In this competitive era, it has become important to prepare yourself for trends not only this showcasing yourself as a leader is also important. There is a number of brand buzzwords that are in trend: brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand image, and more. Today, in this post, we will be focussing on brand affinity and see why it’s more than just a passing trend.
Let’s move forward, and understand the basics first.
What is brand affinity?
Brand affinity may sound like marketing jargon to you, but in reality, it is more than that. Brand affinity plays a major role when it comes to engaging with your customers.
Consider brand affinity as an inbound marketing model, where you have to attract leads, translate them into customers, and ultimately prompt them to become promoters. When it comes to your brand, your customers have to follow a similar three-step process:
- Brand awareness: Your first aim is to make sure that people are aware of your brand. So, keep spreading the word whenever you get a chance. When we say spreading the word, it means a brand name, along with great design and good publicity.
- Brand loyalty: Whenever customers purchase your brand, you get an opportunity to build loyalty. In simple words, if the product works for them, then they will come back for more no matter what. But for that, you have to take things one step further.
- Brand affinity: Now comes the most important aspect of the brand, which is brand affinity. It goes beyond the products and services you market. You have to ensure that your customers feel that they have a genuine relationship and shared values with your brand.
Affinity comes into the picture when consumers spend on your brand, not out of fashion or convenience, but because they truly believe in it. Affinity is less about the individual products and services and more about your brand identity. Brand affinity campaigns are directed by emotion, with that human touch that is imperative for all inbound marketing strategies.
What Makes Brand Affinity Important for your Brand?
So what makes brand affinity important? Well, if people have trust in your brand, then it becomes easy to get their attention and share information. Customers will appreciate your information and trust what you say. Once they started feeling confident about you, they will invest in your brand over time. Not only this, they will even make your brand part of their life by express their identity with your brand to the world. All in all, it’s a path that leads to an increase in value.
For instance, think of Nike’s campaign that became controversial along with Colin Kaepernick. This ad campaign did not showcase any specific product or new release but Nike’sshares initially took a severe hit. But they succeeded in making a huge impression on their target audience, strengthening brand affinity by showing their core values and perspectives. What did they get? Nike’smarket value witnessed an all-time increase of $6 billion.
How to Build Brand Affinity
Building brand affinity involves knowing your customers and the traits they currently connect with your brand and then making sure every part of the business is strengthening the message of your brand’s personality.
You have to make sure that your brand personality is the center of your brand.
1. Understand your customers
The primary step is to know your customers. Make sure you collect as many data sources as possible to create the most realistic and comprehensive picture possible. You can consider interviews, surveys, employee anecdotes, sales, and CRM data, reviews, and social data will all help you to better understand your audience.
The benefit of social data is that it enables you to research your prospects even when they are not your customers. This data will help you learn what do they do the rest of the time, what else are they involved in, what do they care about? The more you understand your customers, the more you can strengthen your personality and their affinity.
From jobs and abilities, demographics, communication channels, media and influencers, and common language, every detail you can get data on will further flesh out who you are selling to. Moreover, there will be many segments within your customer base, so developing some precise buyer personas can be very helpful here.
2. Know your brand associations
Using your social intelligence can also notify you about how customers currently perceive your personality and the brand associations they form.
There are two approaches you can use. The first is to perform a search for all mentions of your brand. Then, you can recognize some common themes that people use while talking about your brand by studying topic clouds.
You can use tools to segment the audience for the topic cloud by gender, location, profession, type of website, and many more. When it comes to brand personality, Dove’s brand personality is decent, and the brand is very good at it. Under the banner Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, the brand usually runs campaigns that question the well-established narrative on beauty, body image, confidence, and society’s role in shaping these issues.
Furthermore, if there are particular qualities you want to associate with your brand, you can search for those terms within all the mentions of your brand. You can also do this comparatively to understand how you pile up against competitors.
3. Be on message
Once you understand your audience and know your current associations, you can understand how closely your recognized image aligns with audience realities. You can then work on highlighting the areas that suit the message you want to convey.
In order to strengthen brand affinity, you will require a brand personality that the brand embodies. It means that every interaction channel and customer touchpoint requires to reflect the brand personality.
Building brand affinity also improves the likelihood of consumers distributing content on social. According to New York Times, research into why people share content showed that 68% of people share to provide others a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
A brand is no longer what we represent the consumer; it is – it is what consumers say each other it is.
How to Measure Brand Affinity
First of all, keep in mind that brand affinity is not simple to gauge. It’s purely based on emotion and opinion, which are challenging to quantify. But it all depends on how technical you need to get; there are a few ways that you can use to analyze the ROI of your campaign.
a) Asking your customers directly: A study by measuring asked customers which words they incorporated with different brands. It’s a little complex to analyze these outcomes, but they can be very enlightening.
b) Social media engagement: You have to look at your online profiles. Do your followers involve or engage with your content? Whenever you project the right image, followers will associate with your content and values, increasing engagement and interactions.
c) Website traffic data: Likewise, on social media, take a closer look at how users respond to your content. Do they read your blog post till the end? Will they come back to learn more? Is your content worth sharing with their friends?
d) Promotion statistics: Make sure whenever you organize a campaign, you receive statistics for every participant and how they communicate with your campaign. You can see promotion data in handy charts, filter by different criteria, and download it for your own records.
By focussing on the traits of their brand personality, brands can connect with their audience and improve the likelihood of content being shared on social media. Word is more highly trusted so that it can be very beneficial to brands. It’s also impossible to stop. Make sure your brand stands for something and that it is well established. If you convey that message well, you will have customers buying into your brand values.
We hope this guide has provided you the basics for developing brand affinity.