41Lys52MPyL._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_I woke up this morning thinking about the brand rituals I follow so I could share them in this post. But I was at a loss.

Do I have any brand rituals?

I climbed into the shower, and while I washed my hair I gave it more thought. Nothing. So I rinsed and repeated.

Stumped, I walked out to my driveway, picked up my Arizona Republic newspaper and settled into my easy chair in our sunroom like I do every morning.

I guess I’m not that big of a consumer, because I don’t have a damn brand ritual I can think of.

I pondered it some more as I crossed the parking lot from Park&Co to Starbucks to pick-up my usual tall drip with room.

Still nothing.

I spent the morning working and jotting down potential rituals when they occurred to me.

Like my toasted tuna on six-inch Italian bread with cheddar and jalapenos at Subway. Is that a habit, routine or ritual? Probably a routine. I’m not emotionally vested in Subway Sandwiches, and Jared hasn’t helped matters much.

When I got home I went for a beer.


The mountains weren’t blue on my Coors Light yet, so I popped open a golden Corona. As I Q-tipped the lime in the bottle I thought: Ritual or garnish?

I sat down again in my sunroom chair with the day fading.

“What were the brand rituals I followed as a kid?” I thought to myself.

“How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”

Digging for the surprise inside every Crackerjacks box.

Blowing the foam off the top of a Mug Root Beer, but only after running my upper lip and nose through it. (Kept my brothers from asking for a sip)

I returned for another beer.

“Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is,” effervesced in my mind.

Still nothing. Am I really devoid of meaningful brand rituals?

I have habits. Some bad.


But do I have any true brand rituals?

What exactly is a brand ritual?

Zain Raj knows. He wrote the book on it. That’s right, Brand Rituals.

He also talked about how to use stories to create these rituals on our podcast.

Hear for yourself: Creating Brand Rituals Through Story

Business of Story-Banner Podcast Zain Raj-700x400

What I learned is that to create a brand ritual your customer must be so emotionally vested in your offering it becomes a natural element in their life no matter the expense.

Habits are a kind of commoditized activity that take very little thought.

Routine is something we do with a bit more investment, but with little emotion.

Rituals, however, are an enlightened experience, which hold great meaning for us. Built-in customer loyalty. And margin, I might add.

I hope you’ll make a ritual of listening to Business of Story.

Now it’s time for bed.

Right after I scarf down my Pop-Secret. In front of Jon Stewart. On my TiVo. In my La-Z-Boy.

Like always.