I was recently introduced to new brand of grilling thermometers called Meater®. You see, growing up in and around North Carolina, I’ve developed a passion for the art of smoking meat with what we call the “low and slow” method. Taking what is usually a lesser cut of meat, and with careful attention, patience, and practice, turning it into a feast for the senses. I enjoy this transformation process. When done properly, it keeps friends and family coming back for more.
So, what’s this got to do with my day job?
Well, this product checked all the right boxes for me, and with good reason. The visual identity was clean, simple, and sophisticated. The messaging and photography were engaging and authentic. It truthfully presented a solution to my problem—one device that can measure the meat and ambient temperature without the use of wires, that I could monitor from my phone. When it arrived, the packaging, unboxing, and product experience had me hooked. A pleasure to open and use, it worked flawlessly, and when the cooking was complete, the thermometer could be reinserted into the bamboo packaging for charging. Furthermore, their customer service was top-notch. When I had a small glitch in the ordering process, Meater shipped a second product free of charge to ensure the thermometer arrived on time. A top-notch experience all around.
As a creative director of a brand experience agency, this resonated with me. We counsel our clients to understand the value of carrying the brand experience through to their product innovation and beyond. It’s the building of that ecosystem that creates a unique experience for the individual. That’s because the brand can only take you so far…it has to be met and married with a product that exudes the very same truths found in the brand. Think about the brands you interact with every day. The ones that come to mind first are usually those that have honed this process.
BOLTGROUP has worked with a wide range of clients over the years, from startups to mid-market manufacturers. More and more, we are asked to refresh the brand or innovate the product. The problem: we often find these are two entirely separate initiatives. We’ll discover we’re creating a brand from the ground up around a product that’s already been created. Sometimes it was “designed” by the manufacturer or molder. Other times there’s a rush to “fix” a previous product, but there’s no time for us to infuse the principles of the brand into the design process. The result is a product that may respond to a newer customer need or be slightly better than it was before, but doesn’t resonate with the brand. It leaves your customer wanting more. Only a continuous brand experience has a truly lasting effect.
The alignment of brand and product experience is also a proven method of building brand preference for your customer. See for yourself with brands like Kobalt, Yaktrax, and Little Burros with which we’ve worked. The Meater brand was all about innovation and simplicity. That was my experience from the outset. Consequently, I trust that other products from them will carry the same qualities. It’s that harmonious marriage of brand experience and product innovation that hooks, holds, and keeps your customers coming back.