Are You Being a ‘Good Friend’ to Your Consumer?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could sit at Central Perk with our consumers and build Rachel-and-Monica types of relationships? Well just because we can’t doesn’t mean we can’t still be good friends to them.

According to a survey by Statista, the top five qualities that make a good friend are:

  1. Loyalty
  2. Being an overall good person
  3. Being supportive during a crisis
  4. Someone who likes them back
  5. Fun to be with

I think that most of us would agree that these are qualities are, in general, what we look for to create strong, long-lasting relationships throughout our lives.

So as marketers, advertisers and representatives of brands working to build relationships with people, why don’t we strive to have these same qualities? Some might think this only applies to person-to-person relationships and not to person-to-brand relationships.


How being a good friend applies to brands

Cohn & Wolfe released a list of 100 brands people across the world trusted. The list contains brands like Amazon, Lego and P&G. But why do people trust them so much? [Hint: because they’re good friends.]


95% of shoppers think Amazon is trustworthy. Most people credit it to their exceptional customer service, but for our purpose, let’s call it “being there for you during a crisis” (because, let’s be honest, getting the wrong order on a package you shipped through Prime because you need it today, is a crisis). Their speedy, friendly customer service makes them a good friend in the eyes of their shoppers and that has helped them become of the most valuable brands in the world.


Guess which good friend quality Lego portrays? You got it; “Fun to be around”. The only time people of any age don’t have fun with Lego is when you step on one of those tiny pieces. Whether it’s because we all grew up playing with them or because their movies make even the most adult-like grown up giggle, we all enjoy experiencing the Lego brand.

Procter & Gamble

Many moms (and surely some dads) got teary-eyed watching the P&G “Thank you, Mom” commercial during the 2018 Winter Olympics. They know how to make us feel important and like they and those around us love us. That is why P&G has the good friend quality of “likes me back”.


What these brands are missing

All of these brands have some great qualities that people look for in a good friend, but what’s the one most important quality they’re missing? Loyalty. Without loyalty the rest of it becomes, as Joey would say, a “moo” point.

How can a brand show that they are loyal to a consumer? By building a mutually beneficial relationship with them. What would it look like if we not only followed these great examples but also started investing in a collaborative consumer relationship instead of interrupting them, annoying them, wasting their time and taking (their data) from them? In order to be successful in today’s (and especially tomorrow’s) digital marketing landscape, brands and advertisers need to try harder to be more transparent, respect consumers’ time and value their attention.

Now that is what I would call a good friend.

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