Let’s say you’ve got a billion dollar brand that produces magic at every turn. Your innovative approach is second to none, and people of all ages tremble with excitement at the mere mention of your name. But somehow you’re not seeing the kind of results you want to see. Maybe there aren’t enough products flying off the shelves, or enough people lining up to buy tickets.
You’re doing everything right. So why isn’t it working?
Chances are, you’re relying too much on your name and reputation. If you’ve got a great product, but aren’t driving sales or interaction, then this article is for you.
Sometimes the only way to judge a book is by its cover
In order to sustain sales, you need to think of every consumer touchpoint as the start of a journey. Consumers are forgetful. They’re fickle, and they change their minds – a lot. That’s why every touchpoint you produce needs to function as though it’s the first step on the path to your brand. It needs to do a lot of heavy lifting. It needs to get your customers to stop what they’re doing and pay attention to what you’re doing. It needs to hold their attention, and it needs to encourage the sale.
If you’re expecting familiarity alone to inspire action, you’re expecting too much. No matter how big you make that logo (or how glossy that paper is), it’s just not going to cut it. Take direct mail, for example. If you mail your customers something that looks like junk mail and feels like junk mail, it’s junk mail. Your customer will ignore it. Or worse, be turned off by it.
When approaching a traditional tactic like direct mail, you can’t think about it as such. Instead, you need to focus on fitting a little bit of your brand magic into your audience’s mailbox. Here’s a hint: it’s probably not a glossy, oversized postcard or a cheap bond envelope. Good or bad, everything you put your name on becomes an extension of your brand. Which means that everything you produce matters.
When you shortchange design and execution, your intention is clear. You’re telling your audience you just don’t care about this particular interaction – and that doesn’t exactly create a magical moment. Every digital and physical artifact you put into the world should be done with intent.
If you don’t care, why should your customers?
Fortunately, there are many great brands that do care – even about things as seemingly insignificant as direct mail. Nordstrom, for example, continues the in-store experience by infusing luxury, service, and personalization into everything they produce. Even their credit card statements exude the right tone.
And I remind you: this eye toward detail isn’t something that should be limited to luxury brands. The Whataburger fast food chain out of Texas is just about as far from Nordstrom as you can get. Except for one key attribute — intentionality. At Whataburger, everything from tray liners to ketchup packets has been thoughtfully designed. And it’s a good thing it has. Their customers are paying attention and they like what they see, even going so far as to pay tribute to the brand on Halloween. When was the last time someone willingly dressed up as one of your condiments?
Whataburger is successfully converting customers into cult followers with their attention to detail. As I mention in this article on how to create a cult brand, demonstrating your personality is paramount, and Whataburger understands that it is important to give your fans something to celebrate.
Wear clean underwear
If you need more encouragement to continue the magic, just look to your mother. Remember when she used to ask if you had clean underwear on before you left the house when you were a kid? It wasn’t just hygiene driving that question. It was pride.
She knew if you wiped out on your BMX and had to go to the doctor, that your dirty skivvies would be looked upon as a direct result of her lackluster parenting skills. She knew what she was doing. Follow her lead and make sure that everything you put out into the world reflects positively on your brand — no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem. You never know who’s looking; it may just be your next biggest fan.