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Make People LOVE Your Brand: The Jack and Rose Story

As she stood on the bow of the rushing Titanic with the wind blowing in her hair, Jack stood behind her as if to represent the confidence she desperately craved for herself. In a moment that would drive most people to panic, instead she proclaimed: “I am flying.”

What? Why? Her reaction was not by accident. Jack started much earlier in the story to craft a superbly framed experience to allow her to see the world the way he wanted her to see it—she craved freedom. He showed her how her life could be better with him. Don’t you want people to feel the same way about your organization?  I grew up seeing the world through TV and movies, and found that many of iconic characters illustrate fundamentals about the quirks of audience behavior. I have explored these unexplainable, feverish pursuits of love from modern cinema in a talk I have delivered to captive audiences around the country.  What makes these love-struck characters make the craziest decisions in the name of love, and more importantly, how does it relate to branding? I’ll get into that below, but first…   (Spoiler alert, as if anyone hasn’t seen the 1997 classic, Titanic) Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Jack in the classic movie, Titanic, and his co-stars from his recent flick laugh about Jack and Rose and their irrational decisions in the name of love. Namely, wasn’t there room for Jack on the door frame in the tragic end of the movie? 

How to woo people to LOVE your brand

Why care about this love thing anyway? Because it is better for business (or your issue) if people are wholly committed to your brand. In a recent study by Google, we learn an eye-opening statistic that consumers choose the brands that engage them on their passions and interests 42% more often than those that simply urge them to buy the product being advertised. It’s about creating brand advocates.

Love-struck Step One:  Promise & Deliver Consistently 

If you are not sure what you stand for, this will come across in your communications. Just like a classic love story, the characters fall in love with other characters that have a consistent and attractive set of attributes. Jack presented a fun-loving, artsy and vagabond experience that stood in stark opposition to Rose’s life of class, cultural expectations and riches. Throughout the story, he embodied these traits and used verbal and non-verbal cues to solidify these traits.  How can you fall in love with someone who changes all the time? The same goes for your brand experience. People are busy and have so much information to consume. Smart brands promise and deliver consistently. 

Love-struck Step Two: Be Irresistible

Communicating and wooing are two very different approaches. Sure, you have to satisfy your baseline communications goals, though making people fall in love with your brand requires more. You need to be so dang irresistible that they can’t stop thinking about you and what you offer.  Jack was extremely observant and intuitive. He could sense Rose’s unhappiness and her desire to escape the confinement her life had become. By being interested and paying attention, he was able to relate with her in a way that created this irresistible experience.  Jack wasn’t trained in audience research in the way you are, though he was essentially doing the same thing. Get to know your audience deeply.  Here are three great questions to start with: 
  • What do they most care about? 
  • What tensions do they have about the state of the world? 
  • What other brands do they love?  
Falling in love requires facts and emotions. Facts don’t make people make irrational decisions, like Rose rejecting a lifeboat to crawl through the flooded Titanic to find a guy she had just met. She was ALL IN and driven to pursue Jack. What would it look like for your brand advocates to have the same drive and relentless pursuit to invest in your brand? We talk much more about a smart approach to intuitive audience research in this blog In closing, remember love is that spark that you just can’t explain. Seek to build the same type of rich and meaningful relationship with your audiences. Before you know it, your next end-of-year fundraising ask letter may be dripping with sappy love songs! So what more can we learn from Rose and Jack? Well, you’ll have to come to my next talk to find out. Xoxo

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