Brand Matters: Bite-Size Branding
You just never know where your out-of-the-office interests will take you. Recently, I've been paying more attention to the imaginative art of cooking and all that playfully surrounds it. I'm not alone in this, as it seems we've become a nation of foodies. It's been fun to take a field trip in this area.
Along the way, I learned a new word that describes what sometimes happens when you are dining in fine restaurants and surprised by a food tidbit delivered to your table shortly after you've been seated. This is called an amuse-bouche and it is a French term meaning to "amuse your palate." Wikipedia expands on this a bit further: "Amuse-bouches are single, bite-sized hors d'oeurves. They are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but when served, are done so according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served as an excitement of taste buds both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking."
This idea took me right into my branding brain. I started thinking about how creative brand leaders develop their own versions of the amuse-bouche for their customers, not only at the beginning of their brand experiences, but all the way throughout the process. Truly innovative brand leaders find all sorts of intriguing ways to offer potential and present customers glimpses into their brands.
Retailers can be especially good at these bite-size branding techniques and may provide inspiration for your own marketing, whatever industry you are in: financial services, travel, pharmaceutical or publishing.
• The Walking Company: I recently ordered my first pair of shoes from The Walking Company. I was tickled when they arrived with a small cedar block tucked inside the shoe box to help keep my closet smelling fresh; imprinted, of course, with the company name. A small, useful, branded sensory surprise gift that will help me remember this company when it is time to make a shoe purchase again. How can you gift your customers in some meaningful but unexpected way?
Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of creative branding and merchandising consultancy IER Partners. For 20+ years, Andrea’s joy has been inspiring clients with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She’s the author of two books about brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants and ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators. You may reach her at email@example.com.