Creating Deeper Customer Connections Part I

The advertising landscape is continually changing. It isn’t enough to simply make a product that does x, y, and z, and expect it to sell. People always want more, in case you didn’t know. Buying into a product – like Apple, for example – is representative of you buying into that lifestyle. Odds are they’ll go Apple with all their other technology going forward. They’re in the Apple ecosystem, and iMessage is really hard to walk away from. If 50% is the ‘Cool Factor’ (and to be honest, that percentage is a little low) then the other half is a brand that they can trust. A brand with employees that they’ll be able to reach when something goes wrong, shows they care about them even after they made the sale.

There are a few ways to get this done, no matter where you are with your business. It’s never too late to make the shift.

The App-solute Best

The biggest trend we’ve seen is companies truly embracing social media. They allow their persona to adapt to the medium and actually engage with people – consumer or not – to show that they’re more than the typical corporate façade. They’re brave enough to break away, to be more human, and are rewarded for it. If nothing else, they at least stand out among the crowd. They’ve made a footprint.

Wendy’s is the first to come to mind. Not only do they show a dedication to poking fun at their competition, they don’t shy away from interacting with customers who may have…less than kind things to say about them. (both can be seen here.) This feels real. There’s a person not sticking to some script on the other side of the screen. It shows. It garners attention. Wendy’s also happens to be the company based around the #NuggsForCarter that went viral a while back. This one fan’s request for ‘retweets for free nuggets’ soared past the record previously held by Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars tweet that year, reaching 3.4 million. At first, Wendy’s set the goal at 18 million. But after seeing the level of support and popularity the hashtag picked up, they accepted Carter setting the new world record as good enough. He got his free nuggets.

Taco Bell is another company that embraces their customers. They were smart enough to know that rewarding such loyal fans as these and allowing them to get married inside a Taco Bell. They saw the large number of fans putting their voices behind this cause and obliged. After something like this, it gets harder against the relationship between Taco Bell and its consumers.

It’s All About the Content in the Middle

Oreo. Stick with me with food (a difficult task, I’m sure) one more time on this one. For years, Oreo has used social media to near-perfection. They have a team focused on this medium who continue to create original & inspired content involving their cookies. They’ve gone so far as to remake classic horror movies, the characters replaced with Oreos, for their October campaign. They’ve hosted contests for fans to suggest flavors of a potential new Oreo, with cash rewards for the finalists and eventual winner. Such contests have also given them an opportunity to promote their fans and consumers alongside their own product. This sort of community involvement creates a buzz around their brand that goes beyond cookies. It creates a relationship with their fans and customers through both entertainment and inclusivity. It shows that they’re interested in that relationship at all, which says a lot.

Not to be left out, it only made sense for Pampers to join the game. Rather than go into the content-creation side of Oreo or the edginess of Wendy’s, they took to social media and made a space where soon-to-be-parents and those with newborns can come together and support one another. They answer questions about events and otherwise do what they can to make each other’s experience less stressful than their own. Relatively, anyway, they’re still parents, after all. Pampers removed some of the weight from the already burdened shoulders of parents. “You aren’t alone.” That’s a powerful message.

So Ends Act I

GLAD WORKS lives and breathes this world of brands and customer connections. We’ve seen what works and what hasn’t, and have the tools to bring them to the forefront of the brands we work with. People can tell when a company is being a company. Especially today. These are only a few examples. We believe in leaving a lasting impression not just with your product and customer service, but with the way you interact with the public as well.

Be sure to check out Part II, where we’ll continue to look at deeper customer connections. This time by focusing on areas outside of social media.

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