When people meet your brand, it’s as though they are meeting a person. They’re wondering if the two of you will get along, whether you can help them live a better life, whether they want to associate their identity with your brand, and ultimately whether they can trust you.
Harvard Business professor Amy Cuddy has spent more than fifteen years studying how business leaders can make a positive first impression. Cuddy distilled her research into two questions people subconsciously ask when meeting someone new: “Can I trust this person?” and “Can I respect this person?” In her book Presence, Cuddy explains human beings value trust so highly, it’s only after trust is established that a person begins to consider getting to know us further.
When we express empathy, we help our customers answer Cuddy’s first question,
“Can I trust this person?”
Demonstrating competence helps our customers answer the second question, “Can I respect this person?”
The same two characteristics that help us make a great first impression with people at a cocktail party also work to help our brand make a great first impression with potential customers.
Once we express empathy and demonstrate authority, we can position our brand as the guide our customer has been looking for. This will make a significant difference in the way they remember us, understand us, and ultimately, engage with our products and services.
from “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller