Empathy, trust, service key to successful brand building

how to develop a brand

Join host Sheelagh Caygill as she explores the obvious - and less obvious - trends and influences in communications, PR, and marketing. Also explored are writing and upping your game as a creator of prose. In this essential listen, she interviews senior comms pros and thought leaders to reveal insights you can incorporate into your work.

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Successful brands built on empathy

This episode sees host Sheelagh Caygill talk to branding pro Jack Fussell. He’s worked with hundreds of businesses on brand strategy, and knows what makes a brand great.

Branding is so much bigger than a logo, website, or business card. Jack says at the end of the day, the most simple version of understanding what a brand is, is what your customers feel about you.

Jack Fussell

“When they, when you say the name of your company, or you say the name of your brand, or you say the name of, you know, if your individual, you say your own name, what do people think?

“Are they like, ‘Oh my gosh. Yes. That’s amazing!’.”

The work of brand building, the work of branding in and of itself is really just building up all of that.

“Visual identity is a part of that. I mean, you, there, you know, if your, if your logo looks outdated or, you know, it looks, you know, you’re some cool like motorcycle company, but if you’re logo looks like a tech logo from the 1990s then it changes the way people perceive you,” says Jack. 

Branding is what we feel about an organization or individual

Branding is very much a feeling thing. We develop our feelings about a brand based on our experiences with an organization. It’s not a rational thing.  

Jack says that a brand strategy session is different with every organization. He says the first thing is to understand the customers, whey they are thinking, their views, and preferences. 

“I research both internally and externally. I want to know what people think about the company. What people think about the brand, what, from the customer perspective, are their needs, what do they think about? What are they searching for? What problems are they really trying to solve?”

Jack’s work moves way past demographics, and it actually moves into the psychographic because he wants to understand as much as possible. 

“When that customer is sitting there looking for something online or they’re searching through an app or whatever, what are they thinking? What are they feeling? What do they experience amazing?”

The secret of a brand is understanding what makes the company unique and understanding what the biggest needs and values of the customers are.

For companies with reputation issues, a new logo, new website, new letterhead is not going to fix this problem.

Empathy at the heart of branding

Jack says empathy is actually the heart of branding. Brands that do really well – it is all about empathy. It’s all about putting yourself in the place of the other person. It’s understanding how they feel.  Empathy is actually like wearing someone else’s emotions.  

“If they’re excited, we become excited. Like we really do! We really do put ourselves in the place of that customer.

“And, you know, one of our favorite brands is Disney. We love to go to the parks. It’s just, I get to be a kid again.

“You can tell that they’ve built their entire brand around empathy, that they understand when someone, you know, Well, just every part of it from the moment you call in to the way that they, um, you know, they just explain everything so carefully.”

Jack Fussell is a brand strategist with Campfire Social. Find him on Linkedin. Listen to his podcast, Onward Creatives

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