THE #1, INDISPUTABLE POINT OF PREMIUM BRANDING
(and how I paid $150 for a cardboard box)
To get a grid for what premium branding looks like, and what it does, I'm going to tell you a quick story about a cute little box that’s sitting on my shelf, and today's lesson should be relevant for ALL your future branding decisions.
So last year when I was watch hunting. it was my absolute delight to discover that the talented people over at Simple Watch Co. had (seemingly) delved into my mind to create a watch that appealed perfectly to my minimalist disposition. (Being a designer, I guess it’s no surprise that I like pretty little knick-knacks. Probably like you, I'm regularly amazed by the complex beauty in nature; but if it’s people-made beauty, I like it to be simple.)
Enter the 'Simple Watch'. It was so clean and uncomplicated. When my Christmas cash came in, I knew exactly where to go and spend it.
Now I don’t want to get sidetracked here, but I want to be clear, I really love this watch. I had been an Insta-fan of this company for months, just waiting for my turn to be an owner. There was no lack in my love for this beautiful wristwatch.
Naturally, on the day it arrived, I had that typical “I know exactly what I’m getting, but I still can’t wait to finally touch it” type of anticipation, until I saw the box.
It. was. dreamy.
Charcoal black cardboard with bold, all caps, centred, symmetrical, gold typeface that simply said SW CO.
Truly, a thing of beauty. It's possible at this point I liked the box more than the watch, but I digress.
So why is this prefect little box relevant to you? It communicated one essential thing to me from Simple Watch Co. They understood me.
Let me break it down for you a little more [by the way, this is gonna be the job of your branding from now on].
As I said, I'm all about beauty and simplicity. So when I find a beautiful, simple watch. I eventually buy the beautiful, simple watch. After I have forked out my dosh, the watch folk surprise me with another, totally unexpected layer of sophistication and simplicity via their packaging.
That's after I paid.
I mean, they could have sent me that watch in an old sock for all I care; but they knew they had created a connection based on simplicity and beauty and they chose to reinforce that, even when they didn’t have to.
This strengthening of this connection is really valuable to the company. Consider the potential impact that is having on me as a customer:
- I might turn from a client to a fan. (Fan's are more likely to do your business a favour)
- I might review them.
- I might share them.
- I might recommend them.
- I might gift them to someone else.
- I might blog about them…. (guilty).
Not to mention that they almost certainly removed any feeling of buyers remorse with that packaging (I mean seriously, $200? … I have kids!) and put a few more trust deposits in my account in case anything goes wrong. Put simply; They created a premium brand experience, which generated some emotion – which allowed them to charge a premium price. And I loved them for it.
Now I know it’s just a box, but I truly felt like I got something extra. And you know what, that kind of experience is probably the difference between being able to charge $50 for that watch, and $200. (I told you I paid $150 for the box). Which leads us to the #1, indisputable point you are going for with your branding.
It is your job to create a premium experience with ALL your branding.
Every little thing you share, create, display or package should strengthen the connection your have created with your clients. Or perhaps it's nicer to think of it this way.
Every little thing you share, create, display or package should strengthen the connection you are creating with your future clients. That connection might be based on quality or elegance or trust. In fact it could be a bunch of other things or a combination of things, it doesn’t matter.
This premium experience thinking is why fancy restaurants create fancy menus. It’s why great photographers send you the USB in a trendy little box and not a yellow envelope. And it's why you’re going to figure out what your clients want most and communicate it to them over and over and over again to establish that connection. If you get it just right, you're customers will LOVE you for it.
Bonus points for doing it in a way that creates some emotion. (There's some pretty compelling Science-y type people on the internet suggesting that an experience is more memorable if there's some emotion attached to it.)
Now, just in case you’re in a “all that’s easy for you to say” mood, let's me reassure you...
In parts 2, 3 and 4 of this series I’m going to teach you exactly how to create that connection with your branding
And if it sounds like it's possible for a big watch company to pull this off, but not possible for your business, think again. I could have easily showed you the same message using my favourite Kombucha company*, my favourite candle maker* or a bunch of other clever professionals selling their services.
(on the flip side... If it really IS all too hard, you can just buy one of my branding packages and we'll go through it all together.)
Remember, by understanding that I would love that beautiful box and then packaging with it, the SW CO. confirmed my hope that what I had bought was a high quality product; and thus reinforced my connection with their brand.
If they can do it, you can too.
*If you’re wondering why they aren’t hyperlinked, it’s because you’ll click on the links and you won’t come back (yeah, I know what exciting links will do). But if you want to look them up in your own time, you can. Mojo Kombucha make the best kombucha on the market, and I wish I got all my candles from Peppermint Grove - I mean I would, but at the moment I can only afford the extra fifty for the box on special occasions.