I Love You

I know- that is a strange headline for a post on a marketing blog. Bear with me and I will explain.

I am composing these thoughts from the comfort of my home. About 30 miles up the road, life is anything but comfortable. The Nashville area has been devastated by flooding that followed more than 13 inches of rain over the weekend. The extent of the damage is jaw-dropping, and the loss and suffering experienced is difficult to imagine. The toll of economic loss and emotional distress are simply incalculable at this point.

Amid the unbelievable pictures and accounts of the flood’s impact, one comment stands out. A Facebook friend, Marcus, posted “I Love You Nashville.” As soon as I read that statement, I knew that Nashville will prevail in this ordeal. Deep rooted passion like that expressed by Marcus and undoubtedly shared by many other Nashvillians demonstrates that while there is pain and damage to overcome, their love for Nashville will inspire rebuilding that will make their city as great, if not greater, than before.

What’s the connection to marketing? Marcus’ comment led me to ask myself how many students would say the same thing about my organization, Middle Tennessee State University? Would your customers say the same thing about your company? About you? Would employees in your organization say “I love you” to their employer? Would residents of the community where you do business say it?

Customers can develop feelings of attachment, commitment, and yes, love for your brands and company. They purchase your products loyally, eagerly tell others about you, and stick with you during tough times. What are you doing to build loving relationships with your customers? Hopefully, you will never have to endure a catastrophic event like a flood to find out which of your customers love you. And, if they experience a similar devastating experience, it is your opportunity to tell your customers “I love you.” It has been encouraging to see several businesses in the Nashville area take this step already.