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Think about the brands that you love – how do they make you feel? What do they mean to you?

Now think about those bill boards that you pass every day – for businesses and products that don’t stand for anything and don’t mean anything (and they may also not be relevant to you either). The point is you don’t think about them, you manage to filter them out of your consciousness.

Humans’ are multi sensory beings that are ‘meaning’ making machines – and when a brand can deeply connect to that – we fall in love (literally in a neuropathway kind of way – and it takes a fair bit to shift our beliefs).

I had the pleasure of listening to Michael O’Keefe CEO of Aesop, at the recent Conscious Capitalism event. His passion was infectious, his sense or purpose great. He spoke vividly about Aesop’s deep commitment to the customer experience – and Aesop’s intention to touch a customers many senses. Obviously smell, and texture are integral to the product – and that is amplified instore. I was also fascinated to hear of the importance of touch, lighting and sound in the customer experience as well as store design – ‘that good design should have a dialogue with it’s neighborhood’.

I have always loved entering an Aesop store – I never knew why.

“Our brand is the result of what we do and who we are; like a person it should be rich, complex and even at times contradictory.”

I have always said that brands are held in the heart of the customer. This is so much more.

The employee experience moment by moment reflects the customer experience. It was exciting to hear how this Australian company founded in 1987 – is quietly extending it’s reach around the globe. Disrupting an industry, part of which is not using the same promotional mechanisms that the beauty industry is famous for; product sampling, celebrity endorsement  – and features and benefits lists.

This is a brand that knows what it stands for – what it believes, and is changing the customer experience moment by moment. For me it was one of those moments to be really proud on a great Australian business.

Michael invited the attendees to be a David in a Goliath’s world. He said “but stay a David….. stay true to what you believe.”

He suggested that we read Malcolm Gladwell’s article in the New Yorker – How David ate Goliath – when underdogs break the rules… you may well enjoy it too.

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