The first experience with a brand can be a make-it-or-break-it moment. Great hotels know that if you can make a person feel like a million bucks the moment they walk through the door, they’re way more likely to give a great review (even if something does go wrong later in their stay). Champagne, anyone? Companies selling or collecting funds via mobile know friction kills (as in, if I can’t get through this process with the press of a couple buttons, I’m out). Companies that have some element of social good like Tom’s and Warby Parker’s know their buy one, give one taps into the good feeling one gets when helping someone in need. And companies with VIP programs know that finding ways to reward their most loyal customers just keeps those customers coming back for more.
These are some of the things that make us love our favorite brands, and these are the things that turn us into loyal customers and advocates.
From gut punch to guru
Great marketing agitates pain until it’s so painful it’s unbearable. This can be anything from a psychological itch to a metaphorical gut punch. Sometimes marketing alerts you to a pain you didn’t even know you had. I gotta tell you, I didn’t know I needed a Fuse Reel until I saw their video and thought, “That’s right. I hate the way my cord gets all tangled.” And then I saw it again in my feed the next day. And the next day. And one day, I got fed up with my situation and made the purchase. And I love my Fuse Reel, but honestly….I didn’t need it. I didn’t even notice I had a problem until they told me I did. And they continued to put that problem in front of me until I did something about it.
Sure, that was a little thing that fixed a simple problem. But what about something more complex? Let’s make a quick mental jump from gut punches to gut health.
I’ve tried a lot of probiotics in my life and never had a lot of success. I knew my gut had issues, but I didn’t know how to fix them. I had tried probiotic pills and foods, but nothing really seemed to work aside from going completely gluten-free. So, I mostly started eating gluten-free and had given up on finding a probiotic pill that would actually do the trick. Even so, I had a lot of muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, brain fog, acid reflux, and more. Back story, words, etc.
They’re a company run by scientists, doctors, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
They had done a 2-year test and could actually talk about proven results.
They told me why my other probiotics probably didn’t work and why theirs is different. It’s actually a synbiotic and it’s wrapped in a probiotic, which allows the probiotic to actually make it to the gut before releasing.
Cool, I thought. I’ll give it a try. Still skeptical, I ordered. More about Seed in a second.
Paying off the promise
We all know it’s not enough to just have a slick interface or clever marketing. Every step of the customer journey needs to pay off the promise. Landing pages should pay off the promise of ads. Content should pay off the promise of a landing page. And ultimately, the product needs to pay off the promise of the brand itself. It’s this consistency at every single step and stage that checks the subconscious boxes in people’s heads and tells them your brand is trustworthy–that your brand keeps its promises and delivers results.
I was delightfully surprised by the unboxing of Seed. First, the packaging was beautiful and eco-friendly. Second, the messaging was on point: “We got your bac.” And third, they had even included a travel bottle, which is great for me since I’m always on the road. But they hadn’t paid off the promise…yet.
Day 1. Took one pill. Felt kinda weird.
Day 2. Took one pill. Felt pretty good.
Day 3. Took two pills. Was feeling better than I had felt in ages.
And it just got better from there. I threw some new vitamins and ACV gummies on top, and here I am two months later feeling better than I have felt in years. I could tell similar stories about both of those other brands, too. The trio has won me over in a big way, because they have collectively changed my quality of life. Now, that’s what I call delivering on a promise.
But the thing that surprised me most about Seed was that their email onboarding to their synbiotic was absolutely spot on. The fact that they had the confidence to write those emails and tell me what I should be experiencing says a lot about the predictability and reliability of their product. And the emails also educated me along the way, so now, they’re not just a brand I trust. They’re a brand I consider an authority on gut health.
The common thread
The common thread in all of my favorite brand moments always comes back to my experience as a customer. How did they hook me? How did they educate me? How did they sell me? How did they treat me post-purchase? And did they bother to tell me why should I listen to them or care about them in the first place? Did they work to continually earn more of my trust and loyalty over time? All of that woven together makes up the customer experience, and that’s why CX is king.
And not only that, but CX done right produces a beautiful thing called delight. And delight is what makes the flywheel go round.
What about you? When’s the last time a brand provided an exceptional customer experience for you? When’s the last time a brand delivered on its promise so well that it became your go-to authority for a particular topic?