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Getting People to Care About your Business

Image © Gensler

The enduring brands we welcome into our lives deliver two things: solutions and good feelings. In fact we will pay more for products and services that have the ability to make us feel good about engaging with them.

Creating a movement around good feelings is a great way to differentiate your business and to have consumers championing your brand. In his bestseller Tribes, Seth Godin, a brand himself, talks about how marketing is the act of telling stories about the things we make — stories that sell and stories that spread. He also says it takes two things to turn a group of people into a tribe: shared interest and a way to communicate. Caring is a key emotion at the center of a tribe. How can small businesses create movements and tell those stories that pull their tribes around the campfire? What can you do to create a tribe around your business? Here are some starters:

  1. Put as much emphasis on culture and brand story and the feel-good aspect of what you do as you put on what you sell.
  2. Brand from the inside out.
  3. Give your most loyal followers ways to interact with your brand and each other, both offline and on.
  4. Hire people who understand your culture and can help take it to the next level.
  5. Show (don’t tell) your tribe that you care, and reinforce why they are gathered around your brand’s campfire by sharing new stories.

Go the extra mile, do something unexpected, change it up, let people discover something. These are things that people remember; they tell others and share these stories. It is these experiences that create customer loyalty.

A great example of this is Sweetgreen. The Sweetgreen street team randomly hands out gift cards to recognize other people sharing goodwill in their community. When it rains, they’ll sometimes put a shower cap over bike seats with a gift certificate tucked underneath. They’ve been known to slip gift cards on car window shields alongside a city-issued ticket — to offset the downer of returning to a parking violation. Those are all examples of sterling customer service and hallmarks of a business that truly cares.

Image © Gensler

Jill Nickels has over 20 years of experience building brands and bringing them to life in built environments. As a senior strategist with Gensler, she works with companies from all industries. Contact her at jill_nickels@gensler.com.

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Reader Comments (6)

Your blog is real heavy. I will be interested in more of your new topics. Bring on the topics.
02.3.2015 | Unregistered Commenterleather jacket
I truly enjoyed reading your article because it clearly explains the right way of running a business. I pitched an idea to couple of my friends here in architecture school and we started a company together to design and launch a product. We have been together for 8 months and I truly believe that I was able to keep them motivated because at the very beginning I emphasized on our culture and what we believe in.

Every time we have had to make a tough decision, I mention that we should remember what our culture is and make a decision according to that to maintain our values.

Its hard to keep people motivated with money and in my case, no one is getting paid to design this product. This shows that having a culture can be so effective for yourself and everyone that makes up the business.

Thanks for this awesome article.
02.10.2015 | Unregistered CommenterSalem Ahmed
Superlative material offered! The involved analysis is very knowledgeable and a lot to know about this. Keep sharing here!
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