Friday, February 15, 2019

How Brand Experience Can Overcome Time Constraints

Generally, people feel two types of scarcity in their lives. They often feel as though they do not have enough money to do everything they want to do. And they often feel as though they don't have enough free time to do all that they want to do. So, the two scarce commodities are time and money.

And it is now almost a cliche when someone responds to the question, "How are you doing?" with "I am busy, really busy." It seems to be the standard answer to that question by most people these days.

So, how is it that some brands can make time seem to stand still for people as they interact with the brand? Have you ever interacted with a brand that seems to put you into a flow state? You lose all track of time and really don't mind it if you have spent too much time with the brand. These are the brands that create amazing experiences.

As a brand guy, I think of almost everything as a brand or at least as being capable of being branded. So, rock brands and other musical groups are brands. Colleges and universities are brands. Cities are brands. Museums and art galleries are brands. Amusement parks are brands. Restaurants and night clubs are brands. And people are brands too. I am sure you have lost track of time when interacting with some of these brands. And I am sure you have wanted to spend more time with some of these brands.

Convenience and accessibility have become very important to today's consumer. He or she wants everything "now." Consumers have been spoiled by everything being a click away on their smart phones. Long copy, long ads, long anything can not seem to hold people's attention anymore.

And think about how people feel about long commutes. This is a major contributor to quality of life or lack thereof. It's hard to keep up with all of our work. We don't have enough time for our families. We don't have enough time for our hobbies. We don't have enough time to exercise. Our vacations are too short. We don't have enough time for ourselves.

And yet, some brands seem not only to overcome this feeling of scarcity but literally to pull you into an experience for which time doesn't seem to matter.

Not many brick and mortar retailers can compete with online retailers regarding price or selection or being open 24/7. So brick and mortar retailers must create a better experience to attract and retain customers. Von Maur department stores feature pianists playing music in the stores. Bass Pro Shops have large aquariums filled with fish.

And let me tell you about my experience with Tesla. I love riding in the car so much (because of the quiet, high performance road handling, the acceleration, the spacious uncluttered interior, the Tesla streaming radio and the amazing sound system) that I look for excuses to get in the car and drive around. Now that I have a Tesla, I am running many more errands for my wife. "Honey, is there anything you need me to pick up while I am out?" "Where are you going?" "I don't know. Just out." To create a legitimate purpose for spending more time in the car, I have taken to driving for Uber and Lyft. It results in barely a blip in my income, but it allows me to drive around in my spare time and to share the experience with others who may not have experienced riding in a Tesla before.

The point of this blog post is to encourage you to create a brand experience that is so desirable that people not only do not complain about it taking too much time but rather complain about not being able to spend enough time with the brand. What sort of brand is yours? One that people are too busy to interact with? Or one that people can't wait to interact with? And one, that when they do interact with it, they lose all track of time.

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