How has The White Company turned its brand into one that customers love, trust, and respect? This was the question I asked myself as I was buying a number of their products over the weekend. The secret is brand admiration when “brand admirers” become loyal customers and brand advocates.
If you think about the qualities that are foundational to every successful relationship, there are three: trust, love and respect.
Brand Trust, Love and Respect
Trust – We believe that we can count on the brand to ‘be there,’ to deliver consistent quality and excellent customer service and act in our best interests.
Love – We have a high degree of affection towards the brand. The brand pleases us at a visual, sensory and emotional level.
Respect – We look up to the brand and hold it in high regard. We believe in what the brand stands for because it speaks to our values, and we share similar aspirations.
The combined effect of trust, love and respect is brand loyalty and brand advocacy. Brand loyalty results in high customer retention and high lifetime value. While brand advocacy leads to word of mouth referrals, customers willing to both champion and defend a brand, and to forgive a brand when it falls short.
How You Can Create Brand Admiration
Brand admiration has been the subject of extensive research by C Whan Park, Deborah MacInnis and Andreas Eisingerich. They’ve reviewed psychological work on the needs, goals and motivations that result in customer admiration for a brand. What they discovered is that the most admired brands enable, entice and enrich the customer experience in order to create trust, love and respect.
Enable – Admired brands solve a customer’s problem in the simplest way possible, in a way that requires the least time, energy and stress. This results in us feeling empowered.
Entice – Admired brands make the products and customer experience interesting to the senses. As a result, we feel delighted and captivated.
Enrich – Admired brands make customers feel proud and good about themselves. We feel like we’re acting in alignment with our values. We feel inspired. And we feel connected as the brand makes us feel special by linking us to other like-minded people.
The combination of these three factors – enabling, enticing and enriching – results in brand admiration and elevates the brand above its competition.
Why The White Company Is An Admired Brand
The White Company started life as a 12-page mail order brochure and has grown to become one of the UK’s fastest-growing multi-channel retailers, with a reputation of selling a lifestyle, not simply a product. The brand is synonymous with transforming houses into homes, creating impeccably stylish, beautifully designed products – principally in white – with British town and country heritage at its core.
Founded by Chrissie Rucker MBE over 22 years ago, it has a $229 million turnover, over 1 million customers and more than 50 stores across the UK. It has just announced the opening of its first store in New York City this summer. The White Company’s expansion into the States follows its acquisition of a US audience, having launched its US e-commerce site in 2014 –a main contributor to a record growth year for the company, with operating profits of $21.4 million.
From an enablement perspective, the brand itself is pure simplicity, promising that shopping with the company with be a straightforward experience. The White Company’s mantra is ‘Shopping Made Easy.’ Their mobile optimised website is easy to navigate and packed with useful guidance and inspiration. The company has created online size guides to ensure that the products you purchase are the right size and fit for you and your home. In store, their friendly staff are on hand to provide advice and they offer a free home delivery service. They have a team on hand to offer help and advice for customers buying online or through their mail order catalogue.
From an enticement perspective, customers like me love the sensory experience the brand creates. The captivating photography creating an image of the lifestyle we want to create for ourselves. The glossy quality of the mail order catalogue which is worthy of a space on our coffee table. The use of fragrance in the catalogue itself so that when we smell the Seychelles scent of bergamot, orange and amber, we imagine ourselves on an Indian Ocean island. The in-store experience which evokes a feeling of warmth and affordable luxury.
And from an enrichment point of view, The White Company is loved because it shows customers like me how we can create the lifestyle we aspire to. Whether that’s our perfect new-season wardrobe, hand-picked tableware for dinner parties or beautiful linens for a peaceful night’s sleep. The company itself has a strong sense of CSR and Chrissie Rucker frequently speaks at events for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
Brand admiration is something we hold to differing degrees; it’s not an all or nothing state. The goal is to make your brand as admired as possible, and admired more than your competition.
Join The Conversation
Question: How can you apply the three E’s of enabling, enticing and enriching to elevate your brand? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share how you’re going to use this in the comments box below.
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Work With Me
I’m Denyse Whillier, a Sussex and London based business coach and consultant. I work with responsible businesses to build profitable and successful brands of the future. To do so, I draw on Built To Succeed™, my proven success system, developed during my 8 years in the trenches as a CEO.
I’d love to start a conversation about whether we’re a good fit to work together. Simply use this link to arrange an informal Skype coffee chat. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching (or business consultancy) would be right for you.
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