Brands rituals can bring many benefits. They help the brand to stand out from the competition, create something that is only their thing, give consumers joy and make certain habits associated only with that one specific name.
What is a brand ritual?
Close your eyes and think about eating an Oreo. If you eat it like a normal cookie, you’re a weirdo (I’m kidding, of course). But if you really eat it like a normal cookie, imagine how the happy kids eat it on TV commercials. This is a whole big ceremony with that pulling apart of each cookie half, licking the icing, and dunking it into milk.
That’s the joy of eating an Oreo.
No other cookie can be eaten this way (it’s not true). This is exactly what brand ritual is.
It’s all the behaviors, habits and ceremonies that are associated with a brand. But how to create and implement successful brand ritual when you’re not a favorite cookie of children and milk?
1. Make it natural
Think about how your consumers perceive your brand and how they use your products on a daily basis. Maybe an unofficial ritual already exists, but you didn’t notice it yet?
Talk to your customers - sometimes the best ideas are close to us. If there is no such ritual that’s good too. Create your own, but based on how you use the product by yourself. Think how could it make people’s life easier or pleasant.
What ritual would work in your industry best?
Do not try to completely reverse its meaning by forcing customers to drink beer from wine glasses. It’s not natural. Consider how different people can interpret your brand. And finally the most important advice: listen to people. In the end, whether the ritual will be accepted or you will be laughed at, depends on them. Ritual is about the people, not the brand.
2. Make it easy
People like to make their life easier. This is nothing new. No new ritual would work if it is difficult, long or unsatisfying. Hardness is an effective barrier to entry. If you show the audience a very complicated process of using your product that won’t bring them any profits, you can even also lose some potential customers. If your brand is associated with a long and unnecessary process, they would prefer to avoid it. And finally, you want your brand to be associated with something other than escaping clients, right?
3. Be sure it fits your brand and its philosophy
It may seem easy but it’s not. Presenting your brand rituals requires analyzing not only how you would like to be perceived by the audience and how you create yourself in clients’ minds, but also what they really think about your brand. It’s a perfect time for you to consider if the brand’s philosophy is perceived correctly by the public. If it’s not – your made up ritual won’t work at all. People will just think it’s weird. You can meet a similar situation by trying to fit your product into clients’ own, long-existing rituals they already have. It’s like forcing football fans to drink cocoa while watching the game. Certain rituals are deeply embedded in society’s life and nobody could ever change them. So don’t even try. Please.
4. Think about the specific consumer
Rituals are for people, not the opposite. Always have in mind that one specific customer. How could he benefit from the ritual?
How it will make him feel about himself?
How it will change his status and self-esteem?
Don’t reduce your consumer to some number. Many brands, especially big ones treat people like numbers. They don’t perceive them as individuals with natural rituals, social interactions, and habits. Think about your consumer as he was your friend – the person who’s intelligent, has an own opinion and free will. If your ritual makes no sense, your friend would laugh at you and choose the competition.
5. Make it enjoyable, funny or prestigious
A brand ritual must be pleasant and give consumers fun. It’s perfect when it’s possible to perform solo and with the group. If it gives people some kind of joy – it will be accepted. Some rituals may also make consumers feel better about themselves. Make it prestigious if you want your brand to be associated with something more exclusive. Maybe a special event, outfit or specific situation would work well?
6. Make sure it’s understandable
No ritual will be accepted by customers if they don’t understand it. Explain what it is the purpose of it, but leave some space for their own interpretation. Demonstrate how customers should interact with your products. Remember to specify what pleasure people can derive from it and what are the real benefits. Seeing the process will make it easier for them to re-enact the ritual. This is crucial for introducing a new concept.
7. Use it in your marketing strategy and ads
There is no better way to show people how to use the product than advertising and demonstrating it often enough. It works best when you use many media formats and platforms to be sure that you will reach the widest group of people possible.
While the ritual is the key to the campaign, your brand is the star of this show. Make sure that your logo is clearly visible and easy to recognize by the audience. Take a moment to highlight the product. If they’re not interested in the product itself, how would they become curious about any ritual?
8. Show your ritual through the story
It’s a moment for the storytelling. Thanks to telling a good story connected with your ritual, the emotional aspect comes. The brand, the product, and the way of using it are remembered better when they are some elements of the emotion-provoking story. Storytelling is an excellent way to explain customers on how the ritual should look.
9. Try to make it viral
There is no effective ritual without sharing and spreading. The ritual must be easy to repeat and give customers pleasure and fun. Now, when we have social media it’s a lot easier. If you can make a brand ritual go viral, you’ll attract new long-term clients. Encouraging behavior through social media will capitalize.
10. Engage the consumers themselves
If people don’t share the ritual, stop panicking. Sometimes, a little help is enough to push it and make viral. Create an internet contest that will encourage the audience to demonstrate their ingenuity and show different ways to perform the ritual or usage of your products. It’s a great advertisement and a perfect way to reach new customers, but also a brilliant method to “force” the audience to try out the ritual. If they repeat it and like it - you can be sure that they will stick to it.
Now use your imagination and talk to your clients. The best brand ritual ideas come by themselves. When you have it, it’s time to make it even more suitable for your brand.