Using rituals for your brand: distinctive customer experience 5

Post by Anna Eggleton, Managing Partner and Head of Service Brand

This is the fifth of a series of posts on how to make your customer experience more distinctive, and it looks at the importance of creating and then sticking to rituals.

Rituals are important because they make people enjoy and value a product or service more. Recent research published in Psychological Science shows that people undertaking a ritual when eating a chocolate are ready to pay an extra 25 cents for it! They also savoured it longer than their fellows in the non-ritual group. In other words, people who ceremonialise their consumption are likely to pay more and enjoy it more. The best rituals are easy to discover (based on behaviors that already exist), consistent (remain unchanged through decades) iconic (integrate symbolism) and relevant (truly rewarding).

Below are some examples of where a brand has created and reinforced a rituals to make their customer experience more distinctive.

1. Redbubble – integrating symbolism.

Redbubble is an online marketplace for print ‘on demand’ products, such as T-Shirts and posters, based on artwork submitted by creative people. Each item is sent out with a Redbubble tag and a personal message from the artist thanking you for your support. For example, for clothes this is a little wooden peg with a cloth label (see below). This creates a ritual around opening the package you receive and looking at the tag and the message from the artist, creating closeness to the creator and encouraging me to buy again.

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2. Exo (K-Pop brand) – truly rewarding fans.

K-Pop (Korean pop) brand EXO are masters of branding. CDs are sent out with random photo cards of the members of the band. The photographs are produced to look like they have been taken and printed for you personally – they are often signed. This turns the opening of the CD into a ritual of getting extra, very personal merchandise from the band, making fans feel rewarded and even more loyal. 

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3. Ocado – reassuringly professional

Online grocery retailer Ocado has a number of rituals, each of which is replayed each time you purchase. Firstly on the day of delivery you get a text confirming not only the time of delivery, but also the name of driver and, more amusingly, the type of fruit he will be driving! When the driver arrives he not only introduces himself but asks if he can help by bringing the shopping into the kitchen. All of these little rituals reinforces perceptions of a business that is professional and customer focused.

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In conclusion, finding and constantly applying rituals is one of the strongest way to make your customer experience more distinctive.