On my recent trip to Germany I came across a Swiss chocolatier, and no it wasn’t Lindt, and they used a very simple marketing tool which I thought was very clever in terms of gaining me as their loyal customer. I am now officially their fan and after that experience, I even managed to pass our local Lindt’s store at least 12 times without going in.
So what was it that made me to convert to them and steer my business away from Lindt? A simple 20-page square luxury lookbook. That is it. This little marketing tool, so many times overlooked or completely dismissed by others, managed to do the trick. Why? What was in it that made me buy into the brand?
- THE STORY
While enjoying my newly purchased chocolate treats with a cup of tea, I relaxed by reading through the booklet, which was given to me with my purchases in the bag. I learnt where, how and why a small town husband-and-wife team started their own confectionery fuelled by their passion to create the finest creations. Over the years they developed a new process to manufacture their uniquely thin-walled spheres which they supplied to other confectioners and trade across the country and abroad.
Keywords that aligned with my viewpoint are: finest, small family business, passion and innovation.
- THE MISSION
After spending years of creating and polishing their innovative production, and supplying to trade and other small shops, now they offer the same experience to their customers direct through their chocolate boutiques. Their tagline: “Pure delight from Switzerland” sums it up well.
Keywords that aligned with my viewpoint are: delight and creativity.
- THEIR VALUES
Reading through their 5 core values, I learnt that freshness, craftsmanship, family spirit, heritage and individuality are at the centre of everything they do.
All those values/keywords aligned with my viewpoints.
The reason why I mentioned the keywords above is that when we tell our brand story we automatically touch on the values, views and beliefs of our customers. Customers believe in stories and messages they want to believe, whether or not the story is true or not. You might have the best product on the market but if your customers don’t believe in it/ don’t buy into it, they will never purchase it, no matter how good it actually is. On the other hand, do you ever wonder why crap products are sold to masses? It’s not about the quality or performance, it is about the alignment of the messaging and their beliefs.
That’s why telling and sharing those stories (the whys and hows, purpose, mission, values and beliefs) is so important.
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE AND STANDING OUT
Comparing both shopping experiences with Lindt, they delivered equally – customer service and price points are relatively similar. What helped me as a customer to convert was learning more about the brand. Lindt has a great chocolate but I discovered something better, something which to me tastes better. Something I believe tastes better, something that gives me more “delight”, something I view as a luxury treat which gives me more joy.
Many business experts advise to compete on delivering exceptional customer service. I say you need to add your brand story to it. Without it, you might be delivering great customer service but is it enough to gain customers’ loyalty? That’s my question.
Taking every opportunity to share your brand story, in this case through a physical lookbook, is, to me, a very smart move to achieving that customer’s loyalty. Especially now, when most of your competitors are probably focusing on digital and online marketing. In this case, and unknown to them, I now have become their “brand ambassador” – I tell others about it; I share their story, I share my experience with the brand and their products, what they gave me and how they made me feel.
This marketing tool in my view offers an amazing opportunity for your customers to engage with and believe in your brand. When I speak to brands about it most say that customers who bought from them already know them – but do they truly understand what you stand for? Did you give them enough opportunities to explain to them what you’re about online and offline? What if you get an order from someone who was recommended to you by a friend and bought your product because they’ve seen someone else using it or wearing it, are they buying just the product as one-off or are they buying into your brand and therefore becoming your brand ambassador? Ideally, you want to aim for the latter. Communicating to them through a physical marketing tool might do just the trick, like Laederach, the Swiss chocolatier, did to me. Can Lindt win me back? Only if I understand the brand some more and there is an alignment of my viewpoints.
SEEING THE POTENTIAL
But that’s not all. I think that once you have a physical lookbook, it can be used in many ways. It can be sent to not only your customers but also collaborators, bloggers, press and potential new customers (especially B2B and trade). It can have a referral scheme at the back to encourage sharing and word of mouth. Its digital version can be uploaded to Issuu so you can be exposed to international audience and therefore increasing your brand’s awareness. The possibilities, once you have it, are limitless.
Our studio now offers brand story lookbooks creation, production and print where we guide brands to put their stories across in the most efficient and effective way. Have a look at our portfolio here and get in touch if you need any help.
Want to be part of a group of like-minded creatives who are going through what you’re going through? We have an amazing community of emerging designers, interior designers, stylists, fashion accessory brands, artists and photographers, where we help each other grow. This is where I encourage sharing knowledge and brand collaborations. No fakes, self-centred liars and backstabbers are allowed. Please join us here. And, feel free to share if you found this useful!