I went back to find an older article I remember reading about the use of the word “delight” when talking about products due to a recent conversation with a client.
“You can’t make a product delightful just by calling it delightful.”
Above is a quote from Joshua Reeves Founder of ZenPayroll, now Gusto talking about Silicon Valley’s tendency to look beyond algorithms and code when describing their products.
The article quotes numerous CEOs using the “delight” word to describe the impact they hope their offerings deliver. They all, of course, start to sound the same. To put the final nail in the coffin, they include Steve Ballmer of Microsoft saying, “we will focus relentlessly on delivering delightful, seamless experiences.”
But then the penny drops:
“Hold the eye rolls, however, because underneath its trendiness and the suspicion that it’s just some new marketing babble, the talk of delight signals a radical shift in the way Silicon Valley creates products.
“Someone invoking the principles of delight is saying that when thinking about making a product, what should come first is not the technology, but the people it is intended to serve.”
The shift the LA Times was talking about is the same transition every brand – regardless of category – will need to take to stand out in the 21st Century.
By deeply understanding the people your brand serves (both customers and employees), you no longer focus on the inner workings, the features and benefits, your algorithms and codes of your business, but rather on human needs, interests, values and aspirations.
Suddenly, your inner workings take on new meaning and emotional importance. You recast they way your organization thinks about and responds to people’s lives. You change the way your brand interacts with people, by being more empathetic and compassionate.
But, as Joshua Reeves says, you can’t simply make something meaningful and emotionally important by saying it is. Your brand needs to embody, resonate and convey its unique meaning and emotional appeal through humble actions and simple gestures.
Don’t think ads or promotions. Think meaningful behavior that creates the feeling for which you want to known.
Whether your want to create “delight”, or any of the over 300 positive emotions one can have, action always speak louder than words.
Emotive Brand is a brand strategy firm.
Image Credit: Kimberly White / Reuters