Empathic Marketing – aka, what’s true in life is true in marketing.
Empathic Marketing was inspired by my observations over time and across categories that the ways in which we form personal relationships mirrors how we form brand relationships.
Forces such as empathy, experiences, endorsement and energy help shape our real life relationships. These 4Es of real relationships – empathy, experiences, energy and endorsement – form a clear and measurable brand planning model to help marketers create more customer-centered brand platforms.
Communications today areconsumed differently. The way in which we buildbrands must evolve as well.
Brand planning has been hijacked bybrand pyramids, Venn diagrams andother constructs that get too farremoved from the customer.Empathic Marketing is designed torefocus marketing back on fundamentalhuman truths.
Developed before hyper-competition. Ignores thewonderfully irrational nature ofhuman beings, aka consumers.Developed in a mass media age.Ignores the nonlinear nature of mediaconsumption.Empathic marketing is modeled on the way in which people form personalrelationships – empathy, experiences, endorsement and energy. The 4Ps AIDAThe “4Es”
Experiences form deeply held beliefsProduct performance Unique interactionsMedia contextBrand associations and contentMomentum conveys leadershipNew product cycleEventsNew servicesAlliancesMedia channelsEmpathic MarketingEmpathy drives personal relevanceShared point of viewShared valuesSimilar dreams and ambitionsEngage via passion points Empathy! Experiences Energy!Perceptions BehaviorsPeer review deepens commitmentSocial mediaWOMPREndorsement
Empathy! Experiences Energy! Endorsement Brand saliency(image metrics):RelevanceDifferentiationHigh esteem / qualityFamiliarityCustomer engagement(marketing and product):Customer satisfactionTotal & unique web visitsBounce RateAvg. pages/ time spent per visitConversion rateseMail open ratesMobile CTA ratesBrand advocacy(Loyalty, PR, social media):Net Promoter ScoreConsumer product ratingsBlogger recommendationsSocial media sentiment analysisFacebook fans and engagementYouTube SharesTwitter re-tweetsBrand momentum(image and market metrics):InnovationSuccessLeadershipPopularityGoogle searchTrafﬁc (online and in-store)Sales (volume & share)Sample MetricsPerceptions Behaviors
Empathic marketingliberates us fromantiquatedvocabulary.
It rejects tireddistinctions like“traditional vs. nontraditionalmarketing.”
There is only traditional thinking.(And this is punishable by irrelevance.)
It views labels suchas “new media” asold ideas.
If you want to makeanyone under 40 laugh,refer to the web as “newmedia.”Ditto for mobile.
It refuses to allow“online and ofﬂine” tolive in silos.
In an era of QR codes andsecond screen viewing, isanything really ofﬂine?
It doesn’t use “brandadvertising” to meanTV and print.
The internet is the mostpowerful brand buildingtool ever. Storytelling.Experiences. Sight,sound, motion. Peerendorsement.
It fully recognizes thestrategic value of TV,print and outdoor.
Good luck reaching B2B execswith a viral video, or my momthrough Twitter. Let me know howefﬁcient your street teams are inreaching millions of guys relativeto a spot on an NFL game.
The new modelembraces media as asource of creativity.
How and where a brandshows up can be asimportant as what it says.
Ignore store trafﬁc and nobody will careabout the awareness gain. Click-through rates at the expense ofemotional relevance and differentiation willnot matter as the brand degrades tocommodity status. True marketing professionals balance theseseemingly conﬂicting goals.
One thing will neverchange: We mustbuild strong brands.
Products become brands bycreating empatheticrelationships with customers.Brands become enduring,proﬁtable assets when theydeliver relevant differentiation.
Brand empathy occurswhen customers projectthemselves onto the brand.Deﬁne a brands source ofempathy and youll ﬁnd itsessential truth.
We tend to have ourdeepest and most lastingrelationships with peoplewho share our values; ourbeliefs; our sense ofhumor; our sense of style.
Empathy isn’t squishy. It’s ahard metric in nearly all brandequity research – e.g.,personal relevance, afﬁnity,trust, a brand for me,understands my company’sneeds.
Great brands tell greatstories. Stories help usconnect. They conveymeaning. In a fast movingworld, meaning trumpsinformation.
Elements of a great storyArchetype!TheJourney!Conﬂict!The universal charactersthat form our collectiveunconscious. The hero,temptress, ruler, et al createdeeper connections withconsumers.The most compellingprotagonists are on a questtoward something inspiring.Great brands project a senseof purpose – a true north thatguides their values andbehavior.Great stories hinge on aclearly deﬁned antagonist.Great brands are clear onwhat they oppose in orderto be crystal clear aboutwhat they believe.
Archetypes are the universalpersonalities spanning ancientmythologies through today.Our psychological hardwiring. Components of the collectiveunconscious that informperceptions and behavior.
Archetypes are central to storytellingLover HeroSageMagicianOutlawInnocent and JesterEvil
The hero’s journeyDrawn from analysis of mythology across culturesand time:“A hero ventures forth from the commonworld…confronts obstacles and adversaries…wins a decisive victory…and returns with the power to help his fellowman.”
The hero’s journey:HollywoodAn innocent young princeattempts to run away from his troubles only to discoverthe redeeming power of friendshipand truth.
The hero’s journey:PoliticsA man rises above racial barriers to inspire anation to defy the divisiveness of red statesand blue states and reclaim the promise ofthe United States.
The hero’s journey:BrandsAn authority-defying rebel uniting a community in acrusade against fear.An advocate of women’s self-esteem battling against thefalsehood of media-deﬁnedbeauty.A free thinker liberating creativityfrom a world of beige conformity.
Like people, brandsare judged by whatthey do, not just bywhat they say.
Experiences transformperceptions into deeplyheld beliefs.
Every interaction deﬁnes thebrand, e.g., the packaging,how the phone is answered;customer service; the onlineexperience; events; the tradeshow booth; mobile gaming.
This is not a soft measure. The 2011 Brand Keys Customer LoyaltyEngagement Index shows thatcustomers increasingly deﬁne valuethrough the total brand experience, andthat experiences have a strong impacton customer decision-making.
If brands are built onempatheticrelationships, thenthat relationship isnow a ménage á trois.
In a socially wired world, brandsare not solely deﬁned by therelationship between thecustomer and the product. It’sabout the relationship sharedamong all the customers of theproduct.
Advocacy isn’t just an conquesting strategy –it’s also a loyalty strategy.When a customer advocates a brand, theydeepen their commitment to the brand byputting their name and reputation on the line.
Energy is a powerfulforce. It casts an aura ofinfectious momentum thatis often measured inbrand research assuccess, innovation,leadership or popularity.
Maintaining energy requires that we thinkthrough what happens in themonths after a launch.It’s the absence of energy that causesotherwise loyal customers to get bored;to ﬂirt with other brands; to spice uptheir life by trying something new andinteresting.
Key insights form the E4 PlanFOCUSFIXREFRAMEMONITORINCREASEINVESTMENTINNOVATE& TESTMAINTAININVESTMENTDECREASEINVESTMENTEMBRACESEEDACKNOWLEDGELEARNEmpathy Energy Experiences Endorsement KPIs KPIs KPIs KPIs Cultural Context Percep9on Behavior
Deﬁning Cultural Context!What the brand owns:! What the brand needs:!Brand Equity!Brand Empathy!What the brand believes:! What the customer values:!Image:! Engagement:!Key Marketing Metrics!Sales:!Brand proposition:!Brand Experiences!Archetypal Voice:! Interactions: !!Iconography:! Channels:!Empathic Marketing Brief
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