Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Having a brand experience

People often look at me funny when I say there are good ads and bad ads. To most people, ads are just ads. When you're in the business, there are ads that make you want to quit the agency world, and then there are ads that remind you why you got into this business in the first place.

A good ad makes you feel attached to the brand. It makes you feel smart, more informed, happy, or at least makes you laugh. You remember the brand because it made a connection with you. Bad ads, they annoy you. Like local car dealership commercials. Shouting at you gets your attention, but you certainly aren't inclined to rush right out and meet the shouting guy.

The key difference is really about the brand experience. It is the impression you take away from visual and verbal cues of a brand. Think about the masters of brand experience - Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Nike, and Burton. They have mastered a consistency across all of their consumer touch points, so that no matter if you are online, in the store, or interacting with the product, you are having the same experience. You'll notice a few commonalities among these brands:
  • Stylized logos
  • Innovative Product Designs
  • Social communities centered around the product
  • Informative websites filled with rich content
  • Lack of "in your face, buy my product now" salespeople
One of the Etsy sellers, Scrivener's Retreat, asked for how to build sales without being pushy. The key is to drive consistency across all of the items mentioned above. Think of building a brand, and think of the experience you want people to have with that brand. You rightfully do not want to be pushy. You want to be friendly. Like that dear friend who can talk to everyone and make them feel great about themselves. Make your consumer feel equally great, and be consistent about it across all of your brand platforms. Your logo, your product, and your website should look similar from a style perspective. Your website should have information built around the product (i.e. coffee) or the product category (i.e. hot drinks). Then there should be ways for people to connect around the product through social media - comments on your website, Twitter, Facebook, etc. And finally, when someone contacts you about your sale, don't push more sales. Just be friendly, nice, and stay consistent to what you say on your websites. Make sure your packaging is equally nice and friendly too. The person will be more likely to come back, because they want to have the same experience again.

Tomorrow we'll use the first Etsy shop critique to explain specific changes you can make to drive your brand experience.


  1. Looking forward to your next post. Thank you for answering my big question. I'll have to mentally strive to be a company that provides handmade pet toys rather than someone selling their handmade pet toys. Sounds better already.

  2. I would love to read more. You make perfect sense.

  3. Thank you for this article. I just attended a "Self Promotion" seminar in which they said basically the same things. They stressed the need to develop our name as a logo using the same font and style on everything.

  4. Great points! Advertising is key. Just opened a shop and I'm hoping to build my brand as well! Cheers!

  5. Thank you for sharing your marketing knowledge with us.

  6. My take away is; basically look like yourself in all venues and sound like yourself.

  7. Very true. Thanks for sharing. ;)

  8. True article but I will add you need to have good products! Thanks for all the helpful tips!

  9. thanks for this post. :) so informative. i like the part about not being pushy. i never like to walk into a store and get ambushed and feel pressured to buy something.


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