You will likely recognize the majority of these everyday words and may already have meanings attached to them. But we encourage you to take some time to really think about each of these words and how your brand is excelling at or embracing each concept!

 

Authenticity: Being unapologetically YOU… not your competitor, not who you think your customers want you to be, just genuinely you. This is what it means to be true to yourself and your brand values and integrity.

 

Brand Story: Your brand story is the roadmap for how you communicate your values, promise, and positioning, in a personality-packed way that draws people in to your vision and makes them want to experience what you have to offer. In short, it tells people why your brand exists and why they should care. And it should do so in a way that draws customers in and gets them excited!

 

Commoditization Trap: When one service is just like the other, is just like the other— they become commodities. The only thing that really differentiates them then, is price. And when you start competing on price alone, you’re cutting margins and often have to then reduce the service that you provide. Avoiding the commoditization trap means finding ways to design experiences that deliver on unique emotions, meanings, and—in general—create a more complete experience that's in line with what customers need and want.

 

Core Motivations: We believe there are 4 core motivations that drive people in their travel & leisure decisions and purchases. These motivations are not always top of mind, but they are the reasons people do pretty much anything and everything. To find out what they are and learn more about the desires of your customers, click here for the Marketing to Motivations Workbook.

 

Emotions & Feelings: A state of mind that stem from our current circumstances. These tie in closely with our core motivations - we are driven by desires to feel certain ways. In fact, 90% of our purchasing decisions are influenced by emotions. It is up to brands to decide how they want to make their customers feel during their experience and try to create environments and situations that allow for those emotions & feelings to be engaged. (P.S… customers who feel “emotionally connected” to a brand are on average 52% more valuable than even those who felt highly satisfied.)

 

Empathy: This is the process of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective. When you understand the core motivations and desires of your customers, you can put this at the heart of your stories and experience, while still remaining true to your authenticity, values, and vision. We like how AdAge puts it: Empathy is a golden opportunity to deliver more value to people, on their own terms.

 

Experience: Your experience is your brand story and vision come to life. It is the culmination of everything – your why & positioning, your customer desires & lifestyle, societal trends, sense of place, sensory touchpoints, and more. Your experience begins the second someone becomes aware of your brand, and only ends if they stop being a customer. The in-person experience should be designed with your customers' motivations and desired emotions/feelings in mind, and as we enter the experience economy, this plays a greater role now more than ever. Ecstatic, loyal customers are created when an experience helps them get closer to their desired state and guides them towards achieving their goals and motivations. On the other hand, customer disappointment is what happens when the experience does not match or exceed expectations, and the customer is left without having fulfilled their desires. (Sidenote: At Amore Social, we believe that the best experiences enhance the wellbeing of everyone, bringing people joy, excitement, and deep personal fulfillment.)

 

Positioning: How you distinguish your brand apart from the competition and how you communicate that unique differentiation. The goal with the positioning strategy is to create a clear, distinctive, and desirable place relative to the competition in the minds of target customers. The positioning should reflect the brand promise and be based on real sources of value for customers.

 

Promise: What you are saying (and not saying) that is giving your customers a certain expectation of what you will deliver. It ties in closely with your positioning, it’s how all your brand elements come together to say “this is an experience you can rely on for ___________”. It takes into consideration even the smallest of important nuances, such as your brand’s personality, to even the font styles you use on your website.

 

Sense of Place: The nuances and unique details of a destination and its culture. This strong identity is deeply felt by visitors. On the flip side, placelessness is what happens when your experience lacks the local culture and could technically be ‘anywhere’. The experience has no indistinguishable character.

 

Societal Trends: Movements and shifts in society that are impacting a group of people. Big paradigm shifts can last from 10-30 years and are a mega driver of change from one way of thinking to another – a revolution, transformation, and big underlying force. Sociocultural trends have a lifespan of 5-10 years and modify the value system and morals of a society and culture. Last but not least, lifestyle trends are changes in consumer lifestyle and behaviors, and these typically span from 1-5 years. They signify new practices within consumption, services, ways of living, and are driven by sociocultural trends.

 

Storytelling: Stories are a way of conveying information in a specific formula that engages our brain in a more captivating way than just facts. Stories engage our auditory, olfactory, visual, sensory and motor cortexes – we FEEL stories. When crafted in the right way, words don’t just paint pictures; they create immersive experiences. A story can also be told with visuals, and without words.

 

Touchpoints: The physical and sensory ways in which you engage your customer along their experience with you. In any experience there can be hundreds and thousands of toouchpoints, and often times they are internalized subconsciously by your customer. Think about all the ways the visuals, tactile touches, sounds, smells, tastes, and messages/stories come together to engage your customer.

 

Values: What matters to you and your brand? This is what your values represent. Your brand is built on your beliefs & principles that should guide every decision you make. Your values tie in closely with your why and your greater vision. They will shape your story and experience, and should always be at the forefront of your brand.

 

Voice: Your voice is how you carry out your message with a distinct personality. It sets the tone for your communication and when done right, infuses emotion into your marketing that your customers can resonate with.

 

Why: Your WHY is the driving cause or belief of your brand. It stems from a passionate need to change the status quo and make a difference in people’s lives. It ties in heavily with your values, giving your brand a purpose that you continuously strive to. It is the deeper, more momentous reason your brand exists.

 

Word of Mouth: The stories people tell about your experience to their friends, family, acquaintances, strangers on the internet. It is a powerful form of free marketing, and the most trustworthy form of marketing at that. You can’t buy it – but you can shape it, encourage it, and drive it with your experience.  It is YOUR JOB to give your customers a remarkable story to tell.