Yesterday, while leading a retreat for one of my clients, I talked with the team about their brand; about it being their promise to their customers and their customer’s experience of their brand being the test of that promise.

We also talked about the fact that brand is emotional and experiential. I asked them to put themselves into the shoes of one of their customers, and to talk about how their experience with the company made them feel.

After that exercise, I asked the pairs to talk about an experience of a brand of their choosing. One person shared a story about a family trip to Disneyland that took place nearly 20 years ago, in which extraordinary kindness was shown by the team members at the park to her special needs brother.

As she recounted the story, she began to cry, and couldn’t continue talking. I got choked up as well, as did everyone else in the room. It was as if she had transported us all back in time, and we were experiencing the event for the first time. Brand is emotional and experiential. It is not intellectual, nor is it meant to be understood. It is meant to be felt.

What emotions do you want to evoke in your customers? How do you want them to feel? What are you doing to create extraordinary experiences for them that they will be telling two decades from now?