You know when you read a good book, you can’t stop turning pages but want to slow down because you don’t want it to end?  Your brand story should do the same.  Draw people along and make them crave more.

So how do you create a crave-worthy brand?  Here are five elements of how to make your brand crave-worthy

  1. Simple: Keep the brand and its promise clear and easy to understand; you don’t need an epic story (ala Lord of The Rings). Let’s say you are a consulting firm that advises family lead businesses on succession planning. Think about the need companies have when they first start investigating a consultant. Maybe the leading quandary is fear of disruption to the business. The brand proposition could be:

    It is creating continuity from one generation to the next.

  2. Plan the journey. Good stories lead people from one place to another.  Plan your customer journey.  Creating a customer journey map can help you determine if you are consistently and clearly telling the story and creating the experience you want your customers to have. For example, if you are an upscale restaurant boasting romantic dinners and a 5-star experience, ensure every part of a customer’s experience meets that expectation, from looking up your restaurant online and making reservations to how they are greeted to how they are treated at departure, all matter. Each touchpoint should reinforce the journey.
  3. Moments of awe.  You don’t want to surprise your clients but rather delight them.  Think of small touchpoints that can inspire awe.  Let’s say you are an accounting firm; think about three emails that could make the tax season less stressful for your clients: An email letting your client know you have everything needed to get started can put a client’s mind at rest; right before presenting their taxes to them, you might send an email saying that a Partner is making a final review of their taxes and will have it to them shortly; and you might send a celebratory note saying they have been submitted to the IRS.
  4. Satisfy the dissatisfied. Nothing is perfect.  Inevitably someone will be unhappy. Being transparent, taking ownership, and solving problems are great opportunities to build loyalty and appreciation.  Make sure your team is empowered to solve problems.  No one wants to hear, “Sorry, that’s not my job.”  Even if you can’t solve their problem, acknowledge their disappointment. The key is to communicate with anyone unhappy.
  5. Good signage matters. We don’t mean literally (although that is helpful to building a brand too). Instead, customers can get lost in choice, forgetful in responding, and scared to make a decision.  So always look for where customers might drift or seek alternative solutions.  Create signposts to keep them on track.  Let’s say you are a retailer and want to ensure new customers keep returning.  Sending them a thank you note for their recent purchase is a great way to show appreciation and signal that they are welcome back.  Find ways to bring them back to your offering, as you never know when they will be out shopping for your offerings again.

Weaving the story of your brand takes diligence.  To ensure you are on the right path, develop a dashboard to track the touch points and ensure you see an upward trajectory in awareness, engagement, and demand.  The metrics will be your signal that your brand story is selling!