It’s the Relationship, Stupid. How Strong Relationships Grow Strong Brands

It's the relationship, stupid

In 1992 James Carville coined the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Carville was Bill Clinton’s lead political strategist working to defeat the incumbent president, George H.W. Bush. “The economy, stupid” was Carville’s rallying cry. All the other messages and political priorities were noise. What mattered most to voters in 1992 was the economy.

In an oversaturated world, consumers are experiencing digital marketing fatigue and they’re tuning out! We need to rework Carville’s statement for our brands, “It’s the relationship, stupid.”

Relationships are at the core of every Sticky Brand. Do your clients know your brand, like it, and trust it?

In a world of too much noise, the simple act of building strong customer relationships will make your brand stand out.

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For a variety of reasons, marketing for relationships has lost favor in our pursuit of getting more likes, more views, and more engagement online.

Likes and views are cheap, relationships are not.

In a sea of social media activities, every brand is looking for ways to break through the clutter and connect with their customers. But turning up the volume and producing more content isn’t the answer. That’s a race to the bottom!

The thing that will separate your brand from all the others shouting at their customers is your ability to build and nurture strong customer relationships.

Clarify Your Brand Messaging

The method of effective relationship marketing is in the 12.5 Principles of Sticky Branding:

  • Clear brand messaging: Clarity leads to authority and credibility. Clear brand messaging lets people know (inside and out of your organization) exactly how your brand can help them.
  • Develop brand preference: Repetition leads to preference. The more you repeat your brand messaging the more people will know your brand and like it.
  • Increase brand awareness: If you don’t blow your own horn, nobody will. Engage your market (prospects and customers) early and often so they know your brand, like it, and trust it — and ultimately, choose it first.

Core to all these principles is the relationship. How do you use your marketing to build and nurture strong customer relationships?

The key to building strong customer relationships is the human elements of your brand: connecting with people like people.

An effective way to tune your marketing is to spark a conversation.

Conversations are the basic building blocks of relationships. When you can engage someone in a dialogue you can share ideas and get to know each other. This is a good measuring stick for your marketing too. You know your marketing is building relationships when it gets people to say, “That’s interesting. Tell me more.”

(Check out my ebook Spark Engagement for tips on how to create Brand Storylines that spark conversations.)

Whether you are interacting with someone in person or online, true engagement is at the heart of effective relationship building.

“It’s the relationship, stupid” is a simple reminder. Relationships are one of the most effective ways to make your brand stand out in an oversaturated market.

What do you think?