Empathy- the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
Empathy is a skill perhaps often misunderstood in today’s modern society, however the importance of empathy is becoming more and more prominent.
Take the recent mental health kick, where the taboo and stigma surrounding the topic seems to have been somewhat removed.
The taboo around brands caring about empathy is also being gradually removed and companies are beginning to care more about the thoughts and feelings of their customers and employees.
This blog will take you through why empathy matters in branding.
Empathy-based marketing involves seeing through the eyes of your customers. For this strategy to work, you need to understand who your customers are, what motivates them and what challenges they are facing.
You need to learn what you can do to improve their lives, but if you understand what motivates them you can then give them what they need to solve the problem you are trying to fix.
Some tips to incorporate empathy into your marketing strategy include…
Many companies make the mistake of over-relying on data when they are thinking about branding and marketing, this will leave you with blind spots and prevent you from developing new, innovative ideas.
Coupling data with marketing empathy will help your company see good results.
Many companies fall into the trap of seeming too much like a machine and the audience can tell that the approach is monotone and lacks a real connection with the reader.
Don’t fall into this trap. One way to avoid this is to be more human and use digital storytelling.
As humans we love stories, our lives and conversations are based on stories. Therefore, ensure your blogs, social media, posts, emails and guides feel like conversations for your audience not like a mechanical machine is talking to them.
More empathy in branding also leads to better engagement from your audience.
Understanding your viewers values, motives and what they care about, your company will be able to better relate with your audience and they will appreciate and enjoy that you really care about them.
Gen Z is also big on companies and brands showing empathy for causes such as equality, fair pay and climate change as these are the issues that people really care about and want to be acknowledged.
For brands and companies to be successful in empathy, they need to MEAN IT (the foundation of empathy), GET IT (the cognitive part of empathy), FEEL IT (the emotional element of empathy) and DO IT (the empathy in action).
In a poll done on Belgium consumers, they believe that it’s “important” or “very important” a brand is always honest. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brand-empathy-matters-consumers-hugely-olivier-trop/?trk=public_profile_article_view
On the same poll, most of the consumers believed that it’s very important a brand actually listens to customers (75%) and genuinely cares about their customers (74%), treats them fairly (72%) and understands what they need (72%).
Consumers are four times more likely to identify themselves with a brand if that brand scores high on the empathy value index.
Some other figures behind empathy and marketing are…
Data and feedback from your audience provides good insight into your audience but more is needed to develop brand empathy.
You need to align your company’s members who are workling most closely with consumers such as your marketing and sales teams, so you can hear their reactions and challenges and what interests consumers.
This will help you understand future marketing decisions that create better alignment, this could mean…