Leaders in the branding industry generally understand the power of the Customers Brand Experience. Brand management firm Prophet released a state of the market study, showing that only 13% of business leaders believe the purchase experience is the most critical driver of the brand identity bringing the brand future success, 36% said the product and service quality would be the top driver.
Marketing departments consider customers experience, but they also acknowledge that their companies do not value it as a critical component of the brand experience. Customer experience should be the basis for your entire brand strategy. According to a study by the Chartered Institute Of Marketing, 7 out of 10 marketers believe that investing in customer experience is more effective than investing in marketing communications, but only 13% believe that the company excels at delivering a day to day brand experience that matches up to what the brand promises.
30% of companies were found to be not using the brand guidelines set out for them. While half of companies do not use customer experience or employee brand behaviour guidelines. Managers seem to continue to emphasize product quality and attributes. Failing to acknowledge that the entire customer experience shapes their brand perceptions.
Encouraging businesses to look at this area takes some effort, it is difficult to fully demonstrate how important this aspect is, when most staff are focused on driving sales. Customer experience will in time drive sales, we must think long-term. It helps to put teams in the shoes of the customer, allowing them to make an honest assessment of the brand execution as experienced through the customer eyes.
Of course, this will depend on the product or service companies provide, but by visiting the business premises at various times of the day will help executives to assess the importance of consistency in the customer experience. This activity enables the executives to see things that an insider could miss.
Usually the executives will visit the business premises and sample the product because there attention is focused on the product and rarely visit the inside of the business, by experiencing that themselves, can make some sobering reports, but a collective frustration can help business look at a much needed grounding to see what is wrong with the brand, and the issues do not get sidestepped when the business has a understanding of how the customer experience problems it will make it much easier to get solutions.
Managing a great brand requires us to mirror every consumer, connecting with the brand right down to the checkouts or restrooms. Carefully looking out for areas that could enhance the brand value, or in fact undermine it.
Managers continuously seek out opportunities for brand expression in the finest of detail each touch point communicates a valuable message. Managers behind great brands need to think big, but try not to let those big thoughts distract them from the small stuff, all the little things we do for our customers in person out-communicate the big things we claim through mass media. The memorable one on one brand experience that has been designed to the last detail has much more impact than advertising and marketing messages.
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Article written by Paul Mc Cann Founder and President of CDG.