On 28th of December 2018, my 3 year old nephew asked me why I was buying his birthday present late.
Right or wrong, the ‘ standing out as a brand’ mindset is engrossed within me and I find it difficult to take it away from even my personal life. So, here we were, getting a gift a few days late.
Looking at the keenness of the young, don’t you like to stand out from the eyes of the innocent? Receiving a gift on his birthday is a minimalistic expectation from everyone in the close-knit family. But, that is not enough for me. I want to stand out.
I love it when my nephews come running to me to embrace a hug. And, I want this feeling in my business with my clients.
The Devaluation of an Offering
Last year, I saw my nephew opening plenty of Christmas presents and a few days later, dozens of birthday presents. Unfortunately, every present in the pile devalued the one before. In any case, I didn’t want my present just to make his pile taller whilst competing against his nursery friends who knew first hand what is cool to a 3 year old. So, technically I was disadvantaged.
To counteract, I took an unorthodox approach.
A day after my nephew’s birthday party, when the 3 year old had recovered from the sugar rush and cleared his diary for me, I took him out to get him a gift. It was time to reflect on my own childhood.
I remembered how in my early days, I loved going to Toys R US. But, this experience of going to the toys heaven usually ended badly because I was pushed and dragged to quickly fit in whatever time was set by my elders. Put simply, all of this pushing and shoving devalued my experience.
So, based on my experience, I figured that a great present will be to allow my nephew to roam around at his own will with no time constraints.
Of course Toys R Us is not possible these days, so the next best thing was Smyths. Let’s clarify something: there are still rules to the spending spree 🙂
The rule was: any ONE toy!
I took a massive financial risk of allowing my nephew to choose. And, it was all worth it because he enjoyed man handling the toys and riding the batman motorcycle before making his decision. It is safe to say here that he enjoyed the freedom.
So, the bottom-line is: Mixing a product with an emotional experience makes it a memorable one!
The Bones of Branding?
We are reediting this blog at the end of 2019. ( Content refresh is important for any online medium that wants to maintain quality).
By now, we have looked at branding from various angles. We have covered the angle of personalisation from various sides, and we have systematically tackled the misconceptions around what constitutes branding. Here are a few pieces of further reading for you:
The bottom-line is, I believe that branding is about the ‘emotional’ experience that you create for your audience.
It is fitting for this blog that we spent 500-600 words setting it up. All in all, emotions are nothing without the context; without a deeper sharing of something personal.
From a basic marketing communications perspective, emotional branding is the practice of appealing directly to the emotional state of your consumers. This means that, through emotional branding, you are not simply fulfilling a need, but going further and becoming a part of your clients’ aspirations.
You may be thinking that emotional branding sounds outlandish, but think again. There are endless examples of brands being built on emotions. Look at how kids (and many adults, including me) react to the idea of going to McDonald’s. Or, why people line up to buy every new Apple product. Such companies have done more than just provide a product, they have built an emotional response towards themselves.
From a B2B perspective, as with the case of our SEO services for instance, we have based our emotional branding around creating a feeling of safety. We talk more about this in:
Target Psychological Safety to Develop Your Business
More specifically, given that there are endless agencies and individuals providing SEO services, we have differentiated ourselves by educating our clientele around the process of SEO. To strengthen this feeling of safety, we also demonstrate results for our brand, as well as multiple partners of ours.
In fact, with every new potential client, we educate them about each step we will be taking to rank their business on Google. And, we have had cases where, just by showing the sentiment that we are open to showing our clients the process, clients have signed up saying that they trust us already.
We have now reached a point in our emotional branding cycle where we inspire our clients to open up further too and this is where things, truly, become interesting.
Building an Inspirational Brand
A brand becomes interesting when it offers inspiration.
Everything that comes before in branding is merely a build up to attaining this ideal state of becoming inspirational.
So, see branding as taking a role model position. Specifically, through the use of your product or service, the customer must see their lifestyle being upgraded through an association with your brand.
Not everyone will find a brand inspirational. So, this is why most business textbooks always limit themselves to preaching knowing your customers profile. Sadly, customer profiling is generally limited to include the age, demographics, status, background, interests, and so on. However, we, at Axies Digital, take branding a mile further by understanding the customers psychology. This is where you will uncover emotions and inspiration.
However, none of this is about fabricating a false persona.
In fact, in order for customers to connect with your personalities, your branding must be authentic and transparent. There is nothing sexier than a true representation of your emotions and feelings.
And, if you need further evidence, while we built our branding experience around authenticity, the world seems to be finally catching up with us.