The best brands stick themselves deep in the minds of their audience. They surprise and connect and delight. The best brands feel magical. Magic is created when something doesn’t seem to add up, there’s a science underneath everything but it’s not immediately obvious.
Below are 4 quick actions you can take today to make your brand a bit more magical. (Head to the comments below to share any brands whose magic you love or other actions you think could help create some brand magic.)
1. Collaborate With Other Brands
Collaboration is underrated. It takes two parties looking out for each other and making sure that everyone gets what they want. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.
If I had a local ice cream shop, the first thing I’m doing is partnering with local breweries, coffee shops, and farmers to create their own flavors. They’ll get additional exposure and they’ll help my shop build local love. Win. Win. Win.
Working with friends is fun, but most brands can’t get their head out of their work long enough to plan fun collaborations.
There’s no better marketing than collaboration.
2. Do Something Fun That Has A NO (Apparent) ROI
Magical brands have depth; they’re three-dimensional.
Doing something that has no (apparent) return-on-investment signals to your audience that your brand is human. It shows a level or fun, fascination, and relatability.
Becoming a three-dimensional brand is so difficult. Processes and policies and expectations turn too many brands into vendors. Cutting through those expectations is the hardest and most powerful part of being a brand.
Send a handwritten thank-you note to a customer. Commission an artist to create great art. Send an email with a funny selfie. Ship your accountant a bottle of wine after tax season is over.
It doesn’t matter what your brand does, just do something that isn’t what people expect brands to be doing. Nobody expected Beyonce to drop an album with zero promotion, nobody expected TOMS to give away shoes and nobody expects our local coffee shop to organize a soccer match on Sundays with their regulars. But those brands all did it and they’re all making deep connections with their audience. You can do it too! Just pick something fun and unexpected and get to work!
3. Hold Yourself Accountable to Greatness
Time Warner Cable sucked.
They even admitted it. A series of TV commercials owned up to their horrendous customer service. Ads mocked their own inconvenient service appointment scheduling and hold times on the phones for customer support. They then made big promises.
No more hold music, no more inconvenient appointment scheduling and a new level of communication from the Time Warner team to its customers.
Admitting your failures and apologizing for the past are two actions rarely practiced by businesses.
Chipotle takes ownership when their pork isn’t raised to their own quality standards. Starbucks famously shut all their stores down to retrain baristas to make better coffee. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams demonstrated incredible transparency in managing their recent listeria troubles.
My mechanic once called me a day after servicing my car because he realized he’d forgotten to check my spark plugs. He drove to my apartment to check it myself and discounted my entire service.
What person in their right mind would go to another mechanic?
As we developed our Core Values for The Wonder Jam, Allie and I discussed what values we’d like to be held accountable to.
Hold yourself accountable. Be transparent. Your people will love you for it.
4. Make New Stuff
Your brand needs to be an artist. In a noisy world, artists win. Let me show you how to turn your brand into an artist.
The best artists make things. Repeatedly. Some of those things aren’t as good as others, but you keep making them. Each time you make something, you show the audience something new about yourself.
Too many brands focus on making things perfect, rather than making a lot of things. Great artists know that the best art is made by those who make a lot of art.
Whether it’s t-shirts or blog posts or books or tweets, what might your brand look like if it started focusing on making more, new stuff?
Head to the comments below to share any other actions you’ve seen that help brands develop some magic.