right that where the Jordan Brand shows up, there’s point of sale displays at retail. And there was even a movie Yes, there was an original Space Jam before LeBron James did it. Okay. And I would say it was actually a better one. All these are carefully crafted into brain that was still again connected to Nike, but on his own had his own life, it had its own style, it had its own tone. And you needed that in order to convey performance. And this was all epitomized instill the iconic logo of a man flying through the air palming a basketball, I mean, still to this day, when you see that it just screams performance, right? And I will

April Martini 36:40
say, you know, a little anecdote here to the point of him not playing in a couple of decades, right. So my brother, Brent buys my son, Sam, who’s six, whatever, Jordans are representative of the number he is each year, right? So we just got the 6s. And he’s never seen Michael Jordan play. No. But he has learned some what I would say honestly, through osmosis, too. So to the point of what that brand represents, right? He gets that box. It has the iconic man flying through the air, the logo for Michael Jordan, the minute that boy puts his new shoes on, he starts jumping. I mean, the minute it’s like he’s flying through our house, he’s jumping up, these make me jump higher, you know, so for someone that really doesn’t have any reference and didn’t live during that time period, the brand is so strong, that he can get the essence of what it’s communicating, even without being part of Michael Jordan as the person playing basketball.

Anne Candido 37:35
And that’s spectacular. I mean, it’s, it’s so well done, that that emotion transcends Yep, the product, right. And now you have it, they got it has because now you have like, you know, wall decor, you have bathroom decor, you have like, you could put the logo on anything. And it feels like as soon as you put that logo on it, it’s like, well as some like badass, like in a performance base, like shower curtain, you know, you know, so there’s an expectation that when that logo shows up on something, that it is going to be performance space, and it is going to be the epitome of performance. So that is my example for the Jordan Brand, which is a brand that I fully appreciate. I have Jordans as well, and they are my power shoes. They’re red. I love them. They actually spark a bit too. Yeah, so my power color sparkle a little bit, it is my power shoe.

April Martini 38:25
Well, and I just want to bring up the point to that, to be able to house a powerhouse like Michael Jordan, as a sub brand under your brand just shows the power of Nike overall. Because there is never a point when you see the Michael Jordan brand that you don’t automatically connect it to Nike. Yeah, and so it’s not like a standalone, it hasn’t outgrown Nike, it hasn’t become bigger, I would say it’s become a heavily nostalgic brand, which is amazing to watch and see since he’s no longer playing and all that but it lives alone, but it also lives in very close proximity and tie into Anne’s point. It really brings to life that specific performance pillar. So on the other side of Nike, embracing all athletes of any kind, all of that this is really that other side of and this is what happens when you use the brand as the ultimate athlete.

Anne Candido 39:22
And it’s created a whole influencer based network called sneakerheads that like Bart, you know, just adore the shoes and I mean that becomes even in a community in itself that helps evangelize the brand. So yeah,

April Martini 39:37
sidenote, brother Brent, brother, Bart,

Anne Candido 39:39
same person. Sorry. Yeah. Okay. Now that we clarified that definition so our fourth in the trenches question, Can you say more about the what if ideation process and I’m so glad

April Martini 39:52
you asked cheese. And in her process, yeah, no.

Anne Candido 39:56
So I’m actually going to put the entire process in our deep dive worksheet. So That was the little teaser I gave at the very beginning. Because I think it’s really important for you guys to see how this works, and how it how you can walk through it. And you’re gonna find that it’s actually a very straightforward process. And somebody has questions be like, oh, yeah, I mean, that seems obvious. But the way that it put its put together and the way that it forces you to think through these things, and their logical pattern, guarantee, it’s going to reveal something that you’re like, Oh, my goodness, it’s, it happens 100% of the time. So don’t look at it and feel like this is trivial. It’s not, it’s actually simple. And it’s in its conception. But it’s very deep and meaningful with regards to helping you uncover your brand love connection. And again, it doesn’t matter what the size of your business is, it doesn’t matter how long you been in business, it doesn’t matter who your target of your business is, this works across all of that.

April Martini 40:52
And I will give a plug as well, because I feel like I’m a little bit of a snob

Anne Candido 40:58
when it comes to Alright, yeah, it’s all coming out. All right. And,

April Martini 41:03
but I will say that when and I have some skepticism, sometimes around branding books, right. But I will say that when Anne gave me her book, which was early on in our relationship, I was like, oh, geez, what if I hate it, but I remember, I do remember to her point, finding it to be a really useful tool. And even as someone who prides herself on feeling like I had to do this work, I also felt like it made me think about things in a different way. And I think the value is, it’s not meant to be an education book on brand, or even brand love, quite frankly, it’s meant to be more of how do you build it. So they will come kind of philosophy, and then again, to the point of the essence of our business, giving you the tools to go and do so. So that will be my personal plug for it. As much as I tease her about it, I did find it to be a really helpful tool. And I find myself referencing it and sending it to other people that we coach or potential clients and that sort of thing. Oh, thank you, April. That’s feeling generous today. Yeah,

Anne Candido 42:04
that was a fantastic testimonial. In our third and final segment is generally a real-world example of a brand is doing as well or not well, and there’s a lot of really fabulous brands out there and a lot of fabulous brands that we love. So we’re going to talk about a few of those. So get maybe a little bit of the big, brand, big, big brand, context and talk about some that are more personally connected with us, although we’d like the brands that we talked about as well. So I’ll start so one of my brands that I absolutely love is I love Body Alive and body alive is it isn’t a tri state area. But it is a place that, you know, you go to like a studio for yoga. And I think they have a couple other different things within it. They have some cycle and they have like balance and some some other things. But I primarily go there for yoga. And if you’ve heard me in other episodes, I’ve talked about how important my yoga instruction is and how it really helps to center me and bringing me back in ground me so that I can focus and I can be the best that I can be. Now the reason why I love Body Alive so much is because they really intentionally created the whole studio in order to suit as many different personalities, motivations, I mean, as possible as they can now but they do that in a very kind of consistent way. So first, they have a very dynamic group of instructors. Okay. So you know, a lot of times when you go into yoga studios, and I’ve even been to an ashram before, like they teach a specific type of yoga, they expect all their instructors to follow the yoga and a certain pattern and format. And there’s very little kind of deviation from that right. So that happens a lot. It it’s totally typical. That does not happen a body alive. The instructors are so varied they are they focus on different parts of yoga, some are more flowy some are more strength based, some sit down sound like they just walked out of the studio next door that the cycle so you feel like you’re in an aerobics. So not my favorite, but you know diets for some people, some people like that. But you can pick and choose what makes you feel that’s going to give you the best practice for that day. And I really liked that. And they know me by name. I go once a week, I usually went to a couple the same instructor so that was you know, I would guess that maybe they might know who I am. But based on like, how many people are going to come into the door, your volume, you know, the fact that they would like know, somebody who’s named Mike shows up like once a week and two different instructors. I mean, and they ask about me, I mean that was like, it makes a big difference and makes you feel like hey, this is your community that wants you to come here. It makes you feel invited. It doesn’t feel transactional at all. It makes you feel like part of the you know the practice in connection with the people that are in the studio. So I love that

April Martini 45:00
Well, I think to just the diversity in the way you’re talking, because I think when you say yoga, right, people get a picture in their heads. Yeah. Right. And I think unfortunately, a lot of the studios cater more to that perception, right. And so you have kind of this one size fits all approach. And some of the ones I’ve been to, quite frankly, just don’t feel fair, very inclusive as a result.

Anne Candido 45:20
Yeah. And I think that’s right on and I was gonna say, that’s exactly the next point I was gonna bring up and I steal your thunder. No, but no, I think that’s really great lead in is that is the attitude is one of inclusivity, right? So their attitude is, you’re here to concentrate on you, whatever that looks like today. Right? So it’s a very empowering spirit. It’s very much like, it’s your practice, I’m going to give you guidance on your practice for you feel free to add in, you feel free to take away, don’t worry about what the person around you is doing. Although sometimes kind of interesting. And you see somebody’s like, Hey, I wonder if I could do that. And you kind of try to do in January, ridiculous and stuff like that. Not to mention, my arms are a little bit too short to do some of this other stuff, which really frustrates me, I could do pigeon, my my pigeon looks more like frog. But I found it I actually can. Because one of the instructors taught me how to go from pigeon into a headstand. And back. That’s a good trick. Yeah, thank you. So um, you know, but it gives you like that freedom to try that you’re not they’re being judged by other people, which is fantastic. And they expect that you’re going to respect your space and respect everybody around you. So if somebody is trying to get up during shavasana, when that’s like the best part, and you get these cool lavender towels, they’re like, they’ll say, you know, you can’t leave during shavasana, you if you’re going to leave you need to leave before Shavasana. So it’s really this philosophy that like really surrounds it, and makes me feel that when I come there, it’s it’s first it’s consistent. And that’s really important. There is an expectation that you’re taking advantage of your space, your time to focus on you, and you’re leaving all that stuff out there. And it’s very inclusive. So that’s why I love body alive.

April Martini 46:56
Good example.

Anne Candido 46:57
And the branding is really, really strong. I was actually gonna say, sorry. It’s very, very strong branding.

April Martini 47:03
I yeah, I don’t disagree. As soon as you say it, I can picture it in my head immediately. So yeah. All right. So I have two actually, one is related to the kids. And one is related to me, because that is my life these days. But the one related to kids is Melissa & Doug toys. And that’s a brand for those. Yeah, we actually just had this conversation the other day, one of our clients, there’s a display of them and their holiday marketplace. So for any of you that have kids, or have ever had to purchase a toy for a child, at least for me, I find it a hugely stressful experience. Because there are so many options, things change with every age, there are all these ones that profess exactly what we’re talking about today. They are the best or the most durable. They’re the most played with or this and that and what educational and fun, educational and fun. Yes, exactly. And so I had a really hard time after initial, like just asking people, quite frankly, what to go with finding a brand, especially when it came to this toy space that was consistent across all. And so what I mean by that is like, okay, so Fisher-Price, right? If it’s a plastic, something that’s a brand of a brand I grew up with, I know what that is, that would be something I might go to. But the thing I love about Melissa & Doug is that no matter what thing I’m going to purchase, I know that it’s going to be good quality, pretty much better than anything out there at that price point, it’s going to hold up, my kids are going to stay interested in it, and it’s going to be very applicable to whatever it says it’s going to do, right. And so that’s everything from puzzles to art supplies to I can’t even think of all the Melissa & Doug stuff we have in our house. But when I see that brand, and it meets me in a space of whatever I’m looking for, I feel this instant sense of relief because it feels like everything else just kind of goes away and I’m like, okay, they have a solution to this. That is what I’m going to go with and I think that that just can’t be overstated enough especially in such a crowded space like we’ve talked about and like I’ve said I’m pretty specific about which brands that I trust and it doesn’t matter if someone gives it to them for a gift or I purchase it myself or whatever I have the same reaction every single time and they enjoy it and those are the things that I can look around the house and still see them intact

Anne Candido 49:34
Yeah, so they definitely sell trusted toys of enjoyment or something to that effect so that’s like there combine that to you know create because I can sell remember all the stupid Polly Pocket Yeah, like Donald Kelly pocket pieces all over the place and stuff. So yeah, we loved her, Melissa and Doug do for the exact same reason they were fine. They were well thought through like with regards to engagement and enjoyment. And they were repeatable. Yes, yeah. In kids could like, enjoy it over and over and over and not in it doesn’t get old. Yeah.

April Martini 50:05
Yeah. Like I remember one specific weekend, my sister came up with this little jewelry box art kit thing. And I was like, Oh no, this is gonna be one of those one and done. And we’re sitting at the restaurant eating and my daughter, Mia is just playing with it over and over again. And I’m like, how does that working and unlike every other jewelry box, you can take off the stickers and replace them and put them in different spots. And you know, you can repaint over you can dry erase here. And I was like, Oh, how smart she actually will continue to repeatedly recreate instead of like, alright, I glued it and I put the gems on now what am I supposed to do it? Yeah, yeah, very good point. All right. And my second example for me is Paige denim. And so I have a really hard time finding jeans that I really love. And I’m, I’ve you snobby twice in this episode, I’m pretty snobby about the jeans that I like. And so in my younger years, I was a huge, huge diesel gene fan. And I would go to Chicago fairly regularly for work. So that’s where I would buy them. And I loved how structured they were and how durable they were. And just that the color held up really nicely on them all those types of things. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that that fit that like super structured fit just isn’t really part of my lifestyle as much anymore. And I’m not going out clubbing and with my giant, high heels and all this kind of stuff. And so I tried tons of different brands, again just reached out to people for recommendations, and I got really close with Joe’s jeans. And I was like not just not quite right. And so the thing I love about Paige is I’m shorter. And so length is always a problem. And I don’t have a lot of hip, right and so it’s all there’s always like gapping or stuff and without getting into too much detail on certain sounds right where they’re like six inches too long or whatever, but they have enough different fits, but a consistency of quality again, and what I can expect that keeps me coming back to them to the point again, similar with the Melissa & Doug situation when I see a display of them I don’t even consider any of the others anymore. And I think the affinity there is I just I know the feeling I feel when I’m wearing them versus other jeans. And yes, it’s about fit in all of that but it’s the elevated brand love again, right it’s I have so many pairs that I remember a lot of great experiences and then a lot of the experience is tied to the fact that I’m not thinking about the jeans that I’m wearing the comfortability the diversity of being able to wear them with lots of different things and then also just the the lack of annoyance of having to go and have them hemmed or, you know, cut down or fitted or whatever, I don’t have to do any of that with them. And so that’s another brand that I have come to love in the fashion space and actually replaced another brand that had kind of run its lifecycle in my life with page

Anne Candido 52:57
ads. A good example I have the same problem. Short, but I do have hips, so that doesn’t tend to be very good for jeans either. No,

April Martini 53:06
you gotta be like real tall and real straight.

Anne Candido 53:08
Yeah, exactly. Oh, man. Feel that pain. All right, so just to summarize how building brand-love gets more people to choose you. Consider what you sell versus what your competition sells. Can you cover up your name and put your competitions name and it makes sense. If so then you aren’t differentiated enough. Identify the emotional impact you intend to have on your client consumer customer. This is a basis for to build an authentic connection that only you can own and this is what you sell. Define the proof points your client customer consumer needs to believe you and integrate them across your branding. This is what you will build your outreach on so that your client consumer customer believes you will deliver the emotional impact you promise. And finally, determine how you’re best reach your client consumer customer to create an emotional connection. These are your brand love vehicles. Now, go exercise your Marketing Smarts!

April Martini 54:02
Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: Mention you heard about us here and we will give you a free 30-minute consultation. You can also share any topics you want us to cover, which helps us give real-world support to our listeners in real time. And if you learn something impactful, please share with a friend and don’t forget to leave a rating and review on your favorite platform. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!