Relationships – “It’s Complicated”

: Ayelet Levanon 05  April 2015
Relationships – “It’s Complicated”
For several years, we branders have been trying to create relationships with our audiences. There’s a need to fill a role in their lives and establish a relevant presence in their world. This is definitely the next step in brand evolution, which directly affects how brands communicate and behave. For the better.
The important insight regarding a brand-audience relationship applies to any relationship. The discourse becomes a two-way conversation, a dialogue. We send messages, but we must also listen and provide a space to talk and express opinions.
So long to the “Mad Men” era, when the most advertising space, the loudest tones, and reddest fonts signaled the strongest brands. Nowadays, though, it’s safe to say that it’s actually the weaker brands using these methods to speak to (or shout at) their audience.
This dialogue has created an active audience. Influential consumers with real power; active customers. Great! But what kind of brands have we created? Needy, clingy brands. In our hurry to create relationships, we never stopped to ask ourselves whether customers always want to express their opinions. Maybe they don’t always have something to say to us, the energy to listen to us? Maybe our presence in their lives is a bit too much? Have we gone a step too far and become the suitor who sends endless messages a day and doesn’t stop till you respond, the Polish mom who constantly reminds you to call, or the friend with too much time on her hands who posts 5 updates in a row and floods our news feeds?
So what’s the recipe for a healthy relationship?
Just like any other relationship: in-depth knowledge, a real understanding of desires and preferences, and adding a little space when needed.