WHAT I KNOW: Shared Memories Build Bonds

Posted on December 13, 2022

Hi, everybody, this is Jeanne Bliss. And what I know is that shared memories build bonds.

What that means is—thinking outside of what you’re doing operationally and from your product standpoint—digging deep into the emotions and the memories that your customers have, as people going through your products and your services.

For example, in healthcare, how can you humanize the experience with a child? As you’re building a home for someone, if you’re a construction company, how can you make that walkthrough joyous and interesting, based on where they might make peanut butter sandwiches for their kids?

How will you instill touches and things that connect you in a human way with your customers that says, “I like the people behind this company. They’re like me, and I want to continue to do business with them. I want to continue to be associated with them.”

How We Brought Joy to Life at Lands’ End

Here is my story of one of the most joyous things that I have done in my career around shared memories:

When we started the Lands’ End kids business, we really put a lot of thought and effort into the building of the product, of course. But we also wanted to make the experience—of receiving this box of children’s products—connect to our own childhood memories and the memories of the parents and the children, who are receiving things.

So what we did for the very largest shipping boxes—we actually worked with our box company—and we printed the the flaps of the shipping box with the head and the tail of a cow or sheep, or horse, as well as a note to the parents saying, “Thanks so much for buying our products. And here’s this thing you can turn into an animal your kids can ride all over the house.”

Here’s what the box looks like, with the flaps and everything. And here was the note to the parents. And this was the horse box.

And then here’s what the horse box looked like when it was put together for your child to ride all over the house.

The other thing that happened here was that we got so many letters because it struck a note—because in our childhood memory, we played more often with the box than the toys inside.

Humanize with the Stories Behind the Ideas

The other funny thing that happened was that Land’s End at the time was trying to humanize all of us as well for our customers. And I ended up showing up in Mirabella magazine. This is 1991—that will age me—in an ad. An ad of me jumping out of that Lands’ End box—the box that turned into the horse. And here is the copy: It says, “Surprise, there could be a little bit of Jeanne Lombardo.” That was what they called me back then—that was my maiden name.

“Jeanne remembers looking at the plain brown lands and shipping box and looking and thinking there’s got to be something more we could do with this. ‘In the end, I drew on my own experience of Christmas of playing with a box instead of a toy.’ So we created a shipping box, it turns into a cow or a sheep or a horse, something a parent and child could play with together something to say, ‘Thanks for ordering from Land’s End.'”

We’re parents too. We have this common experience. We have this common place from which we make decisions. And you can trust that we’re parents like you and we have your best interest in mind.

Final Thoughts

So what I know is—as you’re developing what you develop your products, your services—know that in your communication, you have a wonderful opportunity to rise above, to show who you are as people in how you communicate common shared memories, to find a way to bring those to life. Find a way to find the light that binds you with your customers and employees.

That’s what I know for today. Go to CustomerBliss.com/WhatIKnow to get more. Thanks, everybody. Take care.

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