From giving your brand an archetype to embedding a “storytelling culture” into your DNA, bestselling NY Times author Joseph Michelli shares his top retail tips.

Having worked with some of the globe’s top companies including Mercedes Benz and Starbucks, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, bestselling author Joseph Michelli’s advice is worth its weight in gold.

But Michelli’s advice is surprisingly simple – give your brand an identity and target consumers that resonate with that identity.

The catch is that figuring out exactly what identity your brand has is surprisingly difficult, but with some creativity, Mr Michelli says it can be done, and with the stakes higher than ever for retailers, providing customers with an unforgettable experience is a powerful tool.

Speaking with Retailbiz while visiting Australia for his book launch the MindChamps Way, Mr Michelli says the secret behind the experiences provided by the world’s leading brands is the messages they convey to consumers.

“From early on they understood the emotional experience they wanted to deliver and execute against that,” he said.

Crafting this message is all about developing a brand ‘archetype,’ Mr Michelli says.

Developing your brand’s archetype

The first step in supercharging your brand’s customer experience is developing an understanding your brand’s identity by characterising it as an archetype.

The process behind this is twofold, he says. Firstly, segment your market and develop an understanding of who your high-value customers are.

“For me knowing who your target consumers are and what you can credibly represent to that consumer group. That’s the art of retail. Trying to hone in on and approximate the experience.”

The best way to do this is to develop an archetype of your brand by asking yourself what kind of character they are, he says.

“Archetypes are historic characters that resonate against the human psyche. So you ask yourself, are you a jester brand? Do you have a playful character? are you a heroic brand?.

“The goal is to understand what you can credibly be as a brand in terms of lifestyle matching of consumer groups. What does your brand enable you to be? How do you make that relevant?”

The second step, Mr Michelli says, is to use the qualities of this archetype in all elements of your brand’s messaging.

“That’s the big thing: What personality do you try to communicate at every touch point of written, online communications, signage, displays?

“Train your people and inspire them on the vision of what your brand seeks to deliver . Cashiers are not cashiers, they are the last memory of your brand to consumers. They are purveyors of the last touch of your brand.

“Your brand develops a storytelling culture that reinforces its DNA.”