We’ve survived another Black Friday.  Journeyed past Small Business Saturday. Made it through Cyber Monday.  All ways to create traffic into stores.  How about the other 51 weeks of the year?  It easy to give away products at low margins to only have to “make it up on volume”.

What about creating a brand that brings customers into stores in mid February, sells products that don’t rely on heavy incentives.   How about creating a relationship with customers that are looking for your knowledge and advice?  Although it may be hard to believe, there are still people out there that look past YouTube for instructions on how to do things and are in need of a conversation rather than a Google search.

Brands that solve needs first and sell second have the opportunity to create sustainability that reaches past the cash register.  The bond that’s created provides an opportunity to consistently engage with customers answering their questions in turn solving their problems.

With the strength of e-commerce growing everyday, the need to be more than a price for an item will be more demanding in years to come.  Just simple story telling will not be enough.  Companies that embrace a holistic storyscaping approach will find the most success.  By using a storyscape building model, sub-stories are created that relate to a brand’s overall story. The development of a process that works from both the brand’s perspective as well as the consumer’s builds the groundwork to engage through various channels.  Secondarily, shared experiences as well as shared values become integral parts of the stories.  The final outcome is a series of experiences that encompass purpose, product, desires and needs.

So as the new year is upon us, take a moment to think of how you will be engaging with your customers to create long lasting relationships.