First off, Valentine's Day is great, we have nothing against Valentine's Day, or grand displays of affection for that matter - but Valentine's Day doesn't define a relationship.
See, there has to be love throughout the year or Valentine's Day will just seem like a marketing gimmick.
So here's four ways to keep brand love alive and well throughout the year. Brand Love tip #1 - Be the partner they need
You've heard about adding personality, and making your brand more human, but what they didn't warn you against was coming on too strong and all wrong.
People look for a multitude of things in a partner. Some are looking for a sense of humour, sensitivity, reliability; sex appeal... the list goes on.
So figure out what make your customers tick and be that for them, all year round. Brand Love tip #2 - Communicate
As with our personal relationships, communication between brands and customers is the bricks and mortar that hold us together.
If you ask a customer to complete a feedback survey and they don't hear from you again, it's the equivalent of asking your partner how they are feeling only to promptly turn around and walk away before they've answered you.
Instead, make sure healthy dialogues and conversations are continuous, so you are always in touch with your customers. Brand Love tip #3 -Know when to apologise
This doesn't need much explanation - seriously.
If you want to keep the love alive, know when it's time to apologise, and that time is when you're wrong.
Toss out the "technical glitches" and "unforeseen circumstances" and be straight with your customers. Sometimes you make a mistake, but that makes you human, it's a good thing. As long as you handle it with humility and treat the customer with respect. Brand Love tip #4 - Don't wait for Valentine's Day to spoil them
It's a simple case of consistency. The way to build trust and to strengthen a relationship is to fill it with happy memories.
This is something that customer experience often succeeds in doing far better than marketing and advertising - simply because it's about engineering those spontaneous, touching moments that make a brand so special to its customers.
Be sincere too. A huge bunch of red roses might be exciting, but taking the time to serve someone with personal care is often far more appreciated and rewarding.
Your competitors are aiming for your customers hearts, whether you like it or not, so don't make the mistake of neglecting your customers and making them feel unloved - your competitors certainly won't. Most importantly
Unlike the relationships shared between people, a brand cannot demand faithfulness and fidelity from its customers.
But the best way to build loyalty and to actually have faithful customers is to step away from gimmicks and start building genuine relationships with them - the whole year round.