“Brand is everything. It’s every interaction with someone outside of your business. It’s your company culture. It’s your production process and the way you deal with a bug.” -Chris Savage
The value added to your company by ensuring excellent brand experiences is a cumulative process, starting with the moment a customer or client interacts with your company to the very last interaction. These experiences with your brand will have a lasting impact on your customers, and therefore, your brand perception.
Brand Experiences are more than your logo or color palette
As I’m sure you know from your own experience, a positive brand experience equates to a positive regard of a company, while a negative experience ensures a personal ban on ever dealing with them again. As Chris Savage also adds, “Your brand is not your logo or color scheme, it’s how people think about you.”
The customer experience becomes your brand
Essentially, whatever experience your customer has with you becomes your brand perception. It’s individualistic. Each single experience adds value and creates a lasting impression that determines whether or not a customer returns and whether or not a customer provides the most valuable of all: references.
Continuous brand engagement is inevitable
Our digital and social media landscape has set it up so that brands have and desire continuous engagement with their audiences, and audiences want to be a part of the brand story. This all-encompassing interaction is critical through all facets of inbound marketing, from emails to social posts to the copy you feature on your website. It’s all part of the overall brand experiences.
Customer knowledge and brand engagement = loyalty
First, however, you need a real understanding of your target audience. You should know their age ranges, genders, and buying habits. Have you engaged in recent market research? Have you constructed thoughtful buyer personas? “Connecting these dots is necessary for marketers to generate brand engagement and ultimately, loyalty,” according to Judy Abel, a strategic planner for Fortune 500 companies.
To take her statement one step further, companies need to connect the customer’s real-world experience to their expectations to create a successful brand experience and keep that momentum going.
And, bonus: As you deepen your knowledge of how people interact with your brand in the real world, you will gain much greater insight into your next generation of potential customers and what they want to feel when they use your brand.
So, what encompasses a brand experience?
- Are you creating and inspiring emotion in a customer when they interact with your website, your social media, your blogs, or your team? Surprise is a useful element. People aren’t expecting to be wowed, but they want to be.
- Are you providing consistency in your customer service and your messaging? This builds trust, also key in longevity and loyalty. Remember, though, that consistency doesn’t mean that you simply keep doing the same thing over and over again. Rather, the successful brand will engage in a wide variety of campaigns that are consistent in terms of corporate personality, values and priorities. Which leads me to this question:
- Are you adapting to your customer needs? If you grow with your customer, you grow your brand.
Why are these things necessary? Well, consumers want to see that the companies and products they support have a life, a personality, and a passion to which they can relate. Companies can no longer afford to set up a barrier of billboards and TV commercials between themselves and the customer.
This is a good thing! This actually makes it easier for you to positively influence your audience.
Above all, remember this: Every customer interaction should be viewed as an opportunity for great brand experiences.