Experiencing mythology: brand management and roots of customer loyalty

In Customer Experience, Featured on App, Loyalty & CRM by Kevin Kelly

Creative mythology is at the heart of brand management, customer loyalty, and a rich brick and mortar and online experience.

I always like to reflect on Fridays about all the data, facts, and drama of the week. A fantastic article came out in today's The New York Times called "The Romantic Advantage" by David Brooks. To summarize, Brooks argues that China's economy cannot really achieve the full capacity of capitalism until brand management blossoms in the market. Brooks indirectly suggests, for instance, that we enjoy not only the fit and quality of Ralph Lauren clothing but also the idea and emotive feeling within the stitching of that equine silhouette; in other words, a refined yet casual modishness that is defined not by physical clothes but by a more intangible fairy tale.

And if I think about it, these brands are our new fairy tales. Growing up I had stories of little toys playing under my bed, cowboys at the turn of the century, and of course, princesses that I loved. I might as well admit that I am not a fan of Ralph Lauren. When my golden-aged and sweet relatives purchase me Ralph Lauren clothes I sigh, looking at the price tag, and don them for family functions.

And yet, despite my dislike of the trim cut sport jacket, I feel as if the sun is rising on the porch on a sprawling 19th century estate in upstate New York. My kind assistant has just furnished the table with the most delightful morning cakes and an aggressive Earl Grey. I might call over to my dog to partake in a stroll to the gardens.

Ok, I'll stop talking like that. But you see? That is what the brands can evoke, including that kind of prose. This is the heart of loyalty. As Brooks says, successful brands create a mythos for consumers. A focused and textured mythos is an integral part customer loyalty. This is why customer experience is so important—it reflects the materialization of a particular creative experience of a company. This is how the brand is made.

How can brand loyalty transcend community and national boundaries? How can e-commerce companies craft a mythology that cannot materialize in brick and mortar store…rather, is 2013 the year of the e-commerce pop up store? What are your favorite brands and why?