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Become an Addictive Brand

Become an Addictive Brand

Business Tips

Does your morning begin post coffee? If so, then you know the importance of that routine (and caffeine addiction). Your morning just isn’t the same without it. You can create the same addiction to your business. It just requires a more carefully created artifice or brand. Without the help of caffeine or other addictive substance, you’ll need to use marketing and a persona that draws people in and makes them want to be a part of your business.

Whether you are a company of one or 100, there are ways to help customers feel a “need” for you. You just have to find the right combination of desires and attitudes.

How to Become an Addictive Brand

At the risk of pulling a bait and switch, I want to be clear that the idea is not to make EVERYONE addicted to you, but rather, your ideal customer. That said, tailor the suggestions below to appeal to your demographic. Let’s look at how others have done it successfully.

Be a Role Model

One of the reasons people love Taylor Swift is because she models good and generous behavior. For example, according to unnamed sources quoted in People Magazine, Swift gifted her Eras tour employees $55 million. It's this type of positive role modeling that makes parents and tweens love her.

While no one expects the average business to give like Taylor, encouraging generosity and giving back is an admirable trait in any business. You might give employees time to volunteer for nonprofits, host a holiday toy drive, or support a local sports team. Whatever way you choose to give back, know that people will appreciate it. Plus, you’ll feel like a bigger part of the community.

Listen and Love Them Back

Don’t put up walls and send out cease-and-desist letters when people celebrate your brand. As long as their social shares aren’t inflammatory, give them some social media love back. For instance, a novice makeup artist posted pictures of her work online. She tagged the makeup manufacturers of the products she used. Only one of the three commented on her post. Then they shared it. She was so touched by the shout-out (after all, she’s not a big-time influencer. She had very few followers at that point), that they are now all she uses. And guess what? She gives them a tag every time. That’s more eyes on their product.

Give Them More Than Products or Services

To be an addictive brand, you want to become part of their life. This means doing more than just selling them something. Consider how you might fit into your ideal customer’s life. Can you give them an escape? Can you solve a problem? Can you become a source of advice, entertainment, or education?

The answer lies in your audience but one of the most popular ways to become a part of their lives these days is by hosting events. Recently, I came across a florist who hosts events at a local brewery during the day. From flower arranging classes to bonsai shaping seminars, these classes draw a crowd. The florist and the brewery win. So do the attendees.

What business might you pair with to create an enjoyable time for your ideal customer?

Become a Lifestyle

I know I promised I would tell you how to become an addictive brand without caffeine, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Starbucks. Let’s move past what they sell. Starbucks has crafted an addictive brand (for seven dollars a cup in some places, I’m calling it a luxury brand).

People make jokes about how they can’t live without it. But it’s not the coffee they’re talking about, or we would’ve seen a decline in sales at the shop when they went into the grocery store. If you’re a Starbucks fan, you don’t talk about going to “get coffee with friends.” You use the brand name—going to Starbucks.

The company did this by becoming a lifestyle for its consumers. Customers bring work to the coffee house, meet friends, and go on first dates there. It’s a gathering place. It sells merchandise and even seems to have its own ordering language.

Plus, it uses gamification in its app to encourage its week-day customers to also buy on the weekends. It awards double stars for streaks of purchases (Monday-Saturday for instance).

You can begin creating a lifestyle brand by working with influencers and focusing on word-of-mouth marketing. Additionally if you want to be a lifestyle brand, make your business a hub of activity and encourage lingering.

And when you become a brand everyone is addicted to…

Remain Humble

Keanu Reeves has worked in Hollywood for decades. With a net worth estimated north of $380 million, he still regularly credits others with his success (like the stunt doubles in John Wick). Hollywood insiders also tell the tale of how Reeves waited outside of his wrap party for hours because no one recognized him. (I wasn’t there so I can’t say if it happened but it sure is good PR for his humble personal brand). Reeves is loved and celebrated for these traits setting him apart from so many of his peers.

When your business becomes the next big thing, practice the art of humility, how to make someone’s day on social media, and how to show gratitude. Your customers will notice.

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