- To fulfill your brand potential, you have to serve your customers.
- The best way to serve is to show up and participate to demonstrate that you are all-in on supporting them.
- You have to actively participate in your brand to boost customer buy-in and create a community of people who engage with your brand.
Way back when, brands would broadcast polished, one-way messages to the masses and we, the masses, would consume those messages via radio, magazine advertisements, TV commercials, billboards, etc.
Our choice as consumers was whether or not to purchase whatever products these messages were promoting. That one-way approach no longer gets the job done.
Our always-on virtual landscape gives us unlimited access to brands, teams and leaders. A good example is over on Threads, the new Instagram-linked social app for “sharing text updates and joining public conversations.”
The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, is on Threads chatting with users, responding to questions and requests, sharing everything from updates about new features, to photos of his family, his new foldable phone and what he’s currently reading and watching.
Mosseri is the architect of Threads, as well as a user of it. And he’s humanizing the brand in the process.
I can reply to Mosseri or tag him in one of my Threads and he may well respond. (I recently tested this and am waiting to see if he replies to my Thread. Stay tuned.)
What a sea change from the days of one-way broadcasts, right?
And if you’re thinking, well, the only reason he’s doing that is because he’s promoting his product. I would say, I know!
That’s the whole point.
I don’t know if Mosseri is the kind of person I’d like to spend a Sunday afternoon hanging out with, drinking coffee and chatting about life.
But I do know that he has done an outstanding job of humanizing the Threads brand. I’ll likely never get the opportunity to hang out and chat with Mosseri, but that’s okay. That’s not what I want. That’s not particularly important to me.
What is important to me is to have a good sense of who is behind this new platform that I’m tinkering with, deciding whether or not it’s a good investment of my work time, or whether it’s enjoyable enough for me to scroll through when I’m not working.
See how that works?
A few other examples from my own social feeds and newsletters include Brené Brown, Alex Hormozi and Mel Robbins.
If you follow any of these three, you understand that their humanness is imbued through their entire brand, across many different platforms. They have different angles, different products and services, different audiences and different income brackets, but they all have a worldwide following, are making positive change and are inseparable from their brand.
Or look at professional sports teams. Players, coaches, owners and staff are no longer those people you hear from every once in a while at a press conference. They are everywhere, sharing their thoughts and perspectives on sport, themselves, life, culture, you name it.
My home NBA team, the Utah Jazz, has such fantastic outreach that it truly feels like I belong to something. And I do! I belong to the Utah Jazz brand community. I follow and contribute to conversations online, I have the app on my phone, I excitedly scrolled through the schedule when it was dropped the other day. I wear Utah Jazz merch, I go to Summer League games, I took my family to the fan-focused event they hosted during All Star Weekend — and everything else I can get involved with.
I have totally bought in on the Utah Jazz via their brand community. And it’s because players, coaches, staff and owners show up for things and share their perspective and personal experiences.
That’s how you build a fresh brand.
No more one-way messages to the masses.
To boost customer buy-in or create a community of people who participate in your brand, you have to participate in your brand. Maybe it’s not your style to be front-and-center on social media. That’s fine. But someone needs to be front and center, and you do need to show up somewhere so the people you’re asking to show up for you see you doing the same.
It’s no longer enough to have the best product on the market.
To fulfill your brand potential, you have to serve your customers. And the best way to serve is to show up and demonstrate that you are all-in on supporting them, whether members of a coworking space, artists using your pens, consumers of your coffee, fans of your professional basketball team, or anything else under the sun.
First you get brand buy-in, and then you get customers.
See how that works?
Drop me a DM on LinkedIn. Let’s keep the conversation going.