The Insight Series: The Importance of Branding with Thad Cox

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We all have brands we love. And if we’re asked to explain why, sometimes it can be really difficult for us to put our finger on it.

What is it that certain brands do to make us love them more than others? It could be the packaging a product comes in, it could be the customer service we receive when we buy from a particular brand, or it could simply be a brilliant experience we have every time we interact with the brands we love.

On average, customer loyalty is worth ten times more than a single purchase (Salesforce). That’s why the biggest challenge every brand faces is how to make their customers fall in love with them because a brand that’s loved is successful, stands out from its competitors and has customers who return to them again and again.

For the second instalment of The Insight Series we caught up with branding-guru Thad Cox to discuss the importance of branding and how it relates to the way brands communicate.

Creating an emotional bond

We first worked with Thad, who has worked as an Art Director for Saatchi & Saatchi, Karmarama and Leo Burnett London, in 2016 as part of our own rebrand. He runs Thad Cox Design and helps brings brands to life with a potent blend of craftsmanship, knowledge and expertise.

He says standing out from the crowd and resonating with customers are the keys to growing a business and developing a successful brand.

“The essence of good branding, for me, is producing an emotional reaction in the customer. It’s not always logical or rational, especially with the brands we love, but there’s something about why we love the brands we do that is tied deep into who we are,” he says.

“The most important people are the customers and good branding should form a bond that’s much deeper than ‘it looks nice.’ A good brand creates an emotional bond with these customers.

“As a branding expert, it’s my job to come in and make people fall in love with a brand, to seduce them in a way. Seduction is done through the many subtle ways we communicate with our customers. And building these relationships is much more than a nice logo or a cool website, it’s how you communicate, your tone of voice, what you do with your marketing, what events you put on, how you support your community, and how you surprise and delight your customers.

“The secret is to find out why people love your brand and then try to amplify that message.”

Connecting with your customers

And it’s this sentiment that’s echoed by Stafford Sumner, Founder and Managing Director at Jarrang, who stresses the importance of reinforcing a positive relationship between the brand and the customer through email marketing.

“Email marketing can sometimes, justifiably in my eyes, come with a bad reputation,” he says. “This is because brands abuse the privilege of communicating with their customers by sending too many emails that are irrelevant, impersonal and uninspiring.”

However, when it’s done well, Stafford says email remains the most powerful tool for brands to connect with their customers.

“Receiving an email is much more intimate than reading something on social media. It’s something that’s been sent to you and has arrived in your inbox. From a brand’s perspective, if a customer trusts you enough to give you their email address and say they are willing to receive communications from you, then don’t break that trust.

“Believe in what you’re sending and make the content you send authentic. Build the emotional engagement your customers have with you through relevant and inspiring communication. We do this by matching data with appropriate content and using advanced segmentation of this data to make sure the right content is served to the right people. Failure to do this will ultimately damage your brand and undo the hard work you’ve put in elsewhere.”

Quality content

It’s this quality of communication that cuts through the noise of the inbox and turns good brands into great brands.

Thad adds: “If an email is full of really useful information, that’s relevant to me and is not too frequent, then I really like it and enjoy it.

“But if I feel if it’s generic, is just ticking a box and is impersonal, the chances are I’m going to ignore it and delete it. When I’m reading an email a brand has sent me, at that time, it’s a one-on-one experience between us. That’s why the quality of the content has to be high and it has to be relevant.”

If a brand is much more than a logo, then an email is much more than something that looks pretty. It’s a vital component in how you communicate with your customers. And, to take it one step further, it’s one of the most effective ways for you to seduce your customers, build strong relationships and to let the love flourish.

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