Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined as the the capacity to perceive, regulate, and express one’s emotions. It’s also the ability to approach interpersonal relationships fittingly and empathetically. The concept of EQ is bounced around the psychology field, but must also be understood by marketing folks too. Brands are comprised of a group of people working towards a common goal, therefore brands are people too and need to tap into EQ in order to enjoy success.
Building a meaningful relationship with consumers and potential clientele is the MOST IMPORTANT part of your marketing efforts. Being emotionally intelligent is KEY to ensuring continued growth.
Yes, you want to get your name, service, or business out there and into the thought process of others. Just like in real life, people don’t want to tune in if your only input is self-involved or robotic in nature. Some brands suffer from a serious case of “me, me, me” or kill content by only worrying about pleasing an algorithm. If your brand is an EQ dunce, it’s time for some serious self-evaluation.
Let’s do a quick EQ gut-check and look for areas that need some TLC.
Ivory Tower Syndrome: You may be deemed an expert in your field or a leading-edge brand with tons of influence, which is wonderful. Just don’t act like you have nothing more to learn or live in a constant state of blissful perfection. Humility is an underrated attribute that goes a long way. Be open, share learning experiences, struggles, insights, and lessons learned. Ask fans questions and look for their input too. To remain valuable, a relationship must go both ways.
Pride is a Deadly Sin: Mess up? Fess up. Maybe I am just really old school, but when you make a flub it’s best just to admit it and apologize. For the most part, people are reasonable and will forgive you. “We’re sorry” is a phrase that is often under utilized. No person or brand is too good to utter those words.
The Feedback Mill: Ask for feedback from fans when blogging, posting to Facebook, composing a Tweet, etc. This move displays a genuine interest in meeting consumer needs and desires. Brands may even discover a gold mine of rich ideas or uncover a surprising consumer need. Businesses pay a lot of money for consumer insights. This method is direct, inexpensive, and paints brands in a good light.
Me, fabulous ME!: Yes, you can talk about yourself, your service, your business etc., just don’t make it every single shred of content you generate self-serving. Keep an eye on content mix and pay attention to how you present your content. (How often does me, we, I, and us show up?) Never underestimate the importance of cultivating and utilizing empathy when communicating with others.
Panic Button: How does your brand respond in times of stress or to negativity? Check your tone. Is it harsh, condescending, indifferent? When facing a difficult situation such as bad press, an embarrassing social media snafu, or an irate customer, keep collected. Eyes will be watching, so mind your manners. Address issues with restraint and stay above drama. Make sure your entire team is on the same page and keep ‘rebels’ in check.
Know Thyself: What kind of image is your brand putting out there? Is it coherent and clear? Pay close attention to how your logo, website copy/ design, social media properties, tagline, and blog look and sound collectively. Is there an identity crisis unfolding or do they compliment each other?
Keeping emotional intelligence at the forefront of your brand’s collective mind will ensure expanded success and a more fruitful brand-consumer relationship.
Humans, keep on being humans.