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Warm and fuzzy connections can boost business

brand affinity

What do ugly sweaters and brand affinity have in common? Perhaps more than you think! Ugly sweaters and brand affinity create connection. One of these has been inspiring shared laughs for almost two decades. The other is the strongest tie a business can have with clients.

As B2B marketing consultants, the Audienz crew has experienced how brand affinity can lift sales, grow new business, and generate a larger customer base—for the clients’ business and ours. Cozier than loyalty, affinity promotes connection because you share values—keeping clients committed in the long term, even when business hits a snag (warning: there are more knitting metaphors).

The comfort of knowing we all put our sweaters on the same way—one arm at a time.

People have a psychological need to connect with one another and identify commonalities. This need is embodied by the unifying experience of the ugly sweater season. “[Ugly sweaters make] you feel like you’re part of a little club where everyone gets the same joke,” says Krystine Batcho, a psychology professor at Le Moyne College.

Likewise, clients want to feel that kind of comfort, ease, and bond with the companies they partner with. Sharing a laugh or an interest makes us feel closer. In a similar way, clients appreciate an approachable partner they can relate to and trust.

A shared love of ugly sweaters knits together young and old, different religious denominations, and people in many corners of the world (they’re referred to as ‘jumpers’ by our friends in the UK). Jumping back to great brands, affinity makes customers love a brand—that connection with many types of consumers on an emotional level is powerful. Think of some of Coca Cola’s most memorable campaigns—they give us the feels decades later (was I the only kid who imagined myself singing “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” every time I held a Coke bottle?).

Affinity and finding the perfect ugly sweater won’t happen overnight.

Relationships take time to grow, evolve, and solidify. The best examples come from a place of trust, transparency, commitment, attention to detail, creativity, and care. How we connect with our clients is always top of mind—and from there, we become trusted advisors to help our clients reach and build affinity with their customers.

Much like the best ugly sweaters (the one that comes out of Great Aunt Edna’s closet and smells like mothballs), authentic relationships can’t be manufactured overnight, and one size does not fit all.

If you’re ‘sweating’ your approach, try starting here:

    • Tailor your offerings to the clients’ needs.
    • Commit to creating smooth and simple client experiences.
    • Build trust through service and transparency.
    • Speak their language by putting client challenges front and center. You’ll become more relatable, enhancing your ties with clients.
    • Or, connect with the Audienz Crew—a creative and warm team of marketing consultants who can help you better connect with your clients.

Searching for ugly sweater inspiration? Like the Audienz Facebook page and look for photos of our December 19th company meeting and ugly sweater challenge. And remember, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is celebrated on the third Friday of December each year.

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