Have you ever seen the TV show Mr. Robot? In this show one of the main bad guys is a massive multinational conglomerate by the name of E-Corp.
And I’m not kidding when I say massive…To give you an idea of how huge they are, it’s like if you combined General Electric with JPMorgan and Apple.
(Can you imagine if we let something like that fly in the real world?)
Interestingly enough, they even sport an “E” logo that is suspiciously close to the Enron logo. But if you’re familiar with the show, then you know the name “E-Corp” is not what most people know it as.
The popular nickname for this company?
And the reason for this name is no surprise:
It’s the quintessential nameless, soulless corporation that consumers love to hate. No redeeming qualities. No human elements. Just a faceless institution with a cold, intimidating presence that conveys zero empathy.
(Maybe you’ve got a real-world example that springs to mind as you read that sentence.)
It’s clear as day why you don’t want your company to appear like that…But the unfortunate reality is that most businesses come closer to this than they think.
They think they’re seen as human, emotional, and real…But they really just come across as robots imitating the real thing.
And in this time of disruption and stress, Kurt Gray explains the last thing your customers need is to feel like they’re interacting with a faceless brand or company.
They need to feel like they’re interacting with people. People that are just like them. People that they know, like and trust. People that are on the same side as them. That’s why making sure your company is as ‘likeable’ as possible has never been so important.
Organizations that skip this crucial step often think they’re coming across as authentic – all while their customers think roll their eyes.
But brands that tap into this can forge a powerful emotional bond with their base – one that starts during a time of trouble and then continues long into the future.
So if you’re interested in making sure your hard marketing work doesn’t backfire, then here are 3 strategies to increase your company’s likeability in order to get this crucial dynamic right:
Humanize Your Brand
This one sounds obvious – but you’d be surprised at how many businesses are downright terrified of doing it. They use vague messaging and clever slogans that sound good in the boardroom but phony in the real world.
But humanizing your brand doesn’t have to be some huge or complicated undertaking. What it really comes down to is getting personal. Vulnerable. And sometimes even uncomfortable.
The lengths you take to do this depend on your brand, but a simple message everyone can communicate is:
“We’re not perfect. But we’re trying our best.”
Something like this is so powerful because it’s hard NOT to relate with.
After all, it’s what we do as humans. We mess up. We fumble. But we still try.
Show your customers that you’re imperfect – just like them – and you’ll show them a side of your brand that’s more sincere and authentic than the most impressive slogan or tagline.
Put Yourself On The Same Side As Your Customers
During times of crisis, one of the most powerful emotions people can feel is a sense of unity. Your situation may be bad or downright frightening – but if you have others in the same boat, you can all band together and become something much bigger than you currently are.
An event like the pandemic is no different.
Right now, the last thing your customers need is another faceless company trying to sell them a product. They need an ally. A friend. Someone on the same side who wants the same thing.
That’s why another crucial messaging shift is to convey:
“We’re in this together.”
You want to show that you’re not above the chaos, sitting in a fancy mansion watching it all unfold like a supervillain.
Rather, you’re just another person (like them) trying to cope with a crazy world.
You can even go as far as sharing some of your big concerns.
Maybe you’re worried about what the next few months have in store. Maybe you and your staff also have loved ones who are at risk. Or maybe you’re just bewildered at everything that’s happened in the span of a few months.
The point is that small details like these can have a big impact. Just make sure you don’t come across as clueless or unconfident. Share your fear, but demonstrate a willingness to lead and move forward.
Reduce Their Shame About Choices They May Be Making
Ever felt a little ashamed for binging Netflix for 6 straight hours?
Or maybe gobbling up the quarantine snacks meant for your kids?
(Guilty as charged.)
Then the last thing you want to hear is:
“You shouldn’t have done that.”
Words like these carry a bucket-load of shame – and people don’t take kindly to this unless it’s coming from a parent, authority figure or close friend who wants what’s best for them.
That’s why the following 4 words – used by cult leaders and master marketers alike – invoke such a positive emotional response:
“It’s not your fault.”
This statement strikes such a deep chord because it gives your customers the gift of being imperfect.
And reflecting this in your messaging can skyrocket your likeability – because we all need to be cut some slack in a stressful time.
So help your customers feel good about their choices.
Maybe they haven’t written a book or learned a new language during quarantine. Maybe they’ve ordered delivery instead of supporting the local economy.
Show that you’re not here to judge – but to understand and guide them to the best path – and your message will make the distinct shift from “corporate” to “close friend”.
Once you start to implement all 3 of these messaging techniques you’ll be surprised at how effective your marketing is – and perhaps how much easier it is to come up with what to say.
PLUS: Whenever you’re ready – here are a few ways we can help your business profit during these unpredictable times:
P.S. Get personalized feedback for your situation
If you’re interested in implementing the content I shared above – but want to make sure you do it right – then I invite you to hop on a 15-minute call with me and Chip Massey a former FBI hostage negotiator. We’ll go over a few ways to apply these crucial behavioral concepts to YOUR business so that you come out ahead in 2020. This call is absolutely free of charge. If you’d like to schedule one, click here.
P.P.S. Download our free report
Want some of our top tips and expert behavioral insights for businesses during 2020? Grab our free PDF report here. It covers 8 Pandemic Profit Patterns You Need to Know Now.
P.P.P.S. Work with us 1-on-1
Can’t afford to make any missteps in 2020? Need help solving a crisis or spotting your next opportunity based on our Behavioral Science Brain Trust? We can help — schedule a call to learn about our services: https://calendly.