Rapport Analyzed: Human Communication and Sponsorship Opportunities
One of the most important things to take into consideration when dealing with the perseverance of a brand’s position in the customer mind is to ensure and reinforce brand loyalty and positive associations. This can be achieved through various techniques. Psychology and human communication have many secrets to share about this.
Rapport is what occurs when two or more people feel synced or in the same wavelength. In the case of sponsorships and brands rapport is the golden key to engage the audience and to make people feel linked to what a brand represents. While between people rapport is managed through physical means such maintaining eye contact, matching body language and even matching breathing rhythm, in branding and sponsorships the ingredients differ. Once successfully employed a brand can achieve feelings of trust and confidence and evoke sentiments of understanding, of ‘being the same’ and of ‘having a cool vibe’.
How can rapport be achieved in a more practical way?
Between people, mirroring is employed through emotions, posture and tone and tempo of speech. This means that a person mirrors the other person by listening to them and adjusting. This is exactly what a brand has to do when deciding what kind of event to sponsor as well as when deciding all the surrounding details, with the only difference that these things will be employed on a metaphorical level. The event and the brand should have in common specific characteristics and share a vision and the approach on how to achieve certain goals. Consistency, between what the brand and what the event represents, is fundamental. Additionally, the way (e.g. an informal and casual festival) in which the event is approaching its audience must not be different from the way a brand is positioned in their minds, unless the brand is looking forward to repositioning in the market. Posture at the metaphorical level has to do with the way everything is organized in the event. The logo, the banners, the posters and everything else that has been agreed on the sponsorship proposal should appear in a way that match the audience’s preferences. If the audience feels that something is ruining ‘the vibe’ or ‘the moment’ and this is the humongous sign of a brand next to the artists, rapport is failing. Tone and tempo could refer to finding the correct balance of exposure of the brand so as to not become boring, excessive or pass unnoticeable.
Between people, reciprocity has to do with reinforcing positive feelings by being there them, doing favors, and giving gifts without asking for something in return. In the world of sponsorships reciprocity means: give to them and they will remember and potentially give back to you. Reluctance towards a sponsor’s intentions is not something rare. However, by demolishing all barriers, via good deeds and giving, favorable associations are created. In the case of reciprocity, the triggering of the feeling of obligation to the audience to give something back (i.d. to buy a product of the brand) should be avoided.
The word stands for the technique of people finding common things on purpose so as to build on them and strengthen the existing rapport. In sponsorships commonality means that the brand should care for what the event and its audience care for. If it is a festival for rescuing the sea turtle caretta caretta, the brand should be aware of the characteristic of the audience and match the event’s goal and concept. Inconsistencies in this level can make a brand seem highly irrelevant and at times may offend the audience resulting is negative associations.
By creating rapport both a sponsor and an event organizer benefit through the result of a consistent and carefully thought and planned event that has considered and analysed the core and the soul of its target audience.
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