MD2MD speaker Barnaby Wynter provoked members to think differently about their customers and their customer engagement process by considering carefully how they connect emotionally with customers.  He suggested that customers develop an affinity for a brand step by step through a number of stages in a refinement of the widely used AIDA model. I share his six step version below.

There is more detail if you’re interested in his book:
The Brand Bucket : Make Your Marketing Work

Awareness

The natural first step of the process.  Nothing can happen without a person becoming aware of you somehow.  A challenge in itself that keeps many PR, SEO and other agencies in business.

Image match

People begin to engage with you emotionally when they feel that your image is compatible or develops theirs.  Who doesn’t want to be seen driving an Aston-Martin or wearing Gucci? (Me but that’s the point.  Their image doesn’t match my self-image – but it may match yours!)

Facts match

Only AFTER they have begun to engage emotionally, are they open to considering the logical analytical process that traditional sales and marketing focuses on of buying benefits resulting from features.

Test drive

Wherever possible, it is a good idea to make it easy for a potential buyer to buy something low cost and low risk. Basically to test drive the brand and check it lives up to their expectations.  A great technique for doing so is Seminar selling, covered by another MD2MD speaker and summarised in articles here, here, here and here.

Usage

If all goes well, they move on from the test drive to become an established customer buying repeatedly, regularly, everything they need that you can supply.  Another challenge covered by MD2MD and described here (Phil Jesson).

Loyalty

And finally if everything continues to go well, they will want to recommend you to others.  A chance for them to develop their relationships with others and with you.