Brand Building Like the Big Guys in Your Small Business


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Last week my husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. You can imagine my surprise when he presented me with a signature blue bag and box from Tiffany & Co.

Unwrapping the gift was just as much of an exciting experience as actually enjoying the jewelry. From untying the perfect white bow to lifting the box lid in anticipation of what was inside, my heart was pounding. Their marketing was working! A gift from Tiffany? For me? Wow!

As I opened the box, a travel-friendly, felt carrying case made from luxurious material was nestled into the perfectly folded tissue. I unfolded each flap of the case to reveal a pearl necklace carefully snapped in to two small, elegant clamps so that it could be displayed to look like it would look around my neck and dazzle when revealed.

Contrast this experience with that of the typical jewelry store. Likely my necklace would have been displayed in a straight line in a clam shell faux leather case.

Image of great branding by Tiffany & Co.

The necklace would have been secured in the case on each end with two small pieces of elastic. The anticipation of untying a bow, unwrapping tissue, unfolding flaps to reveal the necklace would not have existed.

Has Tiffany & Co. done a great job investing in their brand? No question, given my anticipation. And as small business owners, it’s unlikely we can build a brand as revered as Tiffany. We just don’t have the budget. But what we can do is create an experience that lives up to the brand we’ve built. You can create a ‘Tiffany-like’ experience for your customers instead of doing the expected.

For my husband, seeing my eyes open wide in anticipation and my hands shaking to open the box was worth every extra penny he paid for these pearls over what he would have paid from another jeweler. Not to mention, the care and expertise he experienced while making his purchase decision which also solidified his investment decision.

For me, every time I take out my pearls to wear them, I’ll remember the experience of opening them for the first time. The restaurant where we were dining. The lighting. The smells. The feeling of being married 10 years. The look of anticipation on my husband’s face as I opened the box.

As a small business, how are you creating that excitement and anticipation with your packaging? Are you investing not just in your products, but also in how you present the product to it’s intended recipient? They key to brand building like the big guys is to have every experience your customer has with your brand immaculately flawless.

Look at how your end-customer experiences your product for the very first time after they have purchased from you. Is it a gift? Do they have to come back and pick it up because you’ve had to custom-make it for them? Do they take it home and unwrap it to display in their home? How you package your products is goes a long way to increase the value of your products in the minds of your customers as well as to reinforce the investment decision they have made with you. For a boutique business owner, the sale doesn’t stop when they walk out the door or after you’ve charged their credit card. They experience continues on long after this. Make sure you’re investing in your packaging to continue the glowing customer experience long after payment has been received.


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