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Personalisation is a two-way street

We saw this story on Linked In and wondered what all the fuss was about. It was the one about Ryan Gosling and the way you talk about your business. In short, the article talks about relationship building power. It talks about how a personal and authentic story about Ryan Gosling's childhood made the author of the Linked In article, Shane Snow, feel like he could connect with the actor more. Snow goes on to talk about how the formula can be applied to connect a consumer with a brand.  There is a certain power in personal stories in their ability to create a connection between brands and consumers; the more personal a story, the closer it can bring people to brands and their products. You only need to look at certain brand pages on Facebook to see that despite a large number of Likes, the engagement is low. Why? Stories aren't being told. Dialogue isn't genuine. The brand is broadcasting it's message as a corporate entity. There are some great examples here from the folks over at we all need words.

So we think Shane Snow hit the nail on its head; being personal can create a connection between brands and consumers. But should the connection end there?

What happens to your customers once you have created the initial connection through personal story telling. How long does the effect last? How many stories do you have up your sleeve to tell?

You need to maintain and nurture the connection you've established and build on it. But how?

It's clearly it's hard for some, when we're living in a society, obsessed with self-promotion. This last week testifies to this - 'Selfies' are the all the rage - as everyone tries to increase their klout.

Driving personalisation; it's a two-way street...

Brands need to be more human. Follow the rule: personalisation is two-way street. Continue being personal but this time, rather than talking at the consumer about yourself, try and understand more about them, as you would any normal conversation. Start having a dialogue. Understand what they're thinking, how they feel, what their needs are and desires. What are their expectations?

Deeper knowledge about your customers will allow you to better understand them, connect with them and serve them more relevantly. Offering them what they want and need in a way they want it will reinforce the connection with the brand. Personalisation works both ways and most importantly needs to be nourished. It is not easy to establish a connect but very easy to lose it.

So next time it comes to writing you weekly email newsletter, think about how you're going to build that connection through personal story-telling and relevance, before you revert to a discount offer on products half your customers aren't interested in.