Month: November 2015

Why Should You Care if Your Customers Have a Great Brand Experience?

caller-exThere are discussions in the media almost everyday surrounding the importance of having a great brand experience, but what does it really mean and what is the value in ensuring you have one?

To give you a great example of brand experience, I will pull from the restaurant industry. If you are a restaurateur, giving your customers a great brand experience will include everything from your website, online reservations access, the tone of the person on the phone taking your reservations, the smell when you enter the restaurant, the tablecloths, bathrooms, carpets/flooring, decor, location and parking, the wait staff, the host, oh, and of course the food. If any one of these components is out of line with the rest, you won’t have a great brand experience and without a great brand experience, you have just another restaurant.

A brand experience is the totality of the experience as well as the tonality.

Marketing is all about the kind of experience you deliver to your customers with each and every interaction. The more compelling the experience, the faster you will build brand loyalty. In fact, the experience you build becomes your brand in your customers’ minds.

The Whole Thing

Brand experience is used to describe the total impression a potential consumer has with your brand. It refers to the total experience of the brand, which may include social media reviews, websites, advertisements, actual use (of a product), customer testimonials, or other interactions with your brand.

Every customer touchpoint creates a “profile” in the mind of a potential consumer, one that is full of feelings and attitudes about the brand, helping the consumer to psychologically predict what items are associated with it. This is therefore a highly valuable concept for makers of brand name items, as manipulating that experience can yield higher profits.

Create A Brand Experience

It is often thought that the most successful brands have a clear and singular experience because of focus and consistency through all avenues of exposure. For a brand to be strong, it must present a clear and unified experience. This means that the items or services associated with the brand must perform as they are advertised. Keep the meaning simple because a complex experience is likely to become diluted in the mind of the potential consumer.

Often brand experience is related to marketing and advertising, which attempt to communicate the brand, and thereby the product/service, with meaning by presenting it with information and images. Think about your typical truck or beer commercial as an example here; the commercial is designed to make you feel a certain way, and therefore you know if that is the truck for you.

Measure The Experience

Measuring brand experience can be tricky because although you can glean some information from conducting customer research, it is difficult to identify and quantify what specific emotions, intellectual thoughts, and sensations are associated with the brand. Thankfully, there are several social media tools and indicators, as well as other online tools, which will help you in measuring your brand experience.

If you value your customers (and we all do), then make sure you are taking steps to ensure your customers are receiving the type of brand experience that will keep them coming back for years to come.

What kind of brand experience do you think you offer your customers? Have you measured it? What types of things have you put in place to ensure a good brand experience for your customers?

Finding Your Own Marketing Path

As the owner of a marketing agency, I hear it all the time: “If my competitors are on social media and writing blogs, or hosting webinars, then I need to as well, right?” On the surface this seems like a slam-dunk “yes!” answer, as we’ve all been taught that you need to be where your competitors are. While I would agree to this on some level, I vehemently disagree on a more fundamental basis with this belief because good marketing practices will tell you that each business is unique and has to offer a unique value proposition to its customers. Therefore, your customers are not exactly the same as your competitors’, and you might want to consider delving a little deeper into what sets you apart, who your audience is and what services/products are relevant to that specific audience.

For example, a car is a car is a car, until Tesla came out with a “car experience”. They could compete, and do compete on some levels with high performance, expensive cars, or some may argue with the “green cars”, but what Tesla did is carve out their own brand, unique placement and experience that sets them apart from the rest. Tesla did what Porsche had done before them, and are forging their own way, creating their own marketing path and winning the hearts and dreams of millions of daydreamers around the world.

Not every company needs a website or social media to be successful, as these are simply tactics, but what they all do need is a service/product brand that is unique. This uniqueness is what will set you apart from your competition and dictate where and what you should invest in to win out your competition.

Is your marketing based on placing your marketing investments where your competitors are? Has this strategy worked well for you? How might you change this moving forward?