social brand experienceI recently wrote an article regarding my experience with Apple.  To summarize, my point was that Apple provides a full yet simple brand experience. They inspire us to be inspired.

Those of you who know me know that it doesn't take much to inspire a deep thought blog post from me.  A weekend visit to Target sparked a stream of thoughts.

As I walked into Target a few days ago with no kids, husband or deadlines I couldn't help but give a big “sigh” of peace.  You know the ones I am talking about moms!

There is something about grabbing that red buggy and heading down the Target aisle that fills inner red and white mommy zone?

What is it? Is it the fact that I have no kids or deadlines? Or is it they have created an experience for me? Yes, correct!  They have created an experience that I emotionally associate with peace, freedom and fun.

I know I will pay more for most items than if I were to go to Wal-mart.  I also dont have to deal with the crazy crowds of Super Wal-mart.

Target has what I need.  The store is clean. The people are friendly.  The brand has stayed consistent.  It's red.  It's round. It's Target.  I can buy everything from jammies, summer shorts for kiddos, sunscreen, laundry baskets to office supplies and a jar of jelly.

You might ask, well why wouldn't you go to Wal-mart to buy the same things and save some cash?  My answer is because I don't want to.  Some days are simply “Target days”.

So let's take the scenario I have described above and relate it to your business.  What do you need to do to inspire your audience to choose you over your competitors, replacement products or do-it-yourself solutions?

What days are simply “insert your business name” days in the mind of your target audience?

10 ways you can create an experience for your visitors

1.  Know your audience.

2. Know where and how you are positioned in the market. Be realistic. If you're currently seen as the low dollar, bargain solution then you are not going to overnight turn into the midnight sensation worth premium membership.

3. Brand consistency. Know your brand, share your brand, be your brand. Be consistent with every audience touch. It takes 6-7 brand touches for someone to remember your brand so make them count.

4.  Connect with your audience via emotions and feelings. Determine the feelings you want your audience to have when they come in contact with your brand.  Write down the top 10 words that describe how you want them to feel as they come in contact with your brand.  Do you want to be the family room, kitchen or sales floor? Choose colors, textures, words and engagement based on such.

5. Be unique. Offer them something that inspires, enriches their life and makes them better. Say good-bye to status quo and dare to be different!

6. Share yourself.

7. Use a variety of mediums. If you always blog and only blog then add in video, podcasts, webinars etc.

8. Engage your audience. Talk to them and inspire them after the Facebook like, not just before. Ask them questions. Speak in language they can understand to enable them to understand and connect with you.

9. Take your game up a level. Acknowledge you have competitors and simply being the “cool you” is not going to be enough.

10.  Humanize yourself, your brand and your audience. Treat your audience as humans. Let them know you are human too.


Your Turn

What is a store or major brand that offers you a memorable and pleasurable brand experience? What about online brands, thought leaders  or other? Why are they memorable? What experience are you offering your audience? Is it positive? Is it any experience at all?