Google+ 2 Brand Must-Haves: Emotional Connection and Video Strategy - McKnight Kurland

2 Brand Must-Haves: Emotional Connection and Video Strategy

We recently held our 30th MarketShare Roundtable on the subject of Brands, Rebranding and Brand Alignment. The participants were fully engaged in sharing their insights and perspectives, and there were four themes that pervaded the discussion:

  • Simplicity and clarity of positioning and communications is important in today’s attention-deficit environment.
  • A strategic approach to video content asset development is a must-have, however development of quality videos can present a challenge.
  • Selection of the right brand, marketing or web development partner firm is critical to successful initiatives and timely and quality outcomes.
  • Every organization needs to use data in their decision-making, and the customer/member voice (through qualitative and/or quantitative research) is a key part of that.



We thank each and every participant for sharing their perspectives, wisdom and lessons-learned with the other colleagues. (If you’d like to learn more about the MarketShare Roundtables, contact ) You can download our opening presentation to the left.

As a follow-up to the discussion, I’ve curated content related to some of these issues, namely, how brands today must create an emotional connection, and the importance of video content for associations. Hope they enlighten!


5 Ways For Brands To Connect Emotionally

For brands to break through today, they need to be more interesting and more relevant in the moment than those to whom people already commit mindshare. Today, “friend of mine” awareness has replaced top of mind awareness; and brands need to connect with people the way a close friend would­—through emotion—in order to build lasting relationships.

1. Tell a story that inspires an emotional connection.
Today, it’s less about the products we use and more about what those products, and the people behind them, enable. Every brand has stories to tell—from what it means to employees to work for your company, to the amazing things that can happen when opportunity knocks and you answer, to everyday moments of delight felt by people you touch.

GE’s “My Mom” spot

2. Let your audience be your hero.
Imagine how powerful your content can be if you showcase the people whose lives you’re improving. We’re not talking a static, written case study here. Give your audience a face, a voice, a platform to be heard.

FedEx dEx brand.

3. Be authentic; find your inner voice.
As a brand, there will be many opportunities for you to jump at the next big thing, to do something different, to capitalize on something happening in pop culture. And you should; but also recognize how these opportunities can align with what you stand for as a brand in order to drive greatest impact.

4. Ask “How do we add value?”
In order to create and communicate personal value to the client/member/customer, marketers should think about how their brand can provide utility to people in four key areas: professional benefits (e.g. career advancement), social benefits (e.g. popularity), emotional benefits (e.g. confidence), and self-image benefits (e.g. pride). Connecting via these personal values is 2x more impactful than connecting via business values, propelling B2B marketers to embrace the trend towards using emotion to drive connection.

5. Embrace the opportunity to surprise and delight.
As you seek to move clients/members/customers along the relationship arc from promotion to emotion, think about how small efforts can make a big difference. You’d be surprised how far a simple reply to a comment in social media can go. Sometimes, it may mean something as simple as saying “thank you.”

Every Association Needs a Video Strategy

The experts don’t have to tell you that there’s something magical about video—your gut told you a long time ago. It’s a medium possessive of a particular kind of charm; a hypnotic, sometimes all-consuming power that resonates with us humans in ways text and still images simply cannot. There’s just something about that little play button that seems to get us. Every. Single. Time. So what is it about those videos that draws us in? Is it the fact that we can watch and listen rather than read? Is it the beautiful cinematography (sometimes)? Or is it the fact that we trust the source that’s sending them out and know it will be something useful? Hopefully, it’s all three.

Using video to connect
When potential members are researching your association and area of expertise, statistics show that more people will watch a video to find out about what you do, rather than read about it. Here’s more proof:

  • According to the Educational Marketing Group, 50 per cent of smartphone users watch video on their mobile devices.
  • According to Forbes, 59 per cent of senior executives said they prefer watching video to reading text.
  • According to Cisco, you are four times more likely to look at video on a website than text and images.
  • According to Nielsen, Americans aged 18 to 64 have more than doubled their digital video viewing from 13 minutes a day in 2012 to approximately 27 minutes today.
  • Also, it’s been proven that information obtained visually and audibly is more memorable. Plus, video is more shareable.
  • According to Simply Measured, video is shared 1200 per cent more times than links and text. Invodo says that 92 per cent of mobile video viewers will share.

Want to build your membership base? It’s time you implemented a video strategy into your communications mix. And if you’re going to do video, be sure to do it well. Associations are about members. Associations are about human connection. Associations are about collaboration. Use this! Use your members in your video communication strategy. You’ll be amazed at the stories your members have and you’ll be even more amazed at how many are waiting for you to ask them to share those stories.

The American Chemical Society is going great guns with their video strategy, mainly because they talk about things the general public want to hear. Their recent Hot Sauce Science video racked up nearly half a million views on YouTube within a month and had coverage on major news outlets too. Why? Because they’re not just talking to their members, they’re going wider and broader, appealing to a whole range of people (while subtly promoting themselves at the same time).

The American Chemical Society

Teach for America is doing a similar thing but they’re getting their members to do the talking. Their videos show you what they’re doing for the children of America, how they’re helping teachers to teach and how they’re making a major impact.

Teach for America

All give a human element to the association. The association also produces videos introducing members to their staff.

Remember, an association isn’t bricks and mortar, it’s people, so show your members that you’re human too.

6 Things to Get Your Video Strategy Started

1 Get to know your members
There are probably hundreds of members on your database with a story to share. Use this. People love to watch people.

2 Create explainer videos
As an association, you’re seen as your industry’s go-to source of expert opinion so make sure you live up to this reputation. Create explainer videos to help members in their businesses and use these very members to do it. Are you a peak teaching body, for example? Pop up explainer videos that show how to make boring topics fun, how to create lessons plans or how to get through to that one child who just won’t listen. Remember, you’re the expert so share your knowledge!

3 Promote and broadcast your events
We don’t just mean on the day, we mean in the lead up, on the day of and after the event. Build up your event through the use of video. Do you have an annual meeting coming up? Get the keynote speakers in front of your camera to build momentum for the event. Include footage of the event’s entertainment in action to build excitement. And then once it’s over, make sure you’ve spoken to members (on camera) about what they’ve taken away from the event—this will come in handy when you start to compile next year’s promo video!

4 Introduce yourself to your members
Your members need to know who you are; they need to know that your association has people behind it. Make sure they know your face. And if you’re doing something great, like fundraising for charity, share it with your members.

5 Promote your products and services
It’s ok to talk about your products and services. Use your video strategy to promote these BUT only if it’s in a really practical way. Again, rally your members to back you up. If you have a mentoring program, for example, find someone who has been through it and have him or her talk about the mentor experience.

6 Keep your members in the loop
Of course, you want to keep your members up to date with what is going on in your association so use video to explain, in a clear and insightful way, what you’re doing. Are you lobbying the government to change the laws affecting your industry? Are you changing your constitution, mission, vision or strategic plan? Make sure your members know about this, remembering all the while that members engage more with video than text.

Mahlab Media


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