Aura, Oral and Aural – Growing Your Brand Perception
In Part 1 of The Power of PURRception I introduced you to a a new store in Westfield Carindale that I designed, called Posh Pets, and how creating a point of difference through specialising in unique products, and providing exceptional service to a targeted customer base can create business nirvana. In Part 2 I look at the mechanics of creating a strong brand by simply giving your customers what they want.
Creating a strong brand is about what you think, feel, and say about your brand. If all these things are aligned with your product and the customer can see this you have the makings of something great. You see, when customers feel this authenticity in your brand they too will tell others about it.
1. a distinctive and pervasive quality or character; air; atmosphere: an aura of respectability; an aura of friendliness.2. a subtly pervasive quality or atmosphere seen as emanating from a person, place, or thing.
Have you ever been to a boring party and someone walked in the room and the mood of the party changed immediately? This person may have been bubbly and happy and all of a sudden you felt a ‘lightness’ on the room. You felt that there was something special about this person that you don’t see in many people. In fact, you may have said that they had some kind of aura about them that made you feel happy and relaxed in their company.If someone asked you about the party and who you met, more than likely you would mention how the party was quite staid until this person walked in the room. Your friend would see your face light up as you became animated in how you described this person. More than likely your friend would be intrigued and want to know more about this incredible person.
Now imagine that instead of being at a party what you were describing was visiting a store. You were describing the unique products and the exceptional service. This is how great brands are created, by customers having an ‘experience’. An experience may be a simple as a store providing you with ‘exactly’ the gift you were after because they understood your needs. It could be the way that they made you feel special in the store.
The way you speak and handle your products with care is part of creating an aura around your brand. Maybe there is a story behind a product that you can share with your customers.
Have you ever played Chinese whispers as a child? One child begins by saying something to another and then this child repeats it to another and so forth until we get to the end of the chain of communication and often the original message is vastly different from what was initially said. Gossip is often a nasty form of Chinese whispers. It can lead to a negative perception of a person being talked about. Myths and legends can also be created in a similar way where people speak about the great deeds or evil wrongdoings of a person or incident that often changes with time to be bigger than it really was. Some stories alter so much so that the people in the story may develop super-human strength and power.
This can happen with your brand too. People have a positive experience and tell others about it. We all like to tell stories and stories have a way of engaging us more than mere facts. In time, as your brand awareness grows, the stories of you and your brand’s greatness may precede you.
Word of Mouth & Mouse
Many cultures around the world have an oral tradition that is passed on by word of mouth as they may not have a written language. A brand too is passed on by word of mouth and in our technological age by many other means including ‘word of mouse’. If we have a positive experience these days it has become increasingly easy to disseminate our experience with others. Computers, the internet, social media and smart phones have made it easy and quick to communicate.
Have you ever had someone tell you about an experience they had? It may be that they had an awesome massage and they described every detail, or told you about an incredible movie you have to see. Before you know it, you have made an appointment to ‘experience’ what your friend had.
They may have posted their experience on Facebook, or possibly they had sent you a text. However they communicated their experience to you, whether by word of mouth or mouse, something powerful happened. You friend had transferred the experience into your mind because you know and trust them. This is something that traditional advertising is at a distinct disadvantage. They don’t know you personally, and must rely on the power of perception and customer experience to create awareness and customer engagement. If you use traditional paid media to shout out how awesome you and your business are and then customers enter your store and their is a distinct diffference from what was promised and what they experienced you will be losing customers.
There are numerous ways that you can successfully promote your brand, but again I come back to the fundamentals – provide an exceptional solution to your targeted market’s problems which includes unique products and the blue ribbon service to match and you cannot go wrong. The fundamentals will ensure that your customers plant the seeds in their conversations with others, Your customers are your greatest fans and unpaid promoters.
Get Your Customers PURRing
Beyond providing the ‘experience’ that gets your customers PURRing with praise, provide them a platform where they can interact with you. Make sure that you are on Facebook and Twitter and you post regularly and interact with your customer base. Social media has the effect of Chinese whispers on steroids. Regularly post articles and information about your products, who you are and what you stand for. Ask customers to post their experiences.
Social media is also a PURRfect platform to ask your customers how you can better service them and really understand their needs and pet peeves. Knowledge is power, and in order to increase the power of your brand, the more you can know your customer the more successful you will be in providing them with the experiences they desire.
Create a Community
By creating a strong online community, your loyal customers will begin to sow the seeds of your ‘greatness’ far and wide. Just like Lyn from Posh Pets was smiling like the proverbial Cheshire Cat as the cash register was ringing, so to you will be by actively engaging and providing your customers with PURRfect experiences.
The Power of PURRception – Creating A Killer Brand
People love to hear about great experiences and love to tell stories. By engaging your customers you will make it easy for your customers to spread stories about you. Stories are information, and as I said earlier, information is power. It has been said that an idea is the most dangerous thing in the world. You and your business is an idea. Is it an idea that is one amongst millions or is it a killer idea that others want to spread? A ‘meme’ is an idea that is passed from person to person, similar to the way that genes are passed onto the next generation. If you can think of your entire business and brand as an idea what is that idea? How do you transmit that idea into a perception, an experience that customers want to pass onto others?
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