The Power of Thoughtful Brand Interactions
By Jeff Cohn, Founder and CEO
At COHN, we deeply believe in our brand concept of “Every Interaction Matters.” But what does it really mean? It’s a pretty simple concept that is incredibly difficult to execute. Great brands and organizations do it so well. The basic construct is that every interaction a brand has with its customers, both prospective and existing, matters. Big things like brand identity, brand storytelling, marketing campaigns, earned media. They all work to build the brand. We work with our clients on a shared philosophy of having all of their marketing efforts work together in an integrated way to create results.
But equally important are the small touchpoints. The extra something a brand does for its most profitable clients. The internal strategies to build brand alignment within an organization. Those are the ones people love to talk about. When a Southwest flight attendant is extra thoughtful on your flight, your feelings towards Southwest get a boost. When the Trader Joes staffer not only points out the product but walks you to it, that is remembered. These touchpoints can also be negative and when they happen, people will tell twice as many friends, relatives and associates about it. We all have our stories. Too many of these can bring the brand down.
It’s really that simple. Every interaction a brand has should be consistent with the brand’s core message. Every time. So let me tell you about a brand interaction I experienced recently. I have been buying products over the last year from a company called Lakanto. Lakanto makes an extensive array of products sweetened with monkfruit. For those who may not know about it, monkfruit is a godsend for people who are watching their sugar intake as it’s natural and good to the taste. Most importantly, it does not raise one’s blood sugars. I have found Lakonto’s products to be especially delicious from baking mixes to monkfruit sweeteners to granola. They stand apart.
One day recently I called the Lakanto home office in Utah to ask about a product and its availability. The woman who answered the customer service line was delightful, like an old friend. We talked about life on both sides of the Rockies, some of their better products, and being the go-getter agency owner that I am, I even pitched her on doing their marketing! We had a great chat. She kept thanking me for my business. With much higher price points versus sugared foods, it felt great to be appreciated.
It also felt great one day this week when the doorbell rang and a FedEx package was delivered. No one at home was expecting anything so we were surprised. I got the package and opened it up. Inside was a “care package” of Lakanto products, none of which I ever ordered. From pumpkin spice muffin mix to pancake syrup, it was a cornucopia of monkfruit sweetened greatness. Then I saw the lovely handwritten note on branded stationery thanking me for being such a great customer and an offer of 20% off my next order. It was signed, “Thank you for being the best part of Lakanto. The Lakanto Customer Team.”
I was amazed. Someone took the time to do this for me. Someone who cared about my business. It was an incredible brand touchpoint from a small, thoughtful and growing company. And one of the sweetest things I’ve had a company do for me in years.
What’s the result of that lovely act of kindness? I’ll tell everyone I can. A lot of folks will learn about Lakanto here. And I’ll keep buying directly from them (not Amazon), so they can receive the full value of my purchases. Not a bad set of outcomes for a random act of brand kindness. And sweetness! You can check out Lakanto at Lakanto.com to learn more about their products.