In Marc Gobé’s book, “Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People,” he makes the case that every product or service which we promote in today’s environment will only succeed through emotional branding. Target audiences are too media-savvy for old-school marketing and it takes authentic emotions to cut through the clutter.

But these lessons don’t have to be limited to marketers. Below, we have adapted four of Gobé’s most relevant points about emotional branding for employees who interact with customers. After all, employees are the most visible ambassadors for any brand.

When you talk to customers, think of them as people and not as consumers.

For decades, employees have been armed with proven selling strategies and marketing buzz words, to be used with anyone interested in their brand. Gobé argues that today’s customer is more interested in a relationship based on mutual respect.

Honesty is no longer a competitive advantage. It’s expected.

With federal authorities, consumer groups, online reviewers and anyone with access to social media scrutinizing every new product launch, you have no choice but to be honest. What employees need to focus on instead is building trust with customers.

It’s not just about quality anymore. It’s about preference.

Like honesty, quality is also a given in the eyes of today’s customer. The challenge is for employees to understand and communicate to customers why their brand should be the preferred brand. As Gobé explains, Victoria’s Secret has succeeded in its category by achieving an “enviable and highly charged emotional connection with customers.”

Don’t just communicate to customers. Start a dialogue.

Promoting your brand is no longer a one-way street. With the 24-hour presence of social media, current and prospective customers want to talk to your brand as much as they want to hear things from it. Today’s employees should be armed with the tools which allow this two-way conversation and brands should encourage both positive and constructive feedback from the public.

To be clear, Gobé is not suggesting we abandon the traditional “unique selling proposition” when promoting a brand. He is saying that those who represent a brand need to go further. In today’s business environment, customers want more than just the sales pitch. They want a real connection.