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September 05, 2014

Creating Moments

September 05, 2014

When brand-building, it's really easy to think about your logo, your tone of voice, your website – big, obvious foundational pieces of any brand. But what about all the nooks and crannies of an organization, places that might easily be overlooked? 

We were inspired by this TED talk on 404 pages to think about the smaller things. It's a quick 4 minute watch:

I love what he says about creating moments. Think about all of the touchpoints in your organization, the ones which serve a simple and direct purpose, but with a bit of thought can also create a moment of surprise and delight.

You've probably had moments like this with brand here and there. I've always remembered getting my first Threadless t-shirt in the mail. On the mailer, a sticker said something like:

"You're awesome, and this package is proof."

It could have just said "Thank you," or had no message at all. With a simple sticker, they managed to create a delightful moment I have talked about over and over again. That was more than five years ago, and I'm still telling that story.

Here's one example from SmallBox: Jeb's out of office messages. Instead of just saying "I'm away from email, and here's so and so can help you while I'm out..." he creates an experience outside of what we've all come to expect from these types of messages. Who doesn't win a prize package?


We all have utilitarian parts to our organizations. Anyone with a website has a 404 page, and no matter how good you are, someone will land there at some point. Jason and I presented Operation Surprise and Delight, a workshop about building brands with these small moments in mind. Together with some of our clients and colleagues, we brainstormed a list of spaces to consider. Here's what we came up with in less a few minutes of brainstorming:  

404 page
Out of office messages
Client gifts
Email sign-up forms
Contact forms
Thank you responses
Meeting snacks
Loading screens
Buttons (digital or analog)
Email signatures
Social profiles
Bonus freebies

We then broke into groups, wrote headlines, sketched out concepts. While we came up with some ideas that would take more time and planning to pull off, we also crafted things that could be implemented right away. That's the great thing about creating moments: a moment doesn't have to be part of a massive scale, crazy expensive marketing scheme. Moments can be small.

I'll leave you with this example: in the middle of our workshop, an impromptu photo shoot broke out in front of our building for some collateral for American College of Sports Medicine. Good thing Drew wore his cool shoes to work that day!



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