Have you ever been so moved by something that you felt it physically in your whole being?
For me that feeling comes from a profound and engaged empathy, one which goes far beyond the idea of walking in someone else’s shoes.
It’s an empathy that transcends “you” and “me,” “us” and “them.” It breaks down the silos between people, and provides a sense that we are all connected through our shared humanity.
Once you’re deeply moved and inspired, you can become the conduit to foster a feeling of solidarity and connectedness in others. It’s the greatest feeling! If we all tap into that, we can change the world, one story at a time.
So what does it look like when a company is truly empathetic?
A brand’s empathetic marketing will work if their audience can draw a clear line between a company’s actions, and the message they’re sending.
Take Patagonia for example. The company’s professed values—preserving public American lands, fighting climate change, and protecting the environment feel like an extension of the audience its marketing is trying to reach.
The company is not trying to take a stand on every possible social issue. Employees focus on an area that’s integral to their products, and they’ve been telling the same story since the 1970s.
Empathy doesn’t have to be a huge statement!!
Any brand can practice empathy in its marketing. Not every empathetic piece of content needs to address an issue as high stakes as protecting the environment or coping with mental illness.
Don’t try to listen to the entire market in order to choose a statement for your empathetic marketing. Survey your loyal consumers and determine how your brand, with its specific products can stand for something your audience cares deeply about. At the end of the day, doing a fantastic job solving a relatively small problem is better for brand loyalty and engagement than trying to solve all the world’s problems at once.
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