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The must see framework, I use to build raving fans at Fortune 500 brands.

Hey everyone welcome to the Radical Content Newsletter!

Pulling the curtain back on - the framework I have used for years to build raving fans.

The year was 1967. Lyndon B Johnson was President. A new home cost $14,000. It was the year of the first Super Bowl where the Packers beat the Chiefs for you sports fans out there.

It was also the year the first major research around customer engagement was done.

One of the quotes from this report…

“Encouraging word of mouth task based initiatives helps with new product acceptance when the resulting comments are favorable, but hinders when the comments are unfavorable.”

We all know this to be true because we have heard the stat enough that 83% of people say friends’ recos influence their purchase.

While awareness might make you known, it doesn't make you loved. You need a real emotional connection over time to cross that line.

Since 1967 there have been 21 other research projects done around customer engagement and the importance of building customer relationships. Each one of these highlighted different categories to focus on.

Many of these projects leveraged bushels of data and they all had a slightly different way of cutting the data. Words like Affection, Absorption, Interaction, and Participation were all used but one project rose to the top for me, and we have built Maverick Content Studio around this model. We call this The Connection Strategy which comes from brand attachment.

Brand Attachment: The most enduring and valuable level of a relationship between a business and consumer based on common values and a deep emotional connection.

A research project from the Journal of Consumer Psychology from 2005 broke customers’ “emotional attachment” into these 3 categories. The above model gives you a glimpse inside of where they landed on these three priorities from their quant and qual research.

Affection: I am growing positive feelings towards brand X

Connection: I see things about brand X online and I voluntarily interact

Passion: I have intense emotional feelings about brand X.

Take a moment and think about these 3 categories and ask yourself. What brands do you have a high brand affinity or attachment with? For me it's easy - Nike, Chick-fil-A, Apple, Dallas Cowboys, Melin Hats. 🙂

☝🏼 Just for fun - can you comment with brands you have have a high affinity for

OK, so what does this all mean for us marketers today?

It means that if we want enduring long lasting relationships with our customers we might be focused on the wrong goals. While driving business today with performance marketing(offers, conversion, and transactional marketing) is paramount, so is heavily investing in building your brand. And maybe, just maybe building your brand today in 2023 looks different. The way to win the next generation of customers is about finding ways to leverage digital, content, storytelling, and word-of-mouth influence to connect, engage and build passion.

Here are 8 ideas that when done right can spark a new type of brand building

Develop a strong content strategy - Really understand your audience, the content they like, and the channels they hang out on. (Get our free Content Strategy Template here)

Leverage user-generated content - This is all about word-of-mouth marketing, and has nothing to do with hashtags! Getting your people talking is not hard, and is one of the best ways to build affinity.

Implement an influencer program - who are the tastemakers in your space you can partner with? Don’t just pay them, build a relationship with them.

Embrace emerging social media platforms - Don’t just be there to be active, be great, and build a community of advocates. I know that sounds generic, but I need to wrap this up. 🙂

Focus on storytelling - Not just for marketing but from a brand purpose standpoint, people want to know what you stand for.

Stop ignoring YouTube - YouTube is a giant gold mine right under your nose. I know video is hard, but every day people are getting famous, and building brands because anyone with a great idea, and creativity can find and build an audience - why not you? Check out what we built at Universal Parks

Engage in content partnerships - Get creative with partnerships, don’t think about these as the normal way you have done for years. Maybe partner with a similar brand with a customer base that is important for your future. Here is one of my favs. GoPro and the NHL

Be fast, timely, and culturally relevant 365 - Speed is the new differentiator. You can have less money, fewer ideas, but if you execute well, create quickly, and publish frequently, you will win.

Is brand attachment something you talk about as a marketing team? How often do you talk about building your brand, or creating long-lasting relationships with your customers? It’s time.

If you liked this subscribe to the newsletter that comes out first each Monday right to your inbox.

In the coming weeks I will break this open even more, with the 10 principles of building a Connection Brand. You won't want to miss it. Subscribe now!

📝 Posts 'n Stuff - Creative branded content and storytelling that I have to share:

Barbie Movie - marketing - If you have not seen what is going on with the Barbie Movie’s marketing campaign - where have you been? Who else wants to know their marketing budget? Well if you want an amazing snapshot check out this tweet thread from @MosheIsaacian. He shares dozens of crazy, insane, and awesome activations, content, and viral tactics going live to support this film.

Netflix Quarterback - content - The next Netflix sports docuseries is live and it’s the much anticipated Quarterback series. If you watched the F1, Tennis, or Golf series - you know this is going to be good. Added to the DVR this weekend. Does anyone DVR anymore?

📖 Studiotales - Weekly Stories from Maverick Content Studio

It’s hard starting a company from nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving it, but it is hard. One day you are good, the next day you are struggling. Sometimes that happens just within 1 hour. But this week I got an amazing pick-me-up from a person on LinkedIn that I had to share. This is not to pat me on the back, this is more of a reminder for anyone out there thinking about doing their own thing. Do it, it’s worth it. Not only could you change you and your family's life, but you have no idea who you will inspire. Thank you for this amazing message. It's messages like this that help keep me going!

That's it, edition #2 in the books. If you are liking it let me know.

If you need more support in your content and social journey, these are two ways I can help:

Download our Free Content Strategy Template here. This has been built and tested for over fifteen years leading social and content for Fortune 500 brands.

Free content consulting discovery call - get time on my cal here.

Let’s Connect First and Create More.


Eric Gray

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