Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The power of empathy.

Whenever I present my point of view on the defining elements of brand equity, I always talk about the power of empathy.  I believe what is true in how we form personal relationships is also true in how we form brand relationships.

We tend to have our deepest and most lasting relationships with people who share our values; our beliefs; our sense of humor; even our sense of style.

As human beings we are soft-wired for empathic behavior.  Many neuroscientists believe we are equipped with "mirror neurons" that cause us to experience another's plight as if we were experiencing it ourself.

Empathy is how we bond with one another.  It is also how brands bond with customers.  We gravitate towards brands that get us.  Define a brand's source of empathy with its customers and you'll get to the essential truth of the brand.

I found this video to be a fascinating journey through the history of empathy – first established through blood ties, then shared faith and later through national identification.