As we’re entering into the Back to School season, it’s a time where none of our historical data trends apply. For example, when I was back at H-E-B, we would know that the sales of deli meats and cheeses were going to go up the second week or third week of August, because kids would be going back to school and parents would be making lunches. But of course, that’s been a pretty big “known” all Fall. So, let me ask you this question. Are you a powerful brand if no one misses you when they’re not connected with you? I would suggest no, you’re not. And while the last several months have caused us to totally re-examine many of our business models, as we connect with consumers it’s also the perfect time to fortify the touch-power of your brand.
Today we’re going to talk about one of my most favorite brands. This brand’s message is not only what the world needs, the execution of their brand strategy lives and delivers their message every step of the way. So, here’s the question that many businesses are facing: In light of what’s going on the last couple months, in light of what we’re living in our present reality, are your customers starved for your brand? Meaning basically, are they missing you? Is there something in their soul that is yearning to have more of your brand than they have had over the last three or four months, given all that we’ve been dealing with?
It’s been said that brands have touchpoints, and I totally believe that to be true. Brands create multiple points of contact where the brand comes to life. Let me share with you a great example I just had within last two days. The company called Be Good to People. What a great brand name — begoodtopeople.com. I encourage you to visit their site and look at their incredible products. I discovered them earlier this year in January or February traveling through Denver International Airport. There was a kiosk in the food court near the United terminal that had these cool shirts. They were all very simple, black and white with a clear font that read, “Be Good to People.” I decided to buy a t-shirt. Every time I wear it, even before COVID, someone would say, “Wow, that’s cool” or make some kind of positive comment.
I had the opportunity to travel just a couple of weeks ago. Going through the airport, I noticed the people who were most responding to my T-shirt were the folks who worked for the airlines and the TSA. The folks who’ve been on the front lines serving our community and keeping travel as safe and doable as possible. This message – Be Good to People – resonated.
What’s interesting is that I loved the t-shirt before. I’ve worn it several times, wore it on this trip, and ended up seeing some folks I had not seen in a while. Two friends bought five shirts, just from seeing the t-shirt I was wearing that evening. So, this t-shirt – great principle, simple product, black t-shirt, white bold font – running $20-$25, it’s not the cheapest t-shirt. The number of comments, contact points, responses to that message, to that brand, led people to want to buy it.
Here’s an even better part. I ordered five face masks from Be Good to People, in early March. Well, two or three of the straps that go around your ear came undone. I emailed the company on a Friday night. I asked, “Hey, just want to find out if y’all have re-engineered these? For some reason, I’ve had two or three of the ear loops come loose.” They responded back – with no question, no documentation of receipt number – they responded back and said, “We haven’t re-engineered them. Sorry, you’re having problems. We’re sending you three more to replace the ones that didn’t work the way we wanted them to. And two days later in the mail, for free, I got the three additional facemasks. So, what did I do? After this incredible response from the company, I went online and ordered two or three more items.
Even better, I get an email from the CEO of the company. It was really informally formatted. It’s not all design and graphics. It looks like she typed it in her iPad. It read:
So, here’s reality: I glanced down at my phone as I was heading into a meeting. I thought she had emailed me personally. Like, I thought she had seen my order and personally emailed it. And when she said we absolutely love seeing your pics, I thought she was actually mentioning that she had seen one of the things I posted two weeks ago. But she didn’t. But it came across that way, and in a way that was not cheesy, but authentic. It was a touchpoint.
Here’s the deal: We can talk strategy about touchpoints all the time, and we can try to be creative on coming up with this cool sign or this cool email. The reality is the touchpoints are the experience and the connection that you have, or your brand has, with your community. And I gotta tell you, if you’re a brand like Be Good to People, your touchpoints better be good. I have said your product needs to be sellable and craveable. Well, I’m going to add a third thing it needs to be, and that is: when customers stop using your brand or connecting with your brand as frequently as they typically do, do they even miss you? Do they feel brand deprived? Do they feel brand starved?
Those connections are the things that create the resonance. In Be Good to People’s case that you’re not just a black t-shirt with white letters on it. But that you are a brand, you’re a message, you’re an experience. You represent something to me, and it represents something to the world. That is Brand Touchpoints. And you truly can orchestrate every single brand touchpoint to elicit the intended response, if you set your strategy and execution right. If you orchestrate how you want it to be. If you then figure out a way to operationalize it so that every single customer that orders from you the second time gets this genuine, friendly, nice message. And then you can optimize it to assure and to ensure that you can do it properly, efficiently, and effectively. Those are touchpoints.
Now, let me talk to you about why touchpoints matter. We as humans, crave touch. If we have recognized anything the last couple months, it’s that we are truly touch-starved. We’ve been told to fear touch, to fear breath, to fear connections. Brands have had to go from experiential experiences to curbside delivery, wrapped in gauze, in masks and gloves, with all kinds of protective gear. We have lost so much connection that if you’re not finding innovative ways to do it, you are missing the opportunity to connect your customers with your brand.
This is what I challenge you to do, within the next two or three days, I want you to sit down and think about your business. Think about your customers or your community and identify what the four or five most important touchpoints that are experienced between your community and your brand. Make sure they’re still in place. Make sure they’re still relevant. And make sure they’re communicating exactly what you intend to communicate because, frankly, you need to be good to your customers. I really hope this helped and inspired you today. See you soon.