Hi. My name’s James and I’m an addict.
I’m addicted to a lot of things in life. Drinking dark, rich coffee in the morning. The occasional cheeky chocolate biscuit with a cup of tea while watching TV in the evening. Relaxing in warm summer sunshine. Playing and listening to the piano. Exploring new places and seeing new things. Spending time with my children.
These are some of the things I live for. That make me happy. That keep me coming back for more and always have me thinking of them.
What if you could create a brand that had the same effect? That made people feel so good it became part of their lives, their consciousness?
Sounds a little bit unbelievable right? How can people be addicted to a brand?
But it’s not that far fetched. Think about those that are addicted to McDonalds, Coke, Disney, Apple etc. These are the big brands and the ones that everybody recognises, but there are a million and one other, smaller brand out there that have the same effect on people.
And yours could easily be one of them!
In this article, I’m gonna take you through the 15 things you need to offer your audience to make them addicts of your brand!
When we think about addiction, images of cigarettes, alcohol, recreational drugs and the like come to mind. Things that can cause an actual physical dependence. Something our bodies physically can’t go without once hooked on them.
But that’s just one type of addiction.
The other type, and the type that branding falls under, is psychological. The perceived need to use or engage in something. A mental or emotional attachment to a behaviour.
Funnily enough however, both types set off the same regions in our brain. So we FEEL the same way whether we have a physical or psychological addiction to something. If we go without either, the same pain receptors in our brain spark up.
Very powerful stuff then!
We’re taught through life that being addicted to something is bad. That too much of something is never a good thing. That it will damage your health and relationships etc.
Drugs are usually the banner child of addiction as they are physically incredibly addictive substances and usually lead to self destruction.
But that’s right at the worst end of the scale.
When it comes to psychological addictions, we usually become attached to thing we love. That make us feel good.
Certain music, foods, TV shows, environments (think clubs or spas etc.) or people.
I’m addicted to my friends because they’re amazing people. They make me laugh, support me, inspire me and are always there.
As a brand, you want to be your audience’s best friend.
You want to get them addicted to your brand’s personality and everything you can offer them.
Addictions are based on a cycle of motivating people to behave a certain way and then rewarding them for doing so. This positive reinforcement leads to repeat behaviour. And repeat behaviour leads to habit.
And that’s where you want your brand to be. A habit to your audience.
When they want to find out something around the niche that you serve, they automatically come to you. When they want something done, you’re the only option that comes to mind.
You want to get to a point where your audience don’t have to think. They just do. And that ‘doing’ always involves you and your brand.
To get to that point then, you REALLY need to know your audience. What they want and like. Their pains, frustrations, goals, needs etc. Everything about them, what they want to achieve and why.
Your motivation needs to be a promise to them. An offer of extreme value that’ll help them overcome their barriers and reach their goals.
Your reward must then be instant after they’ve taken action (clicked through to a blog article, signed up to your email list, bought your book/course etc.). Any delay and you risk breaking the cycle.
Your reward to them isn’t just delivering on your promise, it’s how you do it that’ll create that emotional connection.
And that’s what these 15 points are all about! The way you reward your audience.
So let’s start!
Go where your competitors don’t and always aim to over-deliver. Teach them more for free, blog more, give them something no-one else will or can.
Use enticing colour schemes, imagery and descriptive text to inspire and build anticipation. Show them the ideal. Where they could get to. And that it’s achievable. Describe in detail exactly how they can make their desires a reality.
Feature them in testimonials. Put them on a pedestal within your emails, community and newsletters. Always strive hard to progress them. To make them better people.
Make things as clear and easy as possible. Create step-by-step processes and explanations that anyone can do and understand. Make them smarter, more beautiful, more healthy etc.
Show them that you understand their troubles. A great way of doing this is answering the questions they have before they even ask them. This is a major trust builder. If you know your audience, you’ll know their reservations. Address them from the get go and don’t leave them with any lingering doubts.
Give them solutions to their actual problems, not what you think their problems are. This is a very fine, but very important distinction. Let your audience tell you exactly what’s bothering them. Ask them, go to forums, Facebook groups etc. Don’t decide for yourself.
The more you give away to people for free upfront, the more loyal those people will become. And more likely to move onto your paid services. If your audience know you will always be there to give them what they need, they’ll never need to go elsewhere.
Treat people right! Don’t rip them off, con them, abuse them. Always be fair – with your time, content, views, communication and prices. Have a conversation with people, no-one likes to be on the receiving end of a one-way lecture.
We’re all human – use your tone of voice, copy and imagery in all of your content and communication to make them smile. A simple smile brings with it a nice endorphin kick. Keep doing that and people will become addicted to it.
Know what your audience expect of you. Do it. And do it more. This is another reason why a comprehensive understanding of your audience is vital!
Be a source of knowledge around your subject and niche. Know and understand the trends and golden examples. And share them with those that follow you.
Through your storytelling and your brand look and feel. Create an entire sensory experience that they will relate to and fall in love with.
Teach them. Through your emails, blog, videos, courses etc. Your ultimate goal is to make them the expert.
Give true examples of success and be specific. Use case studies, social proof, quantifiable results etc. We all want to know that something is achievable and not just another pipe dream.
Be timely, be regular, and be consistent in your promises and delivery. People can only look forward to something that has a concrete date attached to it, otherwise it’s just a vague concept.
By using the above techniques throughout everything you do in your brand, and every touchpoint you have with your audience, you can easily build an emotional attachment with them.
You can make people feel good! And we always want more of the things we love.
We become addicted.
And from addiction comes habit. The unconscious act of doing something, no matter what.
Some people will only ever drink Coke. They say it tastes different. It’s the real thing. No other cola compares. But there’s nothing different in the taste. It’s all sugar and water. But they’re addicted to the brand. To the image it represents and the way it makes them feel.
Others are addicted to reading tabloid newspapers. The ‘news’ is pure nonsense. But for some reason it makes them feel good. It appeals to their emotions.
If you can make people fall in love with your brand, you’ll become one of their life’s addictions.
Do you use any of the techniques above in your brand? Have you seen an increase in more loyal customers? Jump into the Facebook group and let me know! I’d love to hear how they have helped your business.