How Brands use Empathy to Build Reputation

How do you build reputation without becoming the hero of the story?
Empathy!  We all love brands that make us feel important, it's just the way it works.  So when we focus on building reputation we face two choices:  1. Build our reputation around ourselves or 2. Build our reputation on the customer experience.  If we want to be the guide and keep the customer as the hero then using empathy to build the customer experience is the best choice.

We must start with the customer journey, understanding every step from first contact to post-purchase.  Once we've mapped it out we overlay with empathy.  This question is key: What do I feel/think at this stage of the journey?  Once we've answered, we leverage empathy to create an experience and this creates loyal fans and an amazing reputation.

1. Empathy makes things easier.
Filter Easy does an amazing job of this by providing a service that removes the hassle around changing your air filters.

2. Empathy redefines the experience.
Most of us hate flying but we LOVE Southwest Airlines. SWA plays on level playing field with other airlines but they use empathy to redefine the experience.

3. Empathy creates magic!
Disney uses empathy to create magic.  They turned the once seedy amusement park into a legendary experience.  They utilize a wide array of elements to keep the customer engaged and excited throughout the entire experience.

How can you use empathy to build your brand reputation?