Relationships are built with exclamation points, not dollar signs. Performance marketing techniques may fulfill your hustler urge, but Brands that consistently excite and deliver awe and wonder not only meet quarterly projections, but bring you closer to your Brand vision.
You might think in terms of a funnel, but your customers use a sieve. People don’t want to just be engaged, they want to be re-engaged. They want to feel like beloved participants in your community.
Sharing excitement and awesomeness with shoppers right now can help push prime potential customers to buy you first.
Scientists have discovered that actual behavioral responses result from increased excitement and a solid sense of AWE — and these behaviors help benefit Brand engagement.
Elongated time perception, for example, is one outcome of AWE that can translate into more time on your site (anyone who’s started watching Instagram short films and rolls out to discover that it is now 40 minutes later knows the feeling).
Fostering social connections, another side effect of AWE, seems critical when real-world loneliness troubles National mental health. Building one-to-one social connections between complete strangers, is what being a “brand” is all about. The feelings of kinship we experience spotting someone wearing a SUPREME logo, or your favorite bag or shoe or song, are warm-blooded and real. They link us together.
Finally, feelings of oneness and belonging seems solid outcomes of AWE, certainly when wellness and spirituality are top of the list for today’s mindful meditations.
Reimagine, reframe how we identify you. Can we think of you just a little differently? Updating the logo is one method. Collaborations with an adjacent brand is another way. GoPro X RedBull, BMW X Louis Vuitton, UNICEF X Target are quick examples of this thinking, which has become a little wheezy.
If customers want to see you playing with the other brands they love, how can you make new connections?
One step into Korean eyeware brand Gentle Monster’s site demonstrates a deadfall into craven desire. (We’re looking at the Korean site. Gentle Monster is now on Grand Street in Soho and somewhere in OC, so the U.S. site may look different. Check it out.) Summer is coming fast and these sunglasses will wake up your eyeballs.
Over in Seoul, streetwear retailer Worksout pumps up the attention span by injecting attention-getting displays between its liquified Persian rugs, phallic incense burners and Playstation®5 wireless controllers. Know your audience.
When launching his new beauty brand Pleasing, Harry Stiles sent boxes to his exclusive mailing list of You-Know-Whos. Filled with nail polish and other samples, the box was courageously designed and (we assume) thrilled recipients. Think of StitchFix box anticipation times 1,000,000.
Keep your FOMO medications handy. Anyone who can add adrenalin to the buying sequence deserves extra credit. Online retailer GO FAST, DON’T DIE revs up FOMO by offering 70% OFF to everyone who buys Day 1 of the sale. 50% OFF on Day 2. 30% OFF on Day 3. And so on. This hotspurs shoppers to buy immediately, and, as long as the retailer maintains a profit, everybody smiles.
Telfar LIVE’s reverse psychology: a product is released at its wholesale price. Every second, the price increases, until the item sells out. The closing price stays as the item’s retail price for future drops.
Less spectacular but equally genius is how Brooklyn studio Corridor divides your online purchase into four payments, which makes their clothing more financially accessible to more shoppers.
And this isn’t just about objects. It’s about object buildings, too. For the last few years (decades) architects have been doing object buildings — the ones with the fancy shapes. Urban eye candy. But when designing the structure that encompasses the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium Studio, Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang went sideways. She calls its an “inny building.”
“To be an architect,” she explains in her Dezeen interview, “is to extend your childhood throughout your life. It’s about the joy of exploring a space.” A feat she accomplishes via her five-story structure that peeks the inside a skull cave.
Go ahead, break things. One of the rules of Instagram is to keep it short. Nobody has time for you. Short attention span theater. Etcetera. And then. Look at how dusty 100-year old brand National Park Service has busted Instagram thanks to the newfangled notion that a brand voice that is smart, clever and curious can attract hearts and minds. Their post measured interior space in banana units. Over 65,000 likes. Another post about pens and rattlesnakes has over 200,000 likes. Need one more? Try a grizzly sitting on its butt, another 160,000 likes.
To paraphrase what someone once said about beer, True engagement stimulates the parts that other Brands cannot reach.
Find them. Tickle them. Take them for a ride.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Patrick Hanlon, Author of Primal Branding
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