The world is moving so fast these days. What worked yesterday probably won’t work today, never mind tomorrow. The game might have changed but the playing field is more even. Brands who are doing well are those who act fast. They assess the situation, market, people’s emotions, their customers needs and cravings, they look inside of their business, and then they launch something extraordinary, something highly engaging. And that’s what every brand should be aiming for. And so in this article, we explore three ways of getting your customers engaged with your brand for driving growth.
NUMBER ONE: CREATE A FUN EXPERIENCE
In difficult and uncertain times, customers crave entertainment and fun.
So how can your brand deliver that kind of experience to your customers? Taking inspiration from the upcycling world of interiors, if you’re a fashion brand passionate about upcycling, reusing clothing, making something new from old and/or unworn pieces, why not create a simple download with instructions on how to revive an old pair of jeans or a summer dress? Create it in a way that no advanced skills are needed so even beginners can join in. Even better, expand your content and turn the instructions into a video your customers can follow. Teach them something new while they can spend time making something meaningful and unique to them. Encourage your customers to share their creations on social media, tagging your brand.
If you are a lifestyle or homeware brand, why not treat your customers to a themed mini “refresh” session via Zoom. Your customers can “book an appointment” through your website for a specific day and time. You can deliver a fun presentation for a whole group of people showcasing a small selection of products related to the theme. At the end of the presentation, you can offer a special incentive for making a purchase. Or, you can prepare a sheet with all the products you just spoke about and encourage your customers to print that sheet, cut out the objects and create a moodboard for a specific room they wish to update and refresh in future with those objects, furnishings, accessories, lighting etc in it. A whole competition could be built around this activity, encouraging customers to share their newly refreshed (mock up) spaces on social media with a specific hashtag. A winner could win a product of their choice from their moodboard. Such idea can be translated into styling and accessorising sessions for specific rooms e.g. “Creating a tranquil bedroom” featuring all the necessary accessories your customer will need to achieve that kind of look and feel.
NUMBER TWO: TEACH YOUR CUSTOMERS NEW SKILLS BY SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE
While most of us are at home, we want to learn something new, discovering our potentials and skills we never knew we had, or rediscovering our passions.
If you’re an artist, you could put a simple course together to teach your audience some of the processes and techniques you use when creating your artwork. You don’t have to give away all your secrets, some techniques are quite complex, so think about the easy steps at foundation level.
The key when creating online courses is to offer something truly unique to a very specific audience. Don’t try to generalise the content of your course, if you do you risk to be placed in an already overcrowded market.
Conclude your course with a specific outcome or project. Most courses take participants through the content, giving them the information and knowledge they need, but that’s where it ends. Provide an extra service where you can guide and correct your students as they go through the content and use newly acquired skills on a real project or assignment. These can be shared on social media, creating a similar hype to the example above.
NUMBER THREE: CREATE AN OFFLINE EXPERIENCE
As most businesses and brands focus on engaging customers and clients online, why not do the opposite? My mantra is always observe the masses and do the opposite. If you feel that there are already a plenty of your competitors fulfilling your customers’ needs via online channels, it could be one of your smartest decisions you will make in this crisis. So how can you deliver that offline experience? One of the most successful campaigns out there are boxes. Delivering a box of joy, goodness and positivity, to be exact. In our Vol 12 of ESTILA bookazine (coming soon) we interview Keziah Wildsmith, the creative director and founder of Heaps + Stacks, a new generation events organiser who specialises in creating out-of-the box, engaging experiences for customers and press. I absolutely love their mailers and in particular the Chocolate Zen Garden Kit. I highly recommend to browse through the page for inspiration and triggering ideas.
One example of how one brand adapted the concept is Black& Sigi’s virtual “Make your own bangle” workshop. Customers receive a box of supplies and tools and attend a virtual workshop set up on Zoom where the Black & Sigi team teaches their customers the process of making each jewellery bangle. A blend of online and offline experience.
Another example of “experience in a box” was created by Hettie and their “For the love of dogs” box. They have currently three boxes on offer based around their values and ethos for family, British manufacturing and lifestyle. One of them is “For the love of dogs”. Customers can send their loved ones and their furry babies a box with items they will enjoy. Family members can get involved in following a doggie treat recipe and bake special treats for their furry family members too. Fun and interactive activity for all.
If you feel that these are not for you, creating a simple magalogue mailer might be a better option for you. Direct marketing is still alive and kicking, especially now. In retail in particular, brands are benefiting from increased sales by creating a direct marketing campaign. Our STUDIO/ESTILA is busy creating such campaigns. Backed up by data and results, I’m happy to report that most of our clients generate at least 50% increase in sales through their mailer campaigns. It works!
- customer engagement with your brand
- UGC (user generated content) which you can share and re-share on social media, website and newsletters
- increase in brand awareness
- increase in word of mouth
- increase in sales
- increase in growth ( via sales and brand awareness)
Get in touch if you need to brainstorm on some ideas for your creative brand or business. Our STUDIO/ESTILA team of experts is on hand and ready to help. All brands featured as case studies in this post are part of our community. Come and join us.