Elements of Surprise: Making Your Brand Memorable

In the B2B environment, it’s important to remember that everyone’s doing more with less, and thus, looking for fast, cost-effective solutions. With that in mind, we marketers know that we need to deliver value props clearly and succinctly, that information and tools should be readily available and that our after-sales support needs to be second-to-none to ensure repeat business.

But if we remain too focused on these basics, we may find ourselves blending in with the crowd. And, as we all know, blending in won’t put your brand at the top of anyone’s short list.

So, how do you attract attention to your brand and stay at the front of the pack? There are many opportunities to become more memorable to prospects and customers, but for me, I always notice and appreciate brands that surprise me. Lately I’ve come across two good examples worth sharing. The following are a little too “out there” for B2B, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ideas to be generated.

Example 1: Unexpected web navigation

In some recent online shopping, I came across the Land of Nod (www.landofnod.com) website featuring home décor items. What I loved about their product pages is that, tucked along with standard product details and specs, there is a drop-down option for a knock-knock joke. Who doesn’t love a good knock-knock joke?

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As a consumer site specializing in children’s items, they can get away with such a fun (but silly) use of priceless online real estate. But what about more professional, corporate sites?

While it’s critical that standard company and product information be easily accessible for site visitors, there are also opportunities to deepen the engagement. If you have a long, storied company history, consider sprinkling brand milestones throughout the site. If you’re trying to position yourself as an expert on a particular topic, place helpful tips and data throughout your pages and link them back to a resource center. If you’re trying to educate prospects about your breadth of services, include an interactive game with educational features. The point? Remember that the web provides countless opportunities to test different types of engagement with customers. If analytics show that no one is responding to your attempts, then you can reutilize the space as needed.

Example 2: Product delivery “extra”

I recently ordered my husband a gift from Photojojo (www.photojojo.com), an online retailer featuring unique finds for photographers. When his gift arrived, I was first confused by the “warning” label on the front, but then laughed at a tiny toy dinosaur included in the package. This made absolutely no sense, but it made me smile and appreciate that this brand was showing its personality.

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Okay, so it would make no sense for 99% of the world’s brands to place a plastic toy in the packages going out to customers. But what can your company do to make customers smile after the sale?

This could be as simple as including a small promotional item that customers will want to hold onto. Or, perhaps you might consider redesigning your product packaging to express more of your brand’s personality. If you’re selling larger, big-ticket items, maybe there’s a lower cost complementary accessory you unexpectedly provide. The resulting appreciation from customers will likely justify any associated expense.

Lesson of the day? Never underestimate a customer’s perception of your brand, and always look for unique ways to become more memorable to customers.

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