Reach Out and Touch Someone

d247db38baaf6a62b7466676adc13b6fYears ago, the Bell System telephone company ran a brilliant and memorable ad campaign with the jingle, “Reach out. Reach out and touch someone. Reach out. Call up and just say ‘hi’.” The song was memorable because it was about the way phones can connect people, even those separated by vast distances. The commercials exuded warmth. Say what you will about pop psychology, but it remains as important as ever to make your clients feel good about your brand.

Does your target market know how much you care, or are you holding them at arm’s length? Worse, are you confusing them with mixed messages and even a few promises you can’t deliver?

To successfully connect with and hold your audience, the following four elements (remember the acronym, CARE) must be present:

Clarity: You must be clear about who you are, what you stand for and what you offer your clients. WHY do you do what you do? You have to be able to communicate this verbally and visually in a clear, simple manner that your potential clients can understand. Don’t forget to speak THEIR language.

Authenticity: How congruent and aligned are you with the real YOU? In our hyped, cluttered world, people can smell a fake from miles away. They are yearning for transparency and real-ness. When your brand message is clear, authentic and aligned with your values, AND you walk your talk, you’ll attract a large following of the people you are meant to work with.

Remarkability: What is the tone and intention of your brand? Can someone see and FEEL your brand personality within seconds of engagement? It’s okay to step out of the box – in fact, it’s your uniqueness and point of difference that will set you apart. You’ve got to be willing to separate yourself from the “safe and comfortable” herd and be a little outrageous. Fearless, really. Seth Godin calls this your “Purple Cow.” Brown and white spotted cows are a dime a dozen, but a purple cow, now that’s remarkable.

Emotional Connection: Emotions make the brain sit up and pay attention. In order to have a truly powerful brand, you have to understand how you make your audience FEEL. Author Maya Angelou once said, “People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” This is the core of an influential brand. In order to resonate strongly with your target market, you’ve got to make an emotional connection. The most powerful question you can ask yourself is, “How do I want people to FEEL when they experience my brand?”

Because technology now allows us to connect instantly and from anywhere, today’s consumer craves more meaningful and reciprocal relationships. When your brand voice is clear and authentic, you have a much greater chance of making a strong emotional connection with the people you want to reach most. And when you are truly remarkable, well, let’s just say you’ll never again have to worry about the competition.

“Reach out and touch someone” may be downright quaint by today’s standards. But the basic sentiment still holds true. People want to be connected in every aspect of their lives. The entrepreneur who makes certain that her brand conveys a supportive message to clients that is clear, memorable and sincere will continue to grow her business and thrive.


  1. Steve Black says

    I loved Roger Miller’s version of this, but I can’t find it anywhere. Help, anyone?

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