Something To Talk About?

Last week I made my debut on the Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence Blog asking the question is your brand giving it’s audience something to talk about. I’d love to get your thoughts.

For many of us, the holidays bring more than decorations, parties and presents – they bring stories – everything from the classics like: The Christmas Story, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to the stories our families pass down through the years. About this time every year, my niece and nephews start asking us to tell them stories about holiday traditions and their parents, grandparents and others when they were their age. And the stories that are replayed or continue to be passed down from generation to generation are usually the ones that are told in a way that is compelling and entertaining.  It’s not just the story, or the ‘what’, it’s the way in which that story is told, the ‘how’ that makes it memorable and interesting.

As the year closes out many communicators find themselves planning engagement and even conversation strategies for the new year. This season is a great time to reflect on your brand story or the story you want to tell. The ‘what’ or the content is just as important as the ‘how’ or the way in which the story is told. Does your story resonate with the audience you are trying to reach? Is it more than a laundry list of features and benefits? Is your story or message easy to tell both online and offline?

In the digital world, a good story is not enough to bring a million page views; it is the how that story is unveiled and the details that bring the traffic.  The ‘what’ and the ‘how’ are the key to making your brand irresistible. And if you can make your brand irresistible, then that translates to deeper customer engagement breeding loyalty, and yes even increased revenues.How do you make your brand irresistible both online and offline?  It is definitely a lot easier said than done yet not impossible.

This principal holds true for brands as well, especially as they build your online presence.  Often times brand become so focused on the ‘what’ that the ‘how’ simply gets left out completely.

There is one thing that every brand has in common, whether a Fortune 500 or a Start Up, B2C or B2B, bricks and mortar or online(you get the idea.) Every brand/business is creating a customer journey. And just like in every journey there are ups and downs with the customer experience. The real defining moments are how a brand responds to the bumps along the journey that determines the experiences and the stories the consumer will tell. The ultimate goal of every brand whether spoken or unspoken is to be irresistible.

How do you make your brand irresistible? How do you consistently create an irresistible experience? It is a lot easier said than executed. However, today it is more important than ever to make your brand and the experiences around it irresistible. And while every experience will not be perfect, I do believe there are three essential elements that serve as guideposts to creating a better customer experience:

1- Reference – what’s the frame of reference? The context inside the situation or physical environment is important and should be appealing. Is your front line team empowered to meet your customers where they are?
2. Relational – is your pitch or presentation engaging does it synch with the frame of reference? Are your people on the front line trained to engage? Are they moving people along or are they connecting, building relationships, listening and solving problems?
3.  Relevant – is the content you are delivering relevant to your audience? Does it resonate? Is all of your media/communications relevant to each situation? A one size fits all will not create evangelists or irresistible environments.

The customer experience is so subjective and each customer views your service through their own filter. These three elements help provide a framework that when combined with your personalization will delight your customer over and over again. In upcoming posts, I will be sharing some of my own recent experiences that blew me away and I cannot stop talking about them. In every instance, the reference was important, everyone was extremely relational, engaging and personal and finally, all of the communications from start to finish were relevant and personalized.

I’m curious have you recently had an experience you cannot stop talking about? What made it so good? Can you see the above framework in the experience?



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