As we’ve mentioned, getting a brand to talk about something other than itself can be difficult.  But creating lasting relationships involves finding a common ground — and no matter how wonderful your brand is, no one wants to talk about you 24/7.  (Even you.)

So where’s the overlap between your goals (profit) and your customers’ goals (solving their problems)?

One Tip: Find a Common Enemy

Ecover (our client) creates ecological cleaning products.  As such, they’re naturally passionate about the environment.  They stress the need for sustainability in everything they do, from their product ingredients to their factories to their supply chain.

Ecover also knows that their core customers are informed and passionate (and, at times, frustrated) about environmental issues.  And that’s one reason they’ve asked us at Creative Concepts to help them build their Ecover Facebook page and Ecover Twitter account as forums for broader ecological discussions that go beyond the limits of buying and selling.

Obviously, Ecover wants to sell their household cleaning products.  That’s how they stay in business.  But if they didn’t occasionally shift their focus to the big picture (i.e., the real world), they wouldn’t be true to their ethics as a company.  And by giving their customers a platform to discuss the issues they feel strongly about, Ecover provides a secondary service to their audience: a community that’s actively engaged in improving the world we live in.

In Ecover’s case, finding a “common enemy” with their customers is easy: pollution, erosion, waste, ecological misinformation… the list goes on.  Each of those issues makes it harder for Ecover to do its job (cleaning without further burdening the environment), and each of those issues also makes it harder for Ecover’s customers to live a happy, healthy life.

Thus, spreading the word about global ecological problems — and, ideally, sharing practical solutions — is in everyone’s best interests.

So… where do you and your customers have a common enemy?  (Hint: It’s not your competition; it’s what you and your competition each exist to prevent.)

We may not have common enemies, but we can still be friends on Twitter or Facebook!