Know how sometimes it’s easier to give advice than it is to take it?
Well, today’s topic is all about Names. In an ideal world, I’d use your own first name throughout this post to illustrate a point. After doing the research for today’s topic, I’ll be changing that pronto. But I don’t have a time machine, so just for today… let’s just pretend your name is Alexa.
Ok. Back to business.
You get a pair of sneakers in the mail and they’re the wrong color. You ordered green, but they’re blue.
You sigh. As you search for the customer service number on their website, all you can think is “here we go…”
The phone starts ringing and somebody picks up. You give them your name, order number, and tell them what went wrong. They connect you to the right department.
You wait on hold for a minute and then a voice says, “Hi Alexa! I’m so sorry about the mix up with your order. We’re going to get this sorted in less than five minutes.”
With your green sneakers express shipped, the customer service rep says, “Again, Alexa, I am so sorry for the inconvenience. We really value you as a customer. Let us know if there are any issues with your order.”
You say thank you, and before the customer service rep hangs up, they say, “Have a nice day, Alexa!”
How do you feel so light, accomplished, and content after spending 8 minutes on a customer service line?
In today’s topic, we’re exploring Names – how hearing your name triggers the happy molecules of your brain.
Let’s get into it.
The Psychology of Names
Our brains release serotonin and dopamine when we hear names. Those are the chemicals that make you feel happy and motivated. These chemicals don’t get released for just any name. The left hemisphere of your brain activates more to your own name than somebody else’s.
Here’s how Dale Carnegie puts it, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
The more times somebody says your name, the faster you’ll build rapport.
And since we buy from people and brands that we know, like, and trust, building rapport quickly is very important.
Inside Your Buyers’ Mind
Your buyers are hounded with advertisements all day long. From the bus driving down the street to their social media feeds.
But, how many of those ads are personalized?
Seeing a bus drive by with their name on it or a random social media ad with their name would be impossible to forget. (This would also cross the VERY distinct line from “Cool, that’s my name!” to “How the HECK do they know my name?”)
In 2013, Coke tested this idea with their personalized bottles campaign. It was a complex and expensive campaign that resulted in both backlash and record profits for Coke.
But you don’t need a massive marketing budget like Coke or use super creepy targeted social media ads to reap the rewards of using names.
You can add name personalization to the marketing campaigns you already have.
How To Apply This
Add personalization to your emails, packaging, and boxes to create a memorable experience around your brand. When customers think of your content or products, they’ll picture their name in the email header or on the product itself and, without realizing it, correlate your brand to those feel-good emotions of hearing their name.
Persona nutrition places their customers’ names right on their vitamin packets. Each time somebody reaches for their daily vitamins, they get a dose of serotonin and dopamine when they read their name associating that feel good energy with Persona.
Personalization doesn’t have to be invasive or creepy. Check out this article from Alyce (via The Juice) to the difference between personalization and personal.
Use People’s Names in Conversation
Whether it’s an in-person, over the phone, or online conversation, using your customer’s name makes things more personal and releases the happy molecules in their brain. If you’re unsure how to pronounce their name, ask. Repeatedly mispronouncing someone’s name will annoy them, which won’t really put them in the mood to buy.
Even automations can have personalization. Many chat uses chatbots to talk with prospects and customers and starts each conversation with the customer’s name for that needed touch of personalization.
Don’t overdo it though. If you use someone’s name too often, you can come off as creepy.
Remember People’s Names
Once an audience member or customer has told you their name – avoid asking for it again. Use a CRM platform to ensure you’re keeping leads organized so each time you hop on a call or reach out, they’re impressed that you remembered them and feel more special because of it.
And bonus points if you can remember their loved ones’ names too. Remembering the names of the people who are most important to your customers shows that you really listen – a quality they’ll appreciate.
The Short of It
People love to hear their names.
Each time your brand uses your buyer’s name, you’re aligning your products with the feel-good molecules released in their mind.
Add personalization throughout the buying journey to activate serotonin and dopamine and make them wonder just why they feel SO connected to your brand.