The Art of Intimacy

Source: Sarah Grisdale

An intimate connection occurs when a brand speaks to your values and seems to understand what’s important to you. It could appeal to your long-term goals and dreams (like retirement or owning your first car) or meet more immediate needs (cleaning a child’s runny nose or satisfying hunger pangs after a workout). Intimacy is what gives a brand meaning and is one of the key tenets to sustaining customer loyalty.

Intimacy is harder to create than Mystery or Sensuality. It demands that a brand have a deep understanding of its audience and their lifecycles, and integrate this knowledge in their product and service delivery. It requires passion, empathy and commitment that reaches out and touches the consumer. Especially in the case of brands that rely on staff-customer relationships, Intimacy can make or break a person’s perception about a brand. Think about a time you experienced poor service from a brand. How did it make you feel?

Here is a brainstorming exercise that reveals ways in which brands can build Intimacy with the people who use their products.


Look at the brands illustrated below, and answer the following questions.

  • When is someone likely to use this brand? Describe the moment.
  • Create a brief profile of the person(s) who will be using this brand. Remember to note their gender, age and profession.
  • List three things that may be important to these persons.

Brainstorm ways that the brand can appeal to what is important to the consumer in the moment.

1. LEGO 2. Swiss Army knife 3. Nescafe instant coffee 4. Kleenex tissues 5. Lonely Planet guidebook
6. Olay bodywash 7. Barilla pasta 8. Visa credit card