For many people, 2016 was a year of change. Now there’s a movement to make 2017 the Year of Gratitude.
Why gratitude? And what does that have to do with your business?
Research confirms that adopting a spirit of gratitude makes people happier. It’s a given that when managers show appreciation for good work, employees are happier. And happier employees are better able to serve your customers. Being thankful is just better business.
It’s important to be thankful not only to your employees, but also to your loyal customers. It isn’t enough to broadcast a commercial or hand someone a product – people are looking for an experience and want to be part of something that matters. Smart brands are creating stories and engaging their customers in an experience rather than just pushing their products. User-generated content lets your brand authentically connect with your customers, while also making your advertising credible, relatable and more trustworthy. When you crowdsource content from your employees and customers, you’re creating a conversation instead of a one-way advertisement. So why not let fans of your brand do the talking for you?
That said, expressing gratitude to employees and customers authentically isn’t always easy. One way to get there is by making the expression of gratitude a team effort and by pouring that gratitude into something tangible: like a custom book that celebrates your employees or a collection of testimonials from your customers.
Weeva, an Austin-based crowdsourced publisher, is a unique company that uses an online platform to gather stories, and then collects them into a branded book. With its collaborative social platform, every member of a group can upload their own stories, memories, photographs – whatever is important to them. The books are then edited and designed to tell your story in a very authentic way that also incorporates your brand guidelines.
What makes these books so powerful is that everyone contributes in their own voice. Employees. Customers. Investors. Partners. You can invite anyone you want into the process. You can ask people to write about what they’re personally grateful for. You might ask them to talk about what they like about your company or their history with your brand. Employees might write about why they joined your company and what they like to do when they’re not working.
You can think of this unique custom book as a gratitude diary for your company.
But what you create is so much more. By including the voices of your stakeholders – and not just your hardworking marketers – you get a deeper, more authentic reflection of who you are as a company, your corporate values, your history, your mission. In the digital age there is something special about holding a book and turning its pages. It truly makes for a memorable and meaningful experience.
So what does this have to do with Brand Love?
By inviting your stakeholders to work together to express gratitude and their feelings about your company, you deepen their relationship with – and create ambassadors for – your brand. Remember how a spirit of gratitude makes people happy? That’s just the feeling you want people to associate with your brand. And by capturing important milestones and memories, you create something that truly says, “This is who we are.”
But the best part of creating your very own company book may be that expressing all of that happiness and gratitude means you’ve put a bit of joy back into the world. Isn’t 2017 a great time to start?
Interested in learning more about this unique branding opportunity? Contact our creative experts!