Do You Need to Shake Up Your Brand Experience?
What’s your brand saying about you? I mean, more than your designer logo and your matching shoe and clutch colour scheme. Your words, your personality, your service, your product?
And, is your brand telling a true story? Is it connecting with your ideal audience or, is your highfalutin tone attracting hipsters when you really want housewives?
I’m going to explore the link between your brand experience and your ideal audience through a tale of 3 coffee shops. Coffee. Aaah. Life’s elixir. Let’s brew on this.
What’s Your Brand Experience Really Saying About You?
All copywriters love a good analogy. And, coffee. So, here’s a story about brand experience through the lens of our favourite golden brew.
Now, I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to cafés in my neighbourhood; there’s a pretty handful within a 10-minute walk of my home. #winning, right?
In the last 12 months, the local café offering has doubled. There was one; now there are three. And, each café offers its addicts something different. Each has a unique brand attracting a unique audience.
Café #1: Hipster beards and smooth brews
Doubling as a music studio, I have no doubt this one’s owned and managed by a small group of trendy, musically-talented, beard-wearing hipsters. But, that’s not why it’s cool.
It’s the ambience. It’s the décor. Greys and woods. There’s a blackboard wall with chalked drawings telling the story of the music studio. Furniture is minimal; big, tall, oak benches. Open, warm, and welcoming.
And – the coffee is exceptional.
Café #2: The Road-Stop
The original café by 4105.
It’s a roadside-looking take-away shop which was once the only coffee in the village. It’s tucked just inside an industrial space – so I’m sure they did/do a roaring workman’s trade. But, it leaves nothing for the imagination – never appealing enough for me to even venture inside.
I’ll tone down the coffee snobbery, but, I wouldn’t be caught in a high state of dehydration trying to rehydrate on the coffee here, even if it meant my doom/survival.
Too high a risk it’s a percolated brew, or worse, burnt, a la American Diner.
Café #3: The Franchise
Now, let’s first just talk about the value of my real estate – 3 months ago a national café franchise opened a short walk up from the hipster café. Right? Hipsters and franchises.
4105, you’re on the up! I’ll totally be a rich property tycoon, soon.
Back to the coffee. This store happens to include a drive through to capture those early morning city commuters needing a convenient cuppa while they sit idly in traffic. Classy.
Now, the national franchises aren’t my cup of tea (pun intended), but, for the fans, these brands are reliable and safe; you know what to expect every time. And #convenient (it’s a drive-thru after all).
So, If You Were A Café, Who Would You Be?
In business, it’s super important you understand what your brand is offering and whether you’re meeting your ideal audience’s needs. Because, if your brand isn't in alignment, you won't attract and retain your ideal customers. They'll go align themselves with someone else.
So, if you were a café, are you:
- Funky, unique, warm, and welcoming with higher quality product and service?
- Traditional, un-refined, basic service and product, same business from when you started 20 years ago?
- Reliable, convenient, familiar, providing the same standard products and service everywhere?
Does Your Brand Experience Sync with Your Ideal Customer?
Let me confirm - There’s nothing wrong with either of these brands. Each to their own – there’s a market for everyone.
Can you imagine a truckie ordering coffee from a hipster and his french handlebar?
What really matters is who your audience is.
So, if there’s a mis-match between what your brand is saying and the audience you’re trying to attract, then Houston, we have a problem and it’s not something a double shot espresso can fix.
Let’s look at it from a copy perspective
Do your website, sales page, emails, social channels, and blogs accurately reflect who you are and what you offer to your customers?
Take my website and blogs for example. Me – totally hip and happening kinda chick. Loves coffee, wine, long walks on empty beaches.
My words are not conventional. I don’t ‘play by the rules of formal grammar’. I have fun with language.
So, who won’t find my website and services attractive? Well, government for one! And, big, stuffy corporates. I’m faaaaar too risky.
And good, I’m glad. Cuz, I don’t wanna work with them either #processes ICK! I want to work with modern businesses who value fun and engaging communication. Business brands that have a personality and aren’t afraid to show it. That's my alignment.
A successful brand means a successful business – did ya know?
Your brand experience is everything from your language, tone, personality, service, products, packaging, logo, to colour scheme. It’s the way you write your emails and blogs. How you answer your phone.
So, what is your brand saying about you? Do you know?
If you’ve got a bad case of the doubts, I encourage you to send your clients / customers / Facebook followers a survey or poll and ask them. Straight up.
Rip off that bandaid and take it like an Amazonian.
Feel free to share your findings in comments below!
Kelly is a writer, copywriter, blogger, and business brand enthusiast with major heart for words. Her life's mission is to light up corporate communications and bring life to the way businesses speak with their customers and employees. Favourite hashtags - #stopboring #coffee #words.