Brand experience has become the driving force behind brand differentiation Certainly, companies have to deliver products and services that meet, if not exceed, customer expectations, but the context on how they are delivered has become in something equally important. The reason why some of us pay more for a coffee at Starbucks, we buy at Mercadona instead of Alcampo or we prefer an iPhone to a Galaxy is because the experience with those brands is different, special and in tune with a lifestyle. complementary. According to a 2017 Gartner survey:
89% of marketers expect to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience in 2018, compared to 36% four years ago
This study informing us: that the competitive differentiation achieved through the development of better products or by being the most efficient producer of a service is decreasing.
Creating a superior customer experience will be a sustainable differentiator.
Although product and service quality will remain critically important forever, greater attention is paid to the merits of brand experience management. Due to this trend, companies are devoting more time, energy and resources to experiential design, staff training and continuity at all points of contact, through all channels and all media. Understanding what influences these touch points throughout a customer experience journey is essential to planning how to effectively manage that experience.
What are the components of the brand experience?
The brand experience is mainly made up of seven (7) different types of stimuli and experiential influences:
The commitment is the interaction that occurs in the course of experience.
- In a retail sales context, this would be the purchasing dynamics, the behavior of the sales staff, the sales transaction process, and anything else that directly affects personal interaction.
- In an online experience, navigation, content organization and the transaction interface embedded in the website are key influencers.
Customer service is one of the most important contributors to engagement. A 2016 survey of midsize business customer service by Dimensional Research found that customer service was the number one factor affecting trust. The same study also found that bad customer service was shared more widely and longer than good customer experience.
The environment is the physical environment within which the experience occurs. It is what provides a context to the experience and the most remarkable thing is that it is affected by the five senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch). These can be in the form of a ‘microenvironment’, such as a supermarket or restaurant. In a hotel, for example , these can include the building’s architecture, layout, interior design, furniture, lighting, climate control, and any other aspect related to the physical presence of the hotel. In some cases, the setting can also qualify as Pizza Hut with its distinctive roof that is a strong mark of its brand. Macro environments are multi-evidence travel like airplane or train travel.
The communication is any form of visual and verbal communication that facilitates the commitment and adds to the overall experience. This can include “hard graphics” such as signage, promotional graphics, packaging design, vehicle graphics, uniforms, and instructional graphics. “Smooth graphics” include motion graphics, video, streaming, and all forms of digital and social media. Communication is also the vehicle that most directly points to the brand through the prominent use of brand identity.
4. Product benefit
The benefit of the product is what you receive or transferred to you through experience or commitment to the service or product (real or virtual). In retail, these are the purchased products, in banking they are the financial services provided, and in the journey it is the passage from origin to destination.
The expectation is preconceived notion of what he thinks will happen or what you think you ‘re going to get. This can be influenced by previous experiences, advertising, social networks, friends, family and acquaintances who have impressions about the brand. Online reviews like Air bnb, TripAdvisor, FanPage, and others have now become a driving influence in decisions to engage with the brand. Several studies have shown that:
“80-90% of customers are influenced by online reviews.”
How your expectation compares to what actually happens will influence perceptions around that experience. Does the delicious-looking giant sandwich you see in a TV commercial look like the one you actually get? Does the promise to “fly through the friendly skies” reflect the reality of what you experience? The memory is how you remember and describe it through experience and it is what shapes your opinion about the next meeting. The memory reveals and accentuates what really went right and what really went wrong. Everything in between becomes blurry and will soon be forgotten. Managing “brand memory” is an important part of brand experience management and it is that memory that is passed on to friends, acquaintances, and recorded in online reviews.
The sum total of these is what makes up the sensations, feelings, and impressions associated with a brand.
Every touchpoint in the brand experience journey presents an opportunity to reinforce or have the potential to undermine brand loyalty. However, the degree to which you can control them is the question. Control is the challenge . Some things can be absolutely controlled, others can only be influenced, and others we can only hope for the best. However, understanding what we cannot control is just as important as understanding what can.
The cold reality: When managing the brand experience: The weather isn’t the only thing you can’t control.
Creating memorable brand experiences can set big brands apart from average brands and even good ones. What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had with a brand? …
- Why was it so memorable?
- How did it make you feel?
- What did the experience do for you?
- How long did the experience last?
- Was it short or long?
- Was it a simple or intricate, in-depth experience?
- Did it make a lasting impact on you? and because?
- Did it help you improve your life?
- How did it help your business?
- Did it help you do more? What else?
Many marketing and business leaders tend to overcomplicate everything about marketing. Because they overcomplicate what should be simple, they end up falling for strategies and tactics that do nothing but create a memorable and meaningful brand experience.
They conclude by focusing on too many vanity tactics and metrics that in the short term end up hurting their brand instead of helping.
You will end up wasting time, money, and market opportunities, wastes focused on short-term “take it off the list” tactics against slowdown to accelerate and take the time to plan, set goals, and align marketing and social efforts where you can really have it. an impact on the business.
Memorable brand experiences don’t have to be complicated.
The truth is, brand experiences don’t have to be as complicated as we do. Many times they are the simplest experiences, but pleasant and that make them more memorable.
In my case, I make a lot of international business trips. I spend most of the month traveling abroad. I have stayed in many hotels and eaten in numerous restaurants, high end and low end.
What’s interesting is that the most memorable experiences don’t always come from the most expensive room or food. It’s really the opposite, my best memories and brand experiences come from the simplest experiences.
They are the experiences that inspire, engage, excite and empower us. I remember the smiles of the hotel receptionists and hotel staff.
I appreciate the two and a half hour meal that I shared with good friends from Kuwait and Singapore at a small Indonesian restaurant in the heart of Barcelona, Spain.
I remember the leadership team and staff at the Heathman Hotel making me feel like a queen during a visit to Portland, where I was a keynote speaker at an event. I was welcomed online weeks before arriving in Portland for the event.
The Visit Portland team management and Heathman Hotel have been in contact with me since the event. They related to me via Twitter and Instagram.
They commented and shared their thoughts on the other places I visited and the photos I shared. They still share today the articles I post on this blog that they think are relevant to their audience.Our relationship is human.
It is based on trust, courage and friendship.
I remember the staff at the Boulderado Hotel in Boulder, Colorado, who went the extra mile to try to help me connect my portable DVD player to the big screen TV so I could exercise in the room.
I still remember our client’s team, the British Council , who constantly made me think and laugh during our two-day workshop in Spain, both in 2013 and 2014.
I remember the nights when they were handing out bread, sharing an evening at the Lebonese restaurant , where the restaurant had no music, so the British Council team did their thing!
I appreciate the breakfast with dad that we visit in Florida, where they always remember our names, our favorite places and what we like to eat.
See, life’s most memorable and precious moments aren’t created through a pretty logo or a complicated campaign and conversion funnel.
Memorable experiences …
- Touch the heart
- Make you laugh.
- Until crying.
- Make you think
- Inspire you to participate
- Help to learn
- You will be able to teach
- You will help to grow
- Help share your best things.
- You will be able to do more
- Help give more
- Be able to be more
When brands offer their audiences and customers memorable experiences, their customers want to shout from the top of the mountain. They want to post their photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
They choose to sign up for Foursquare and tweet to their friends. They want to tell the story. They want to share the experience so that others can come for a virtual tour and get a taste of what it feels like.
If you are a marketer and business leader who wants to create memorable brand experiences, I encourage you to start from the heart. Keep it simple. Get into the head and heart of your ideal customer.
How do you want them to feel it? What do you want them to remember about your brand?
10 tips for creating memorable brand experiences
1. Know your customer.
You can’t create a memorable experience for your customer if you don’t know who they are. What is memorable for them? They care? What is it that matters to them? What makes them happy? What do they dream of? Who do you want to be when you grow up? What problems do they have and how can they help solve them?
2. Keep it sweet and simple.
Don’t complicate the experience too much. Focus on creating sweet and tasty moments of pleasure. Keep them simple and easy to consume and remember. The simpler it is, the easier it will be for your clients to engage and remember the experience.
3. Start with the heart.
The living brand of social employees promises the empowerment of inspiration. Create experiences that connect emotionally. Make your audience laugh, make them cry.
Make them feel something. Take advantage of their dreams and inspire them to dream bigger, inspire them to do more, give more and be more.
Find what matters to them and connect in a real, compelling and relevant way.
4. Go through a day, a week, or a month in your customer’s life that experiences your brand.
Put yourself in your customer’s mind, shoes and heart. How does the experience work for them?
Examine every touch point they have with your brand and the people within it. Identify ways you can improve it. Is your staff trained? Are they living their brand promise? Are they delivering experiences that will ignite loyal brand evangelists?
Where are there opportunities to rise above the status quo? How can you deliver a service beyond what you experience from any other brand?
Think integration, not silos. In the same way that good digital marketers design the best user experience online, you should do the same for offline.
There is no single online and separate offline experience. Every experience matters and the brand must be consistent both offline and online.
5. Humanize it.
Human brands don’t speak to their audiences like a dollar bill or a credit card. They speak human. They get involved as humans. They don’t tweet the same tweets 24/7, 365 days a year.They participate in real time. They share in real time and create experiences in real time.
6. Empower and involve your employees.
Your employees are your brand. Every contact your customer has with your employees is a brand touch. Make sure you do everything in your power to empower and inspire them to be the best evangelists for your brand.
Your goal should be to inspire them to want to live and fulfill your brand promise because they want to, not because you tell them they should and should to keep a paycheck.
7. Keep your word.
Follow through on what you say you are going to do, period. Don’t overpromise and deliver less. Low promise and deliver more. Earn and establish trust at every point of the brand.
Yes, a smile can go a million miles. Inspire your employees to deliver real smiles at every touch point.A smile can brighten a day, change the mood, and create a customer for life.
9. Embrace the fun factor!
Don’t forget that your customers are human. They like to laugh, dream and live life. Don’t get too focused on business, metrics, and revenue, you lose the fun factor.
There is no business that is too serious or too complicated that cannot create an enjoyable, memorable, and fun customer experience either.
Smart brands listen more than they talk. By slowing down and taking the time to listen to what your customers and the community are talking about, you will learn how to develop memorable experiences that excite and engage them.
You will learn how to improve your products and services. You will know which points of contact are the most important.
You will learn and hear first-hand experiences that are making a lasting impression.
Take advantage of social listening tools and develop a strategy with specific tactics to bring your social data and insights back into your organization to improve customer brand experiences.
It is not an exact science. We help our clients do this and more every day. If you don’t know where to start, give us a call, we can help you!