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Why Branding Is Sex and Creating Irrational Loyalty with Deb Gabor

What’s your business aim? To achieve growth? To create a winning corporate culture? Deb Gabor, keynote speaker and bestselling author is on a mission to inspire 1 million brands to create irrational loyalty. 

Yes, that’s also the name of her latest book, Irrational Loyalty, but the premise behind it should strike a chord with anyone who owns a business – not least because the subtitle is – Building a Brand That Thrives In Turbulent Times. And times don’t get much more turbulent than the ones we are currently living through. 

The irrepressible Deb was born to brand and excels at her craft. With Dell as one of her core customers, Deb knows her stuff and is compelled to share her ‘grow or die’ mindset with other entrepreneurially spirited leaders. 

At the heart of this episode is the need for businesses to understand their core customer as a person, and (in Deb’s own words), understanding what your customer needs to do to get laid and if you can achieve that, you’ll get their irrational loyalty and growth for your business.

“Irrational loyalty is that condition where people are so indelibly bonded to a brand that they feel like they were cheating on it if they were to choose a competitor or an alternative… I’m in the business of creating those conditions, which can sustain brands for the long term, make them grow profitably, rapidly, and in a highly focused way.”

On today’s podcast:

  • Irrational loyalty
  • The four things the biggest brands in the world do 
  • Creating the ideal customer profile
  • A niche is the sexiest thing about business
  • The branding misconceptions holding businesses back
  • Create core values to benefit your business and your clients

Links:

How To Create Irrational Customer Loyalty

Deb Gabor is a bestselling author, CEO and founder of brand strategy and market research firm Sol Marketing, and she’s in the business of creating a condition that she calls irrational loyalty. 

“Irrational loyalty is that condition where people are so indelibly bonded to a brand that they feel like they were cheating on it if they were to choose a competitor or an alternative… I’m in the business of creating those conditions, which can sustain brands for the long term, make them grow profitably, rapidly, and in a highly focused way.”

Just look at your iPhone – could you imagine using anything else ever again? That’s irrational loyalty, and that’s the very thing Deb wants to help you create for your customers. 

B2B or B2C?

But what if you’re in the B2B business, rather than the B2C business? 

There is no difference, says Deb, there is no distinction. That’s the biggest mistake that most businesses make. When you create a brand, it doesn’t matter what brand, you can’t make the mistake of thinking you’re selling products or services to a company. You’re not selling to the procurement department, you’re selling to the people who actually use the brand. And you have to remember that.

“The people behind decisions in other businesses are not nameless, faceless automatons. These are human beings just like you, just like me.”

The four things

The best brands in the world all do just four things:

  1. They aim their brand at a singular ideal archetypal customer. They figure out who their brand is for, who the ideal customer is, and even if they capture just 1% of these people, they’re going to be incredibly loyal customers. Then they answer three questions. 
  2. What does it say about them that they buy this brand? 
  3. What is the one thing that they get from this brand that they can’t get from any other brand? 
  4. How do you make your customer a hero in their own story? 

“The best brands in the world, regardless of what category they’re in, they do those four things. Just those four things.”

Find out who your ideal customer is and what they aspire to in their lives, what the story that they’re trying to tell about their lives is, and when you know that, you can aim your brand directly at their beliefs and values.

Why create the ideal customer persona?

So how do you find out who your ideal customer is? You create an ideal customer persona. 

For Deb, her ideal customer persona is a woman called Lindsay. Every time they have a meeting they bring Lindsay into the room with them to give them a relentless focus so that when they meet really shitty potential clients, they instantly know that they’re shitty and exactly why they’re shitty. 

“When I have seen organisations scale rapidly and grow profitably and have a happy life, it’s been when they figured out who this ideal customer is, and doubled down on that.”

The benefit of core values

“One of my favourite things to do when I’m working on new business is to talk about our core values as an organisation and explain how those core values are a benefit to our clients.”

Core values don’t just define your business and act as guidelines for you, they’re attractive qualities for clients too. So when you’re defining yours, ask yourself what benefit they bring to your customers too. 

“What our clients feel from that is that they feel valued, acknowledged and heard.”

But don’t just list the usual core values that you’ve seen other companies list. Generic core values won’t set you apart from your competition. Think of the value of your core values and how they reflect back on your core customer. When done well, says Deb, your clients will be able to see themselves in your core values. 

And that’s how you create customers and clients with irrational loyalty.

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