Nonprofit healthcare organizations can reach people on an emotional level. But what about all of the people you aren’t reaching?
The term “missed connection” typically refers to an instance in which two people could have met under romantic circumstances, but did not. This concept is all about “what could have been” and the longing for an alternate reality where the timeline juts off in another direction. It’s the very definition of “hopeless romance,” and it can happen between brands and people, too.
Here are 3 kinds of Branding Missed Connections:
1. The person who just doesn’t know you exist
I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you know someone with an ego that seems to fill up the entire room — suffocating everyone else with their delusions. And believe it or not, it’s possible for brands to develop larger-than-life egos. Every now and then, we encounter companies who think they’re much bigger than they are — creating an inflated sense of the brand’s impact, reach, and visibility. Basically, they think everyone knows who they are, which unless you’re on the level of Apple or Coca-Cola, is rarely the case. So instead on focusing on a rebrand, an introductory image campaign, or a strategy for reaching new potential advocates, they keep hitting the same supporters over and over again with the same message; all the while wondering why their numbers aren’t increasing. These organizations just aren’t aware of a world outside of their own, and the only way to open up is to step outside of the comfort zone and start looking for new opportunities. It’s all about targeting the people who don’t know you exist and creating a presence where they live. Otherwise, they’ll spend the rest of their lives unaware you’re there.
2. The person with whom you don’t follow up
As an organization, you should always be trying to create lifelong patrons and advocates. But you can’t technically do that if you aren’t willing to keep the conversation going after the transaction or initial contact. In the case of a for-profit business, it’s all about making continuous contact efforts (email, direct mail, etc.) after the sale. The same works for a nonprofit healthcare organization in terms of follow-up and ongoing communications. We do this because we want to remain top-of-mind among our supporters. If you’re a hospital, you should always want to be the 1st choice for patient care and referrals. If you’re a nonprofit organization, you should always want to be the 1st choice for donations and volunteers. Staying in contact with the people who have already connected with you helps ensure a lasting relationship. You check in with old friends on Facebook, right? Why shouldn’t you do the same with friends of your brand?
3. The person who had a bad experience the first time around
Unless you are absolutely perfect, you will eventually have an unsatisfied patient, supporter, client, customer, or donor. And like most things in life, it’s not the problem, but how you deal with it that defines your brand. You can be a savvy CEO or Director with the most sincere intentions for cleaning up a mess, but if you’re not willing to offer some personal, honest, reparations to an unsatisfied customer, then you’re doing them a disservice. Give them your number and invite them to have a chat. And regardless of how you right the wrong, make sure to invite them back. The only way to correct the damage that’s been done to your brand on a personal level is to give your customer another experience with the brand at the source. A bad customer service experience is a great opportunity to reconnect with someone and show them why they did business with you in the first place.
The good news is that you don’t have to go the rest of your life wondering what could have been. Go out there and make meaningful connections happen.