These are some of the lyrics of ‘Halt Mich’, one of the greatest love songs by German singer and songwriter Herbert Grönemeyer. Also something brands and companies should have in the back of their head when thinking of consumers. Or better yet in the front of it, i.e. top-of-mind. Brands need to really and truly appreciate consumers to gain their trust; even more so in social media. Sometimes though, it feels to consumers more like “Schön wenn ich Dich krieg’ “ (Great once I GET you).
Become my friend NOW!
The latter variant is regularly constructed as follows: “Like us on Facebook NOW and win an iPad3”. Great: be my friend and if you’re lucky I’ll wire you a couple o’ hundred bucks. Who would not want to be your friend? Uh…
True friends: more complex, more meaningful
Taking the original lyrics from the named song is much more complex, but also a lot richer, and meaningful. It implies a brand that is positive towards the consumer and notices him/her to start with. Which helps if you want the feeling to be mutual. Noticing real consumers is actually pretty easy, just look around: he/she asked a question through the brand website or customer service, signed up for your newsletter; or maybe joined the recently started Facebook page already – but not because of a prize, but just because he/she has feelings towards the brand. Now, because this latter group of people already cares about your brand (not a lot of people complain about something they don’t care about, right?) they can be turned into real fans or even ambassadors. And with this group adding some value with prizes can actually be beneficial for brand and consumer alike, without the brand coming across desperate. The difference is significant. The latter consumers will feel that they’ve received the prize from a befriended brand. Imagine that in real-life-human-experience terms. You’d probably feel appreciated.
And let’s be honest, in real life, would you trust a total stranger who gave you an expensive present?