Imagine you're at a candy store, overflowing with sweets from around the world. There are so many tasty treats to choose from, how do you pick? The answer is, for most people, you don't. You simply opt for the same ol' chocolate you've favored for years. But then, as you approach checkout count, the cunning confectioner pulls a trick. He whips out a chocolate sampling experience that he normally only offers the store's VIP guests.
But these chocolates aren't your ordinary chocolates, he claims. And you're soon whisked away into his tale of how this speciality chocolate is made only once a year from the finest ingredients known on Earth, produced in a limited batch, and that each was scientifically crafted to provoke the tastebuds in such a way that they're named their world-renown sensory experience: "Orange You Giggly", "Frowning Brownie", and "Cry Me a Lemon".
He then makes you a deal that, if you're able to guess what each secondary flavor is in the chocolates, your entire cart will be paid for by the store. Sales price for the sampling? The same price of just one of the chocolates in your cart. Even if you don't win, it's a deal at three for one! You agree to give it a go, and, the second you miss, you friend demands a turn to outsmart you. The laughs are on and pics are soon uploaded to social media to share the hilarious moment when chocolates made you giggly, frown, and embarrassingly cry, enticing everyone you know to visit the store to try out the extraordinary experience.
To most chocolate chocolatiers, despite their love for cocoa, chocolate is chocolate is chocolate. But with a notch of creativity, the clever store owner built an experience around an ordinary treat to entertain his customers, increase his profits, and expand his vision as "The Tasting Trio" became a "must-have" by everyone who ever visited. And this same sort of creative thinking can be applied to any aspect of your branding or your products.
The clever candy man's tactics boil down to this:
1. Be TOO EXCLUSIVE to pass on
The chocolates, if they had been scattered on the shelves alongside all of the other candies would have never stolen your attention to pick them up, let a lone lead them to becoming a trending topic on Instagram! But, because they were pitched to you in way that was not only unique but was a rare, special moment for the store (set at a certain time of year and to a limited quantity) your "BUY IT NOW" radar went off. Exclusivity, be it a rare material or special casing, seasonal offering, member-only invite or VIP event, is brilliant way to expand your standard sales and get customers more engaged and talking about your brand.
2. Be TOO INTRIGUING to dismiss
"Orange You Giggly", "Frowning Brownie", and "Cry Me a Lemon", are just too intriguing of names for chocolates to not want to know what their acclaimed taste-to-sensory experience will be like. Your mind instantly wants to know if the chocolate will actually make you laugh, cry, or frown. As kids, it's our nature to question and want to know everything we can about everything. We're then trained to expect reward from our parents and teachers when we figure out the answers. So the second a product provokes your curiosity and makes you question any aspect of it (apart from its value and price), it's nearly guaranteed you'll buy it (if not on the spot, you'll walk away thinking about, and, eventually, curiosity will kill the cat).
3. Give TOO MUCH to debate
There's nothing more disappointing than going out to a restaurant and ordering a meal only to be returned with a bite-sized portion on your plate (unless you're small-plate fine dining). And while it may make sense, due to the quality and price of ingredients, to keep a plate appropriately portioned, if you're grossly overcharging or are priced high but are not delivering an equal or greater return in experience, you're going to have terrible return and sales rate. As for our famed candy store scenario, the value of The Chocolate Trio offer was a no-brainer: you're getting three chocolates of extra rare quality coupled with an amazing experience, all for the price of one stand alone chocolate! The last thing any company wants is to have their customers going back and forth on if their service is worth its weight and gold. So make sure, in your marketing and packaging, that all of your value (apparent and unapparent) is clearly stated and is at the forefront of your customers attention.
4. Be Priced TOO GOOD to say no to
We're all ware that our products and services need to be priced to sell. So research, research, research your market. Look at what other providers are offering and for what price, but also analyze the habits of your past, current, and desired future customers. Send out an email survey to current clients to see if they'd pre-purchase a new offer at x-price. Personally reach out to past clients to see why they haven't come back in over a year, offering them a small gift card to thank them for their help and time. (No business owner should ever expect their clients to give them valuable information for their business for free!) And, going back to point three of this list, make sure your price is a no-brainer for your customers. Once a customer falls in love with your product or idea, the price should never leave them to second question the worth of your offering.
5. Be TOO MEMORABLE to forget
The candy man could have sat in his store and sold his goods, just as any standard store owner; but, instead, he choose to get creative and made an experience for his customers that they would never forget. Creating moments of intrigue and events around your offerings in a fun and alluring way, is something that works wonders for word-of-mouth and overall scalability. It can even trickle on to your professional appearance and key catch phrases that tie into your business, your employee attire, or a strategic, stand-out way they interact with your customers.
Think about the product packaging, ads and commercials of three items that you use or love the most (each from different companies). What makes them special or unique? What makes them memorable? Why do you keep coming back to the product? What do you like about this brand? Try to highlight the top themes that emerge between all three.
Then ask yourself what's the most prominent thing that each of the three companies are doing that first attracted your attention and has led to your continued patronage? What could they improve on? How could their company get more creative?
If you were those companies CCO, what things would you suggest to improve their sales via pricing, packaging, marketing, and so forth? How would you propose change for these companies? What is the one, single thing they could each do to maximize their success?
Finally, look at how the concepts you highlighted for each of these brands can be applied your own business strategy or given a compelling twist to one-up that company's game.
Long Story Short
When you take time to slow down and really, deeply think about the details of your customer-to-brand experience and attempt to think about fun, innovate ways to reposition your brand and grow, it's amazing how quickly your brain will jump into its superpower creative mode to send back a solution that'll rocket your brand to the Moon and beyond. But, if you don't have the time to run through this exercise or feel as though it's too much of a creative challenge, click the following link to request a formal consultation with me to create a Creative Stand-Out Plan to ensure the ultimate level of success for your business.
Until then, keep on being a Super Stellar you!