What is one of the most memorable experiences you have had with a brand?
What was memorable about it?
- Why was it so memorable?
- How did it make you feel?
- What did the experience do for you?
- How long did the experience last?
- Was it short or long?
- Was it a simple or intricate, in depth experience?
- Did it have lasting impact on you? Why?
- Did it help you improve your life?
- Did it help you with your business?
- Did it help you do more? Be more?
Creating memorable brand experiences can set great brands apart from average and even good brands.
Many marketing and business leaders tend to over complicate everything about marketing. Because they over complicate what should be simple, they wind up falling to strategies and tactics that do anything but create what is a memorable and meaningful brand experience.
They wind up focused on too many tactics, vanity metrics and near term Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) that they wind up hurting their brand more than help it. They wind up wasting time, money and lost market opportunity focused on short term “knock it off your list” tactics vs slowing down to speed up and taking time to plan, set goals and align marketing and social media efforts where it can really have an impact on the business.
Memorable brand experiences don’t have to be complicated.
The truth is that brand experiences don’t have to be as complicated as we make them. Often times it is the most simple, yet pleasant experiences that are most memorable.
I do a lot of international traveling for business. I spent most of last month traveling abroad including two amazing trips to Spain and Poland. I have stayed at many hotels and eaten at numerous restaurants, high and low end.
The interesting thing is that the most memorable experiences don’t always come from the most expensive room or meal. Instead my greatest memories and brand experiences are from the most simple experiences. They are the experiences that inspire, engage, excite and empower us.
I remember the smiles from hotel receptionists and hotel staff.
I cherish the two and half hour meal I shared with good friends from Kuwait and Singapore in an Indonesian “hole in the wall” little restaurant in the heart of Barcelona, Spain.
It’s not the most luxurious bed or the expensive concert at the Fortune 100 tech event in Las Vegas. Instead I remember strolling the Vegas strip at midnight with friends new and old.
I remember the leadership team and staff at Heathman Hotel who made me feel like a queen during a visit to Portland where I was a Keynote speaker for the American for the Arts event. They welcomed me online weeks before I arrived in Portland for the event.
Management from the Visit Portland team and Heathman Hotel has stayed in contact with me since the event. They engage with me on Twitter and Instagram. They comment and share their opinions on the other places I visit and photos I share. They share my blog articles they believe are relevant to their audience. Our relationship is human. It is built on trust, value and friendship.
I remember the staff at the Boulderado hotel in Boulder, Colorado this past week who went the extra mile to try to help me connect my portable dvd player to the big screen tv in the room so I could play my P90x3 DVD and work out in the room.
I remember the team from our client, British Council who made me both think and laugh constantly during our two day workshop in Spain in both 2013 and 2014. I remember the nights out breaking bread together, sharing an evening at the Lebonese restaurant where the restaurant didn’t have any music, so the British Council team made their own!
I cherish the mom and pop breakfast shops we visit weekly in Florida who remember our names, our favorite booths and what we like to eat.
See, life’s most memorable and precious moments are not created via a pretty logo or complicated campaign and conversion funnel.
- Touch the heart.
- Make you laugh.
- Make you cry.
- Make you think.
- Inspire you to engage.
- Help you learn.
- Help you teach.
- Help you grow.
- Help you share your best stuff.
- Help you do more.
- Help you give more.
- Help you be more.
When brands provide their audiences and customers with memorable experiences, their customers want to shout about it from the mountain top. They want to post their photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
They choose to check into Foursquare and tweet to their friends. They want to tell the story. They want to share the experience so that others can come along for the virtual ride and get a taste of what it felt like.
If you are a marketer and business leader wanting to create memorable brand experiences, I encourage you to start with the heart. Keep it simple. Put yourself in the head and heart of your ideal customer. What do you want them to feel like? What do you want them to remember?
10 Tips to Create Memorable Brand Experiences
1. Know your customer.
You can’t possibly create a memorable experience for your customer if you don’t know who they are. What is memorable to them? What matters to them? What do they care about? What makes them happy? What do they dream about? Who do they want to be when they grow up? What problems do they have and how can you help solve them?
Read and watch video-> 10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience
2. Keep it sweet and simple.
Don’t over complicate the experience. Focus on creating sweet, tasty moments of pleasure. Keep them simple and easy to consume and remember. The more you keep it simple the more easy it will be for your customers to engage and remember the experience.
3. Start with the heart.
Create experiences that connect emotionally. Make your audience laugh, make them cry. Make them feel something. Tap into their dreams. Inspire them to dream bigger, Inspire them to do more, give more and be more.
Find what matters to them and connect with it in a real, compelling and relevant way.
Watch Video-> Heartbeat of Social Media
4. Walk through a day, week or month in the life of your customer experiencing your brand.
Put yourself in the mind, shoes and heart of your customer. How does the experience work for them? Examine every touch point they have with your brand and the people in it. Identify ways that you can make it better. Is your staff trained? Are they living your brand promise? Are they delivering experiences that will ignite loyal brand evangelists?
Where are there opportunities to rise above status quo? How can you deliver service above and beyond what they experience from any other brand?
Think integration, not silos. Just as good digital marketers design the best user experience online, you must do the same for offline.
There is no single online and separate offline experience. Each experience matters and the brand should be consistent both offline and online.
5. Humanize it.
Human brands do not speak to their audiences like a dollar bill or credit card. They speak human. They engage like humans. They don’t tweet the same tweets 24/7, 365 days of the year. They engage in real-time. They share in real-time and create experiences real-time.
6. Empower and engage your employees.
Your employees are your brand. Every contact your customer has with your employees is a brand touch. Ensure that you are doing everything you can to empower and inspire them to be your greatest brand evangelists.
Your goal should be to inspire them to want to live and deliver your brand promise because they want to, not because you tell them they should and must do so to keep a paycheck.
You can never go wrong by investing in human beings. Read-> 15 Easy Steps to Ignite Employees as Loyal Brand Evangelists
7. Keep your word.
Do what you say you are going to do, period. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Under promise and over deliver. Earn and establish trust at every brand point.
Yes, a smile can go a million miles. Inspire your employees to deliver real smiles at every touch point. A smile can brighten up a day, change a mood and create a customer for life.
9. Embrace the Fun Factor!
Don’t forget your customers are human. They like to laugh, dream and live life. Don’t get too focused on business, metrics and revenue that you lose the fun factor. There is no business too serious or too complicated that it can’t also create an enjoyable, memorable and fun customer experience.
Smart brands listen more than they talk. If you slow down and take the time to listen to what your clients and community is speaking about you will learn how to develop memorable experiences that excite and engage them. You will learn how to better your products and services. You will learn what touch points matter most. You will learn and hear first hand the experiences that are leaving a lasting impression.
Leverage social listening tools and develop a strategy with specific tactics to take the data and insights from your social networks back into your organization to improve customer brand experiences.
It's not rocket science. We help our clients do this and more every day. If you don't know where to start. Call us, we can help!
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