Chapters to an exciting brand story

What are the chapters to brand story-telling? How does one go about crafting the brand story? Here’s a guide that might be useful. Ofcourse, story-telling is an art and is not guided by any processes. Even then, these points may come handy to play at the back your mind as you craft your brand story.

Define your voice: Your brand story is inextricably linked to your customer experience. While cost is a rational evidence, customer experiences get overshadowed with emotional perceptions. Therefore, your story-telling needs to be based on Context, Creativity and Care. Unless these three message pillars get established with the right weightage, your messages are likely to get unregistered or even solicit negative feedback, even though you may have statistical evidences to justify your messages.

Cultivate relationships: A research on the hospitality sector found that simply extending some unexpected candy gifts before presenting the bill to a customer increases the tip to the server. It doesn’t happen too often, but some lucky customers have also had the experience of calling a customer care call centre, and despite being at an insane position to pull out their own hairs, a simple sympathetic remark such as “I understand” have not only calmed them down but have also made them feel satisfied even though no concrete solution was extended on the call. What treasures could we unearth with a study on simple but often forgotten things such as – how much does a good car wash, after a service visit, increase customer satisfaction ratings? Or how would it impact a disgruntled customer who has had to wait beyond his scheduled delivery time, if offered the surprise gift of a free car wash? To make your messages credible and stick with your customers, the intent and the commitment needs to get demonstrated first.

Mobilise advocates: While a customer who has been extremely delighted is likely to have an instantaneous reaction to socially broadcast the positive experience, most satisfied and happy customers are less likely to do the same. While you cannot stop an unhappy customer from sharing a negative experience, you surely can mobilise a customer to share a positive experience… or at least, try to make an initially negative experience turn  positive, if you have a mechanism for real-time intelligence and feedback.

Maximise channels: The best way to maximise channels is to internalise the message.

Indigo Airlines wanted to propagate three messages – On Time, Hassle Free and Always Affordable – the key differentiator being “on-time“. They have built  on-time into their system so much so that the Flight Attendant announces the departure time as Indigo Standard Time. From the ticket confirmation sms to the flight schedule notification to the talk at the counter as you collect your boarding pass to the boarding, they hammer the message repeatedly “on-time””. Even if there’s a delay, they specify why. Aditya Ghosh may be the head of the business, but Ghosh’s message gets passed on through the thousands of ground force workers, staff and flight attendants – and in quite an infectious way – to percolate down to the customers and prospectives.

How can you levearge your employees, partners and customers to evangelise your message. If your business is committed to Walk The Talk – you might have a fairly good chance!

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