I don’t talk about branding all that much. I see it as a simple part of the customer experience equation. The brand promise of your company sets the expectations for your customers. If the experience doesn’t live up to those expectations, your customer experience suffers.
That’s why I was so interested in reading How Does It Make You Feel? Why Emotion Wins The Battle of Brands by Daryl Travis. (I do know Daryl and he provided me with a galley proof of his book several weeks ago, but didn’t ask me to do anything other than read it.)
Six Brand Imperatives
I’m not surprised to say I really enjoyed the book. Daryl and I are like minded on many things, including how influential emotions and the little things really are. He does a great job outlining “Six Brand Imperatives” throughout the book.
1. Brands Are About Feelings, Not Facts
YES! I particularly like how he mentions getting in with customers’ own “enchanting dramas.”
2. Branding is the Most Powerful Yet Misunderstood Business Strategy.
I agree with how brands and people who listen and empathize are better served financially. I’m not sure I would classify all of this as branding, but I totally get the point.
3. The Brand Is Not Part of the Business. It is the Business.
Again, I think Daryl and I see eye-to-eye conceptually here, but I’d call some of this experience over branding. One of my favorite quotes from the book, however, is this:
People do not distinguish between what and who you are.
I totally agree! And this comes up over and over again because it’s simply true.
4. The Little Things You Do Are More Important Than The Big Things You Say.
Well. Since I’m just about obsessed with microinteractions and the power of small moments, you can imagine how I jumped up and down reading this part. :)
5. Every Brand Has a Story. How Will Yours Be Told?
In my humble opinion, this is where Daryl’s genius really shines. Using rich examples that at times highlight how brands have overcome assumptions or changed total perception, the story is about emotional connection. The end.
6. Brand Ideals: The Importance of Standing for Something Important.
THIS is where the rubber hits the road. Looking at branding through any lens you see how it is part of the customer experience. If customers and employees don’t buy it, then everything from business development to hiring suffers. Understanding what the brand MEANS connects directly with how it makes us feel. It’s very, very powerful when done right. And very, very frustrating when done wrong.
Peppered with great case studies and compelling people to meet, including one of my favorites, Michael Abrashoff, this book is a really interesting way to dissect branding and what it really, truly means to a company. Semantics aside, branding and customer experience only work when they connect with people in very real ways. This book outlines a strong strategy on how to do that the right way.
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