I choo-choo-choose you.

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Love. It’s one of those terms you don’t hear much with digital brands.

But you will.

Digital branding is, after all, a way to build a relationship between a brand (a company, a political candidate, an organization) and a person (a consumer, a voter, a member). Seth Godin had a post on February 4th that talked about 3 ways to build relationships between brands and people: fear, hope and love.

Fear isn’t much good from a relationship or digital branding standpoint. It’s not going to last very long. Hope can get people to believe. Of course you have to deliver on the promise of hope. But love. Love is what gets people to follow. It builds trust. And it allows people to forgive the brand should something not exactly right.

Love is complex. There are all different types of love… I love my family, Stumptown coffee and biking to work, all in different ways. Love can be fragile. But most of all, love is a powerful, powerful emotion. It’s stronger than fear. It’s stronger than hope. And it’s a lot stronger than like. It turns like into caring.

Love is also simple. When people care about something… when people love something… they’ll go to the ends of the world for it.

So… can you build love through your digital brand? You bet. The question is, why are people going to care about the relationship they’re building with your brand through digital media? Better yet, why are people going to care about the relationship they’re building with your brand?

Happy Valentines Day to all of our loved ones, and to all of you.

With love, from Substance

(Seriously, how is there not a clip on YouTube of the “choo-choo-choose you” card Ralph Wiggum gives to Lisa Simpson? What good is YouTube if you can’t find the perfect Simpsons video reference to embed?)

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