I got home one evening recently and I had 4 envelopes in the post box. They were all pretty much the same size, but there the similarities ended.
The first envelope was plain, brown and unaddressed, except for the ominous warning ‘To the Home Owner’. The second was a plain white window envelope addressed to me. The third had the brand mark of my mobile phone provider and the fourth the logo of the travel agent we went on holiday with six months ago and carried a message ‘Exclusive offers and packages for our VIP customers’.
So I took out my ‘stethoscope’ and listened for a brand heart beat from each envelope.
Envelope 1 – no, dead ,dead,dead – I didn’t even bother to open it, life’s too short.
Envelope 2 – for a moment there I thought I detected a beat…. I opened it but my level of expectation was set at ‘likely to disappoint’… my spirits rose briefly though, it was from my car dealer reminding me that it was time to get a service… but there was no offer and the model listed was the wrong one. The brand was briefly resuscitated but died in the ambulance.
Envelope 3 – now there was definitely a sign of life. I have a great mobile phone, I’m always after the latest models and I’m on the top plan because I need all the bells and whistles – I like the brand because it makes me feel really cool. Uh-oh! The letter screams out ‘ Pre-paid plans from $29 per month’… as I switch off the life support.
Envelope 4 – The brand is alive and well. This is a really smart pack. With a family I’m looking for deals and yet I still want to feel important. I open it and the brand heart is still pumping strongly. The letter references my last holiday, the detail is correct, it makes me an offer at the same hotel, and at the same time of year, and there are similar offers at other hotels and destination types. This is really smart marketing combining direct marketing and brand skill sets — even more to be commended because travel and tourism is such a competitive market – I’ll buy a similar holiday this year to the one I did last year, but unless I’ve fallen in love with the travel agents brand I may go elsewhere. This is brand in the hand.
The lessons here may seem simple, but they are the basis of bringing your brand to life when you communicate to your customer.
- Be smart about using what you know about your customer ( your data) to make them feel special and to demonstrate that you believe you have a relationship with them, that is alive and well. This will have a positive effect on their loyalty to your brand.
- Be smart about using your values, personality, look and feel (your brand) to emotionally engage the customer — they came to you in the first place because they liked your words, deeds and how you looked.
Now go and check the pulse of that communication you’re about to send out — is it saying things about you, you don’t like — or missing out on saying something you really should be saying ?