Harness the power of rituals

Just read a nice presentation on using "ritualising your brand*, from Jon Howard of Quiet Storm, via slideshare.  Rituals can be a powerful form of brand property to use in creating distinctive memory structure and I posted on them a few years ago here. Jon defines a ritual as "a behaviour imbued with meaning, purpose and belonging".

Here are some key points from Jon's presentation.

1. Rituals create emotional connection

The slice of lime in the top of a bottle of Corona beer not only delivers a taste benefit, it also triggers emotional connection with a world of beaches and sunshine.

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2. Rituals help drive behaviour

A ritual can help drive behaviour. For example, seeing other people in a pub drinking Magners cider in a large glass with ice might encourage you to do the same thing.

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3. Rituals help create distinctive communication

Rituals can help create distinctive communication, with examples being "Have a break, have a Kit Kat" and the Guinness advertising "Good things come to those who wait", that dramatises the pouring of the Guinness.

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4. Tips for creating a brand ritual

Jon gives 10 tips for creating a ritual for your brand, but here are my 3 favourite ones:

– Define the ritual: without clear definition the ritual will just be a loose habit, and so less distinctive

– Embed values: the ritual needs meaning, such as the lime in Corona being linked to beach life, otherwise its just a habit

– Anchor on an occasion: it helps to root the ritual in a need-state or occasion, such as Kit-Kat and the break in your day

In conclusion, rituals can be a powerful form of brand property to make your brand distinctive, but they need care and attention to create and then nurture them.