Creating a memorable brand experience is one sure fire way to increase business with loyal customers. Brand strategist Debbie O’Connor founder and Creative Director of multi-award winning branding studio WRD, and CEO of The Creative Fringe shares her top tips for building a memorable brand experience.
“Leave them loving not just what you do, but how you do it so that when it comes time to purchase again, they think only of you,” says O’Connor.
“Muscle memory is a real thing and it doesn’t only relate to your body muscle – your brain has it too. Here are 6 tips to create a memorable brand experience for your customer.”
Think like a customer
When deciding what experience to create for your customer – have a really good think about them. What do they like, what would they appreciate and what experience would be so good that it would make them remember it. Every touchpoint in your business is an opportunity to create an experience and it doesn’t have to be big or lavish. I recently needed to purchase a handbag that could fit my 15inch laptop. I went into Colette but none of their laptop handbags indicated how big a laptop they could fit. The attendant could see my frustration as I didn’t have my laptop with me, and really didn’t want to make a decision and have to bring it back if it was wrong. There was an Apple store around the corner, so she suggested we take the bag to see if my size laptop would fit! Problem solving at it’s best. I was ecstatic to find that the beautiful bag I had my eye on did, in fact, fit my laptop, and she educated herself in finding out what size laptop the bag can hold.
Create an emotional connection
Even though we think we make rational decisions, the reality is that emotions drive behaviour and decision-making. Neurologist António Damásio discovered that people with brain damage to the part of their brain that controls emotion could not make decisions – not even simply ones like what to have for breakfast. This is exciting because it means that there is a wonderful opportunity available for brands to create emotional connections with their customers to help cement their brand in the minds of their consumer. ShoesofPrey is a great example. You can design your perfect shoe right from the comfort of your lounge. You get to choose your exact size, shape of the toe, the height of the heal, the colour and material. This is your perfect shoe. Your very own Cinderella design. Unique and original that only you will ever have. The emotional connection that women have with shoes is quite uncanny, so by creating a platform where they can design their own, emotionally connects them to this brand, and gives them bragging rights every time a friend comments on their shoes and they can proudly claim that they designed them, themselves.
Keep it simple
Sometimes it’s the little details that make all the difference. Let’s face it, we love it when we go into our local coffee shop and they remember our name or coffee order. I recently went to a Coffee Guru, which isn’t my local and even though they didn’t know my name I received a bite-size biscuit with my coffee. Memorable and clever, as I now know that they have their own range of delicious biscuits. Kate from White Clover Music is one half of a wedding singing duo who prides herself on incredible attention to detail. Every time she meets with a new client she makes a note in her phone what their preferred drink is. When she meets with them again, she comes armed with their drink of choice making them feel incredibly special. She doesn’t only do this with clients but with suppliers as well. Such a simple, yet incredibly effective and memorable experience.
Give them something to talk about
With the most powerful referral tool just a swipe away, brands that encourage their customers to photograph, tag or check-in are giving them the perfect excuse to tell their friends all about what they are doing, buying, eating or drinking. Influence marketing is where brands utilse the posts of their everyday consumers to promote their products or services. Social enterprise brand ThankYou recently ran a nappy campaign for their new baby product range where they turned customers into Thankyou Ambassadors who helped spread the word about the ‘Get You Through The Night offer’. Proud parents from around Australia produced gorgeous photos of their little ones and beautiful words about the ThankYou nappies, all shared on social media. Consumer-generated marketing that creates an opportunity to share an experience.
Empower your team
Having a team who knows exactly what the brand promise is, what kind of experience the business wants it’s customers to have, and understands what they are an aren’t allowed to do, will do a far better job than a team who has no idea. Training your team properly will not only mean that they will know exactly how to communicate and treat customers at any particular time, but they will also be empowered to become great ambassadors for your business.
Make it personal
Perhaps the most important element of creating a memorable brand experience is when you are able to make it personal for your customer. Perhaps it’s remembering their name, their favourite meal or the name of their dog. Maybe it’s using a person’s name as an incentive to get them to come in and buy. A few years ago Boost Juice successfully ran their ‘What’s your name game’ where they would pick a girls name and a boys name of the day. If you shared that name you could go in-store that day, show your ID and receive a free Boost Juice. To make it even more personal they invited people to register their name through Facebook where everyone who entered had a second chance to have their name selected – this name was only released online. Not only did it increase social media activity for people wanting to lodge their name, but they increased sharing activity when people saw friends names on the list.