Brand affinity is a powerful driver for business growth. While brand awareness is a measure of how many consumers know about your business, and brand loyalty focuses on how many customers buy from your company, brand affinity is a metric that focuses on how customers feel about your brand. In other words, it's the technical term for why Coke drinkers would never get near a can of Pepsi, or why Android users get in arguments with Apple fans.
Since brand affinity is so closely tied to shared values and deep (even if subconscious) emotional connections, there's a much higher chance that consumers with an affinity for your brand will stick with your company through good times and bad. For that reason, promoting brand affinity should be a primary goal of your marketing strategy. How can you achieve it, especially if you're on a small business budget?
Produce Valuable Content for Your Consumers
One of the most effective and long-lasting ways to build brand affinity within your consumer base is to generate a steady stream of accessible, high value content for your audience. Educational content that provides practical tips and suggestions for consumers is absolutely vital for the success of any affinity-building initiative.
You should generate this content across several channels—and especially focus on the channels that your target customers prefer. This may include your company blog, email marketing, and video content. Social media is another excellent avenue for content delivery, since it facilitates content-sharing among your fanbase, and allows you to form a more personalized connection with your followers.
As you generate content, remember that not every piece has to drive lead generation. Many consumers are appreciative of free, easy-to-access content that is not centered around driving up a company's revenue. The reality is that producing high value content is a relatively inexpensive and highly effective way to build brand affinity on a budget.
Market Like a Human
Consumers are inundated with impersonal marketing messages from brands that convey a sense of clinical, detached professionalism. On the other hand, many companies try to attract customers by couching their messaging in trendy "Millennial-speak." (You probably know what I'm talking about here.) Unfortunately, this approach can backfire and drive away consumers.
You should endeavor to strike a balance between these two extremes. Without sacrificing dignity of expression, look for ways to make your brand more approachable. Find the appropriate language register for your audience, but don't speak down to them. Be friendly. Be helpful. Show that you are attuned to the needs, concerns, and aspirations of your users.
If you want to build brand affinity among your consumers, remember the old adage: No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. When you market like a human, you'll make your consumers care about your brand.
Make Your Purpose Clear
You don't need to give a grand gesture in order to make your brand's core values evident. Rather, clearly define what your company's mission is, and then incorporate aspects of that mission into all forms of marketing. When a strong sense of purpose is inextricably linked to your brand, your company will attract like-minded individuals. Sooner or later, you can expect these "high-affinity customers" to become fierce advocates for your brand.
In the final analysis, brand affinity does not depend on the size of your marketing budget, or even the reach of your advertising. It depends on how you treat your consumers, and how you express your core values to them. If you'd like to explore some of the different options for building brand affinity on a budget, reach out to the marketing experts at Brightlark Digital today. We can help you get started.