4 Must-Follow Steps to Build Delight for Your Brand

Victoria2

Delight is a force of nature. It’s using an iPad for the first time. It’s getting a handwritten card from a Zappos employee. It’s seeing Red Bull’s Felix Baumgartner jump from the edge of space.

Delight strikes a chord with our humanity. It’s memorable, emotional, and powerful in building long-term relationships with your customers that directly impact ROI.

The problem is, few brands get it right. They take shortcuts or neglect delightful experiences altogether. Here are the steps you need to take to cultivate a truly meaningful brand experience.

Step 0: Prioritize the Bigger Picture

Delight is most effective when connected to all touch points in your business strategy. The best places to integrate delight are: product, customer service, mission, and entertainment.

So how do you determine whether you should spend your time, energy, and resources building out an incredible internal team culture for customer service or developing high stakes PR stunts? (Assuming that you can’t do both)

Focus on initiatives that are entwined with your growth and customer engagement plans. Here’s how.

Step 1: Understand Your Customer Pain Points

Brands are at their best when they bring value to the world. Make sure to fully understand your target customer.

  • Be an anthropologist: Analyze their behavior – this ideally includes a combination of physical and digital behavior so that you can piece together all of their touch points with your brand to map out their journey.

  • Ask them: Don’t be afraid of the truth – get feedback from your customers as often as possible to help you better understand who they are, what they care about, what drives them, and what is meaningful to them.

  • Build a persona: Talk to an actual audience – Stay focused on your customers by building out personas that capture your target customers’ behavioral traits and demographic attributes.

Step 2: Define Your Brand

What does your brand stand for? Simplify your answer down to one or two sentences max.

Examples:

  • Mint.com – “It’s easy to understand what’s going on with your money.”
    Analysis: Delivering delight through ease of use and simplicity.

  • Nike+ Fuelband – “Motivation on your wrist.”
    Analysis: Delivering delight through mental and emotional inspiration and empowerment.

  • Southwest Airlines – “The LUV airline.”
    Analysis: Delivering delight through fun and memorable customer service experiences.

Step 3: Ideastorm

Put yourselves in your customers’ shoes and find ways to interject joy in their interactions with your brand. Think of tactics that will bring maximum value to your customers.

 Examples:

  • Mint.com – “It’s easy to understand what’s going on with your money.”
    Analysis: Delivering delight through ease of use and simplicity.
    Execution: Beautiful data visualizations, e-mail and text reminders, simple user experience interactions, well designed information architecture, easy to connect financial accounts.

  • Nike+ Fuelband – “Motivation on your wrist.”
    Analysis: Delivering delight through mental and emotional inspiration and empowerment.
    Execution: Inspirational content from lead athletes and influencers who use Nike+ Fuelband, developing a strong Nike+ community to help motivate each other, data dashboard to help you keep track of your metrics.

  • Southwest Airlines – “The LUV airline.”
    Analysis: Delivering delight through fun and memorable customer service experiences.
    Execution: Personality-driven, non-scripted welcomes from flight attendants, representatives empowered to provide bonuses.

Step 4: Track and Measure

How can you prove the success of a concept that is so abstract? Creative analytics — that’s how.

  • More repeat customers: What data can you use to measure repeat customers? Site visits, e-mail open rates, and purchases made are all great indicators.

  • More word-of-mouth recommendations: Shares through social media (ReTweets on Twitter, likes on Facebook, shares on Facebook, repins on Pinterest, etc), number of times your links are copy/pasted into e-mails, e-mail forward rates, and amount of general buzz are useful metrics. Many free tools, such as SocialMention or Klout are great to start off with.

  • Increase in dollar share per customer: Using sales data directly linked to customer accounts, you can identify how much each customer is spending. The more delight you, as a brand, can create for your customers, the more likely they are to spend more and spend more frequently, which leads to my next point…

  • Increased lifetime values of customers:As we get into the impact of delight on long term brand value, the importance of cultivating relationships with customers becomes crystal clear in evaluating their lifetime worth. From gradual increases in average amount spent by each customer to their rate of return to your company and products, you can see the value you are creating for your company over time.

  • Increased market share: More loyal customers who spend more ultimately will help you gain market share over your competitors, another key strategic factor to consider. Measuring market share can be done through observing total revenues, site visitors, engagement of users, and social media popularity.

Brand engagement is the heart and soul of your company’s most valuable growth metrics. When customers love your company, they’ll personally strive to help you succeed. Delight will be your company’s lifeblood.


Victoria Young is an MIT Sloan MBA student in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Peer Advisor at the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship. Her experiences include:

    • Developing digital strategies for Disney, Rolex, and Qualcomm.
    • Researching consumer behavior and market trends.
    • Winning the 2012 AT&T Mobile Health Hackathon.
    • Collaborating with startups to develop pitch decks and product launch strategies.

Set up a call with Victoria to learn about digital strategy, brand strategy, and user experience. 

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Comments.

  • Skaled

    Love the idea of “delivering delight” through brands. Brand engagement is the ultimate PR tactic now and it’s something every brand must master if they want to survive out there. This is a great layout for how to make that happen.

  • Andrea Goulet Ford

    I love how you included prioritizing the bigger picture as step zero. So true! It’s amazing how many people want to jump straight into campaigns and tactics without planning first. It happens so much that there’s even a sub-industry of Content Strategy that’s emerging called Message Architecture to help businesses align their organization so it can achieve its communication goals.

    I’ve also found that some clients are having success by putting delight into the unexpected places like legal contracts, employee handbooks, invoices, and terms and conditions. I use the term “nooks and crannies copy” to describe these unexpected places. 🙂

    Great post, Victoria. Looking forward to reading more!

    • Vinish Garg

      Victoria; great post. I am working on a content strategy and branding for a new client and this post gave me some food for thought! Thanks for sharing it!

      Andrea, your comment sums up this excellent post, very well.

  • http://www.kingged.com/ Kingsley

    Interesting to learn about these 4 steps to amplifying one’s dying brand engagement. And very well written, by the way!