What’s the best way to connect with your buyers? Step into their shoes.
When you can demonstrate to your target market – beyond understanding buyer personas, pain points, and customer preferences – you see them as human beings, and the customer bonds you can form can last a lifetime. Considering the fact that the average business loses about 20 percent of their customers every year because of a failure to customer relationship build, this is huge.
Customer profile videos, which successfully showcase a brand’s understanding of the human element of the market, are one of the most powerful tools for customer relationship building and forging genuine client-company bonds. Your customers are people. Of course, you know that, you’re a person. So, show them you understand.
Paul O’Connor, former Executive Creative Director for Ziba Designs and Co-founder of Actual, sums up the philosophical shift going on in marketing: “It used to be that a successful brand conveyed authority and reliability (think General Motors or IBM); now it’s all about empathy.”
Here are some of the best examples of customer profile videos. These videos evoke emotion and are capable of leaving a lasting impression, even on the most apathetic among us. You’ll also notice they feel authentic. That’s the minefield you walk into when you move into empathy-based content creation. It’s powerful stuff. But, if you don’t come across as genuine, it will blow up in your brand’s face.
When done right, however, this type of video doesn’t just exhibit an organization’s grasp of the human face of their customers, it reveals their own humanity (or at least that of the marketing team!).
Cleveland Clinic – Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care
The Cleveland Clinic gets straight to the point with their Empathy campaign. Why beat around the bush in an industry where people face disease, pain, and serious physical limitations as the norm?
Their Empathy video profiles your average, everyday people whom we’ve all walked by in a hospital or clinic setting at some point in our lives – the physicians, patients sitting in their rooms, family members in the waiting area, even the janitor and support staff – and tells their reality.
What also makes this such a great example is the authenticity behind the video. Empathy isn’t just a marketing campaign. Cleveland Clinic is running their 8th Annual Patience Experience Conference on Empathy + Innovation this year.
Petco – The Power of Together
If you don’t have an adorable Great Dane for a lap dog, you’re going to want one after watching this video. And, you’ll also want to make a trip to Petco to pick up a few pet supplies to show him how much you appreciate him being there for you.
Cue the emotional soundtrack and speech on the special connection between humans and their animals; this customer profile video is ultra compelling.
Always – Like a Girl
Always really strikes a chord, playing off of how society perceives genders differently and using their own research into how girls view themselves both before and after puberty. This video content doesn’t even mention the brand’s products. Focusing on the consumer is way more powerful.
As a side bonus to society, the Always #LikeAGirl campaign helps to raise awareness about gender discrimination. It highlights where it begins and offers moms and young women – the brand’s target – some genuine insight into how to address a very real problem – by simply being conscious of their own perceptions.
This isn’t just using compassion to market a product. It is an example of a company really reaching out to their consumers and benefiting them.
Dove Selfie – Redefining Beauty One Photo at a Time
Dove uses video to connect with their market in a dynamic way with their #BeautyIs campaign – selfies plus customer profiles! Could there be a better way to engage young female consumers?
It also opens up the conversation about what beauty really is, attacking conventional ideas and also showing each customer featured in the video how beautiful she really is. “I was looking through my selfies the other night, and I realized that I am beautiful,” says one participant. Great job selling skincare products and changing people’s lives Dove.
Intel – Meet the Makers
Intel’s Meet the Makers series profiles the innovators out there using Intel products to leave their mark on the world. It showcases their personal journeys, leaving the audience inspired, curious, and with a new appreciation for this old-school tech giant.
Lulumon – Choose Feeling
This video consists of customers discussing their personal thoughts and beliefs on the importance of feeling and living in the moment. Notice how each participant – a yoga teacher, trail runner, intuitive healer, and artist – looks a lot like the individuals you’d expect to see on the Lulumon ideal buyer shortlist.
It’s likely the brand’s audience is able to feel a connection with at least one of the women in the video, which encourages a natural connection to the brand.
Not Showing or Telling, But Rather Sharing
These customer profile videos make a good argument that the strongest brand messages don’t mention the brand, nor the product or service that’s being marketed, at all. This is content marketing at its finest. It’s focused on the customer, offering real, genuine value to improve people’s lives. It’s selling without selling.
This approach isn’t just good for lead generation or engagement. This is the stuff that makes customers want to be associated with your brand. One evocative piece of video content featuring the customer perspective has the ability to grow your contact lists and social media following tremendously and boost your customer retention rates.
Maybe as marketers we don’t need as much of the expensive influencers, heavy research, or even the entertaining video content, which may be more fleeting than effective, as much as we need genuine human content. What’s working here is the emotional and even philosophical connection between buyer and brand. Now that’s evolved marketing.