Take a moment to answer this question: “What truly inspires me?” Got something? Good. Hold on to that, we will come back to your answer later.

If you ask what inspires me, my response is overly simple and generic. It’s everything. It’s an older married couple holding hands on a park bench. A kind gesture from a passing stranger. Grabbing drinks and seeing the way two people who are on a first date are looking at each other. Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes and we never really know when it’s going to hit. What’s important is that when it does, we actively recognize the inspiration before us and it now becomes a part of our consciousness, which ultimately turns into action.

Inspiration Strikes Daily: Are You Ready for When It Does?

Here’s an example for you. I typically write these articles at a local coffee shop that sits on the lake near where I live. Not too long ago I was writing early in the morning just as the sun was coming up. As it became lighter, I realized that the leaves were starting to change. That moment brought me back to a memory of when I first moved to Austin, Texas and went hiking. In this conscious thought, I realized that I hadn’t gone hiking in months, and decided to visit one of my favorite hiking locations during the upcoming weekend. I also realized that I needed new hiking shoes, so I took to Google to search out brands that offered shoes that aligned not only with my need for new shoes, but also aligned with the emotional state of inspiration that I was currently in.

The example above is important, because these inspirational moments occur daily — and these moments often turn into experiences and interactions we have with brands. These interactions are the result of consumers consciously realizing that they are inspired. Brands can extend these conscious inspirational moments by aligning the experiences it creates to the emotions of the consumers, the moments that have been inspired by the brand's products or services.

So how can your brand help to nurture and these conscious moments of inspiration?

Related Article: The Secret Behind 'Wow' Customer Experiences? Emotion

3 Ways for Brands to Tap Into Moments of Inspiration

Let’s look at three key areas to focus in on:

1. Observance

Take the time to observe your consumers' behaviors, and more importantly the reason why they're interacting with your brand, wherever you can. Look at social media posts and conversations that are occurring, dig into how visitors of your website are landing on key pages and what search terms they are using. By observing the actions that drive consumers to your brand, you’ll be able to understand a bit more around what inspired them to find you.

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2. Emotions

Helping your consumers evoke the emotions and inspiration that sent them to your brand in the first place will help you develop relationships with your consumer that will last a lifetime. Look at the products or services that you sell, try to dig deep into understanding the emotional state of your consumer through Voice of the Customer surveys, focus groups and employee feedback.

3. Engagement

Once you can observe your consumers and their emotions, you’ll need to provide avenues for them to engage with your brand. By doing so, you’ll transcend their inspiration to your brand, which is important because this consumer will now look to your brand as a source of potential inspiration in the future.

It’s important to remember that inspiration can strike like lightening, and brands never really know when consumers will feel inspired to communicate or interact with them. What brands can do, is ensure that the channel in which their consumer wants to communicate is effective in extending the emotional inspiration that is being felt. Conscious action is needed for consumers to make a purchase, so by making it easy, intuitive and streamlined for them to do so — brands can be confident in inspiring customers to come back to purchase again.

Related Article: Why They Click: The Psychology of Your Audience

Adjust Your Sails

I asked you at the beginning of this article what truly inspires you. The truth is that there’s no right answer, that’s what makes us as humans so unique. What is important however is how that inspiration may consciously manifest itself in your favorite brands or in experiences. Take a moment and see if this holds true in your own life.

Country singer Jimmy Dean once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” You won’t be able to change the wind of inspiration for your consumers, but you can adjust the sails of your experiences and touchpoints with them, which will provide an avenue for their inspiration to live on through your brand.

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