They say never judge a book by its cover. But oftentimes, the cover of a book is an extension of the author’s creativity; a reflection of their imagination and the story. They may have hired a designer to carry out the vision for the book jacket, but if they can’t convey a fitting and appealing image, before the book has even been read, the experience has been a foregone conclusion.
So goes it with many brands. Before you order online, enter an establishment, or place a call, if the brand doesn’t pique your interest, you move on to the next book or Yelp review.
A brand experience has the power to evoke all senses, provoke thoughts and feelings, and thus create memories. In comparison, encountering just the essential elements of a brand – print, web, environmental signs – may encourage you to like a post or follow an account. Until the totality of the tagline, verbiage, mission statement, company culture is put into effect, the brand experience is merely one dimensional.
Giving your clientele something to remember you by, a powerful first impression, should be the goal of every company, whether it’s a team of one or one-hundred.
Unfortunately, just like it only takes one bad apple to ruin a barrel, it only takes one bad, publicly detrimental brand experience, to negatively impact the entire reputation of a business.
One person’s unpleasant experience always impacts another’s. It’s a domino effect. Remember Brad’s wife from Cracker Barrel? Her alleged bad experience created a viral online backlash for the food chain. The same happened for United Airlines when a passenger was dragged from an overbooked flight. And more recently, Forever21’s faux pas with unwanted diet bars shipped with online orders. Often the poor brand experiences aren’t intentional, but can be a lack of planning poor management, foresight, and insight.
So how do you create a positive, authentic, and lasting brand experience?
HAVE A BRAND STORY:
What’s the meaning and purpose of your company? Behind the most minute choices like your color palette to your business name, from your history to your five-year plan, if you’re not confident in who you are, your clients won’t be either.
Whether it’s the entrance or bags that leave the store, consultations with clients or their interaction with an associate, from copywriting to graphics, consistency is vital. Clients may only have exposure to one of these at first, but as they get to know your brand over time, they should never feel as if they are being reintroduced to a new brand.
REMEMBER YOUR CLIENTS (SO THEY REMEMBER YOU):
Just like the importance of making a mental note of a person’s name when meeting them, the impact of remembering details about a client’s purchasing history or preferences creates a personal experience in addition to a brand experience.
EDUCATION – DON’T ASSUME THEY KNOW:
Teach your clients about your company’s benefits, products, and services. Be a resource about any changes in the industry so you can continually position yourself as an expert, while maintaining an ongoing brand story without plateauing. It’s a competitive market out there, regardless of what field you work in. Staying ahead of the curve can be as simple as keeping your clients ahead of the curve.
Whether it’s sales, special events, giveaways, open houses, holiday e-blasts, webinars, seminars, or anything in between, be a host. Allow your clients to get to know you better in a more casual setting, celebrating occasions and thanking them for their support of your business.
LISTEN TO LISTEN:
Your clients are always saying something, even if they’re verbally silent. Pay attention to these details, track the patterns, and adjust accordingly. This won’t just benefit the client relationship, but will benefit everyone’s brand experience.
MULTIMEDIA IS YOUR MUTUAL FRIEND:
Where is your audience? That’s where you also need to be. What are they looking for? You need to make it easy for them to find what they need. What hours are they browsing? That’s when you need to schedule your posts. More importantly, your posts need to be consistent. Remember the message doesn’t need to merely convey your brand story, but tell it in a language your audience loves.
ACTIONS, ACTIONS, ACTIONS!
Again, back your brand with actions…otherwise, it cannot equate as an experience.
Are you struggling with how you can implement your brand story into actions? Don’t know your brand story, or even have an established brand? Reach out to LovelyPixels today for a consultation and the beginning of an unforgettable experience!