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Ring Lesson #1 : Identifying and Designing Your Moment in Space and Time

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Wait a minute. Give me a
minute. A New York minute. Minute by minute. Yep, we focus a lot on minutes, or
lack thereof. Time is precious and one of our most valuable assets. Therefore, many
barriers exist in earning a slice of people's time. With this daily battle in
mind, how often do you think about your brand's secret weapon ' the designed
moment - that moment when you have an opportunity to make an impression, to
make a friend for life?
We all know the importance
of focusing on what makes us different. The goal though is to identify and
capitalize on what makes us distinct; the components of our brand that we can
authentically own. The moments that only we, the brand owners, can design to
have maximum impact. So, I ask again, have you identified your most impactful
moments? More importantly, have you designed them? Following my suggestion to shed the gloves and fight back in the quest
for brand loyalty, this is my ring lesson #1.
P&G coined the phrase
'the moment of truth' as that most critical place and time for engagement
between the beloved customer and a brand. The moment when a person is standing
in front of a product within the retail aisle, considering a purchase. But this
philosophy does not only apply to consumer packaged goods. The moment of truth
also exists for brands that thrive within other spaces and time.
Here's an off-the-wall
example: I had Lasik surgery recently. After years of deliberating, I
finally decided the time was right. Was I terrified? Damn right. Even though
all my research and the proliferation of marketing messages confirmed the
process was safe and effective, at the end of the day, I was voluntarily
allowing someone to shoot lasers into my eyes. Pretty big deal.
I went into the experience
expecting the normal nuisance of going to the eye doctor. It was a medical
procedure, right? Normal. Sit in the waiting room. Wait for them to call my
name, 'Kathryn' instead of 'Kitty' because they only know me by reading my
file. But what I encountered was anything but normal. Kitty was cared for as a
human being from the moment I stepped in for my first consultation, not exam.
The physical environment was highly designed for comfort and luxury. After all,
this wasn't a necessary procedure. Let's admit, vanity sends most of us under
the laser-knife. 
My consultation visit was a
few days before the scheduled procedure and the waiting became torture.
Surprisingly, while I'd gone to the initial visit with great anxiety, I now
anxiously awaited the procedure date with butterflies of excitement. I couldn't
wait! How'd they do that? Was there something in that fancy bottle of water
they provided while I was watching the 'Meet Dr. Whiting' video? Well, no. But
they did design every single moment they had with me inside their studio. The
most impactful moment during this courting phase? I was given an opportunity to
complete a preferences list in advance of the day of my procedure. Much like
celebrities request certain artifacts, dietary preferences or down right
over-the-top obnoxious demands, I was asked to select two very specific sensory
components. I could request a specific genre of music or artist and the actual
color inside the laser studio. Wait, what? Yes, I could dictate the color hue
of my procedure room.
Cool! I had some decisions
to make as I was sent home feeling cared for, pampered even. My concerns had
vanished. And not only was I willing and ready, I was excited and curious about
how they would pull this off. 
The big day did not
disappoint. In fact, the day I shed my goggles was the day they created one
more loyal fan for their brand. The team delivered on every promise. When I
walked into the laser studio for the moment of truth, not only was Adele
crooning away as I had requested, but she was belting out the one song I wanted
to hear. The temperature of the room was cool but I was comfortable because
they had told me in advance to wear a sweater. The space was delicately lit
offering a soft and calming ambiance. The perfectly pink hue I had selected was
doing its thing, making me feel like a princess. Honestly, I didn't want the
experience to end.
As someone immersed in the
branding world day in and day out, it takes a lot to surprise and delight me.
And like a lot of people today, I'm not very trusting of the messages brands
put out. But the team at this clinic nailed it 100%. We are less inclined to
believe what someone says but likely to trust how someone makes us feel, right?
That's exactly how this brand engaged me. They identified the few precise
moments that are most important within the context of what they deliver. Once
identified, they designed with intention, considering the sensitivities that
make us human beings; sight, sound, comfort and security to name just a few. 
I have spoken about this Lasik
experience now countless times. I refer them whenever possible and tell their
story with passion. And here's the kicker, even though I won't likely need Lasik
again, I am putting this brand in my 27% of brands I can't live without. Yep.
Because my precious peepers deserve the very best annual checkups. Sure, I
could go to the little clinic right by my house that costs half as much, but
they've done nothing to design their experience for me. There's no way I could
ever go anywhere else.
This brand is successful
because they identified and designed their most important moments in time and
space. Every brand has them. What are yours?
See you at FUSE!
Director of Client Experience

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