To be honest I wasn’t always a big fan of The Bachelor reality T.V. series, but in all fairness up until last year I had never really watched an episode or new much about it. Finally after years of competing with my wife over the remote control and with the arrival of my second daughter, I decided to accept my fate and give it a go.
Two things struck me right away. First, it’s a such an awkward premise in which to meet and fall in love with your future wife/husband, why would anyone want themselves being watched by million of strangers. Second, what separated the contestants that made it to the end from the ones who were given the boot early on are the very same things that separate successful brands from their competition.
For Bachelor contestants and brands alike, it’s all about creating an emotional connection with your potential admirer. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a love expert, but what enabled those love hopefuls to win the hearts of their respective Bachelor/Bachelorette will be the very same things that help your brand win the hearts of your customers and community.
1. Don’t Be Fake
If you only take one thing out of this article let it be this: be genuine. People are smart and will see right through your charade if it’s not sincere. If you try and be something you’re not, it will lake authenticity and you’ll see customers abandoning you quicker than a toupee in a hurricane. You want customers to believe in you and buy in to your story, values, and culture. This can only happen if the values and culture you’re putting out are truly representative of who you are and what you believe.
2. Share Your Story
Customers don’t just want to know what you do, they want to know WHY you do it. The more open and giving you can be with the story of why you do what you do, the more opportunity you are giving for people to understand and connect with you. People will buy into your journey and vision far more than they will buy into your products or services.
3. Listen With Purpose
Listening with the intent to reply is very different from listening with the intent to understand. And sometimes we’re too busy thinking about shopping lists and weekend plans that we’re not even listening at all. Every relationship requires various levels of effort, but the starting point is always the same: understanding what is important and of interest to that particular person. Listening is the magic key that unlocks those secrets and allows you to move forward to engage, influence and build trust with that person. By investing the time to listen and understand it shows that you value and respect them, and sets you up for a long term positive relationship.
4. Looks Count
Especially at the beginning. Humans are visual creatures, and the first thing we notice about someone is their looks. Eventually we get to know people beyond just their appearance but the brutal reality is that the decision whether to invest the time to do so is often based on that first visual assessment. The same is true for your brand, and its important that your visual style is both attractive to your customers and accurately conveys your brand identity. Your visual presence set’s the scene for how your customers will engage with and experience your brand and therefore needs to reflect who you truly are.
5. Be Clear and Consistent
There is so much noise and competition going around today that it’s becoming increasingly harder to cut through and get people’s attention. Much like the love hopefuls trying to grab some alone time with the Batchelor before the rose ceremony, your brand has to fight hard to get your customers attention (and even then it will only be for a limited time). The best thing to do once you’ve finally got their attention is to be clear and consistent. Keep it simple so they can easily understand what you are saying, and be consistent so that every communication (website, packaging, advertising, social media, staff etc) continually reinforces your message, personality and position.