Every Little Thing Speaks: Pay Attention and Connect with Your Target

December 23, 2013by Dave Florin

Everything we do is a positive, negative or irrelevant cue to people about our brand. Some marketers think that it is one significant event, one big action that forms a relationship between a brand and the target audience. Not true. This bond – and ultimately, devotion – is built up over time, based on the collective whole of many little things (which we call “cues”).

It’s words and pictures. It’s posts and tweets. Word choice matters. Tone matters. Choosing an illustration over a photo matters. We have to sweat the details, because the little things are a big deal.

Just look at Disney (a brand that most would agree gets it very right, very consistently). Disney gets that Everything Speaks. They pay attention to every single detail so nothing interrupts the flow of the experience. They’re intentional about trying to transport you to a fantasy space. Think that doesn’t help justify a $29 per day ticket price premium of $95 versus $65.99 at a Six Flags theme park? (By the way, think it is an accident that one has round prices and one includes .99? Think again.)

As a dad to three girls, I’ve found American Girl to be a brand with deep devotion in our household. The brand does an amazing job of paying attention to every detail on their dolls, the dolls’ clothing – even the story behind the doll. But, they go even further than that. At their Chicago store, not only do they serve you lunch – but the dolls have place settings too, with tiny china. What is that worth to their bottom line? American Girl gets that the difference is often in the details.

So what do we need to do? Pay attention. Most brands and companies are doing things well; it’s those who pay attention to everything that are winning. They’re doing the next 15% that other brands aren’t. They’re paying attention to more.

Ensure Everything Speaks the Way You Intend

If you’re a retail brand, is every part of that in-store experience speaking the way you want? The way you’re greeted, lighting, even bathrooms can make or break a brand experience.

For CPG brands, the packaging itself is but one touchpoint (although a very important one) that intersects the target audience. Facebook posts, handouts at sampling events and the creative that surrounds your target market each does its part in creating the overall brand experience and devotion for the target audience. Care about each and every one of them.

Service brands must focus outrageously on ensuring their customer-facing employees understand that every single interaction speaks to the customer. Every. Single. One. The tools they use to do their job need to be dialed in too. PowerPoint presentations, emails and phone greetings should all be hyperfocused on conveying the brand, perfectly.

The relationship between brand and consumer isn’t built in one dramatic action. It is built by caring about each and every little thing that speaks to the target. Only then will you create a meaningful, devotion-inspiring connection to your brand.

How is your brand going the extra mile to speak to your target? Let us know in the comments.

Photo courtesy of American Girl.

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