3 Automatic Responses to Your Brand

When you think of your favorite, or least favorite companies, you probably aren’t thinking of their name, logo or the last ad you saw. Most likely you immediately think of an experience or a feeling. You’re remembering how your story connects (or once connected) with that brand.

With that in mind, there are three automatic responses people are having to your brand. Each of your customers, when your name is mentioned, is having one of the following reactions. See which one you think they are currently having when your brand is mentioned and which you hope they will have in the future.

1. The Furrowed Brow, Pursed Lips Response

You probably already have a story in mind. I know I do. I have a store membership. Love their products and their prices. So, it wasn’t uncommon for me to run in to grab a few things after work. But on this occasion I went on a Saturday afternoon, no makeup and didn’t bother to change out of my ball shorts and T-shirt. It was Saturday, after all.

Unloading my cart, I handed over my card to scan. She scanned it. Handed it back and I finished unloading the cart. But, then she asked me for my card again. Odd, but I handed it back. She turned the card over, squinted at the picture and then looked back at me. With her eyebrows raised she asked, “Is this really you?”

I was caught off guard and immediately felt self-conscious in my lounge wear and makeupless face. With a false calm I responded, “Yes.”

She did finish checking me out, but after that I could not get out fast enough. I was so embarrassed. 

Now, I know, she was just trying to protect the company. I don’t fault her for doing her job. But, for me, the customer, it left me with dread every time I go to checkout. It may seem petty, but it’s the day my story, and theirs, clashed. And that’s not the story you want your customers to remember and then tell others.

2. The Nod of Acknowledgement Response

Honestly, this is probably the worst response you can encounter. We’ve all had a conversation where someone is talking about a restaurant or store but you really don’t know anything about it. You might remember where it’s located or think it sounds familiar. Maybe you’ve even shopped or dined there but it didn’t leave a lasting impression. You don’t have a good or bad memory; it doesn’t exist in your world or your story (if you think I’m a little too concerned with story…watch ANY of Kindra Hall’s videos!) I would give you an example, but I can’t remember any…

A lukewarm existence in your customer’s mind will not gain you word of mouth service. It will not aid any marketing effort you make.

3. Wide-Eyed Smile, “Have I got a story to tell you!” Response

This is the response we all want for our brands! It’s that coveted positive word-of-mouth review every company hopes is happening, though sadly, too many naively bank on.

Can you relate? I certainly can. 

A year ago we were on the hunt for a man’s suit. He was to be a pallbearer at a funeral in two days and a suit did not exist in his closet. We had already been to the big box stores with no luck; they were too expensive or alterations would take too long. So, this was our last hope.

We walked in at 9am, right as they opened. As I vaguely told the lady what we needed, she looked him up and down and walked away, pulling a jacket, a shirt, a tie and pants. She handed them over and told him to try it on.

It all fit.

At 9:30am we walked out after having the suit fitted and paid for with a pickup date in 24 hours. I couldn’t believe it. It was wonderful. I wasn’t even needed. Making men’s fashion decisions is not exactly in my wheelhouse.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told that story since. And, this company that does very little advertising was packed the next two times we went back. 

This kind of experience is the premise of Jay Baer’s new book, Talk Triggers. What remarkable thing is your business doing that’s worth telling others about? During Jay’s Content Marketing World Seminar he told the story of a fast-food restaurant that has spent $0 on advertising and has a line out the door every week.

What’s their secret?

They found something that makes them remarkable. 

At the restaurant, every customer gets to play their card game. You order and then you pick a card. If you get a Joker, they pay for your meal! They’re cultivating fun, excitement and a little mystery. Their simple idea is giving their customers something to remember.

For the clothing store, it was the quick service and expertise. She knew her business; she knew her customer’s needs, and she had it down to a science. 30 minutes and we were out of there!

Both of these companies created an experience worth telling others about. And when that happens, people are excited to tell!

So, how do you create and leverage positive word of mouth? 

Just as Jay Baer explained and just as we’ve preached for years, you have to have a differentiator. Hint: It’s not customer service or quality.

Your differentiator is that thing only you do for your customer. That thing that makes you remarkable, different and sticks in your customer’s mind. It’s the something you don’t advertise necessarily, you just do. Consistently. Every time they come back. 

You help men get fitted in a suit, in a timely manner, without overwhelming them with questions. You give every customer a chance to win a free meal by just the draw of a hand. You answer customers with a simple “It’s my pleasure” (you know who that is!). It’s creating an experience they relate to and will then relay to others. 

As Jay Baer explains it: “Talk Triggers are strategic, operational choices that compel word of mouth.”

When you take that action, marketing can leverage and amplify the reaction your company receives in the public and online. Creating a unique experience isn’t something your marketing firm or PR firm can build for you. We can only leverage your story and how it intertwines with your customers’.

So, two questions I leave you with today:

     1.  How do people respond to your business?
     2.  What response do you want them to have and how will you change to get it?

Not sure how to answer one of these? Let’s talk about it!

Catie Overby

Article Written By:

Catie Overby

Content Strategist/Carries Ranch in Her Purse like Hand Sanitizer