A client recently made the following statement to us:

“Purchasing decisions are driven by brand awareness, until relationships are formed.”

They asked for our thoughts on this statement, both in general and as it relates to the rebranding effort they are in the middle of. Our response, quite simply: “A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y.”

When, in the history of communications and messaging, has a statement been more true? Why do “big” businesses continue to feel the urge to market to the masses? Why do they utilize a one-size-fits-all approach? Let us offer an analogy.

Our own mantra is that we’re here to help organizations find their voice in a crowded marketplace. Close your eyes and imagine that you’re in a large, open air farmers market with 99 other people. And you’re trying to find out where to buy bananas. But the guy next to you wants oranges. And the lady across from you wants beef. What happens if “the farmer” stands atop a box and attempts to answer everyone’s questions at once? Useless. Futile effort.

But what if the farmer visited with each person individually, and took the time to help them find their way, answer their questions and make suggestions. What an experience that would be.

That’s what forming a relationship is all about. It’s not spaghetti tossed against the wall and hoping something sticks. It’s intentional. It requires time. And it must demonstrate your passion. When you get it right, whether you’re a big company or a startup, relationships will drive purchasing decisions. Give them a reason to come back. Don’t just babble on for the sake of talking; get it right. Start asking questions of your existing customers, and your prospects. Find out what they want. Then give it to them. They’ll reward you handsomely.