The Intangible Gift

I just sent a message to all of my “single mother” friends on Twitter to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day and felt compelled to write a short piece about my best friend and a Mother’s Day years ago.

On this particular Mother’s Day, my friend wanted to make sure that my young children had a gift for me. She knew that they couldn’t shop on their own for the occasion, so she bought a gift for them to give me.

My children beamed as I opened the gift…a pair of soft, pink bedroom slippers. When I slid my feet into them, I felt immediate love and comfort from the top of my head to — yes, the tips of my slippered toes!

Pink Fluffy Slippers

Not the originals. Mine were cuter!

I felt wrapped in a big, warm hug from the kids and from my friend. Over the next few years, after a hard day at work or whenever I wanted to relax, I would slip on those fluffy pink slides. I swear, I could feel my blood pressure drop as soon as they were on my feet.

What does this have to do with communications or branding or anything??!

Well, the slippers were really cute, but it was the feeling that I had when I put them on that helped them wear out so quickly. That feeling drove my action. We act on our emotions and any brand that can make an emotional connection with its customers will benefit. You see, when my best friend bought those slippers, she wasn’t buying just a pair of house shoes. She was buying comfort. She was buying love. That’s what I needed.

Intangible benefits. That’s what it’s all about. How does a product make you feel after you’ve used it? How do you feel while you’re using it? As communicators, we need to help our clients tell their story and share their product or service’s intangible benefits. Then, and only then, will they be able to make an emotional connection with their customers and prospects. And that, in itself, is a gift.

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