By Greg Berube, January 23, 2012
Customers experience a brand in numerous ways each entry point (Products, Advertising, Promotion, Demonstration, Public Relations..etc) shapes the customer’s impression of the brand.
Your brand image creates and carries expectations. It defines who you are, how you operate, and how you’re different from your competitors. In essence, your brand image is a definition of anticipated brand experience.
The customer experience can’t be left to chance. It should be actively designed and controlled in a manner that enhances your brand image. It must consistently reinforce the brand across every entry point or the value of the brand itself is at risk.
Here are five easy steps to building a strong experience:
- A reason to believe.
Your brand experience is irrelevant if your product does not live up to expectations. Therefore, the experience must be supported by reasons-to-believe. The brand must be defined with certain qualities that can’t be found in any other product. In addition these qualities – benefits – must always perform. Lack of performance will lead to poor a poor experience and eventually loss of revenues.
- Create entry points
Each step in your business process contains a number of entry points. When the customer comes in contact with your brand your ultimate goal is to have each entry point reinforce and create a positive brand experience. Entry points must be available for all stages of consumers brand life – consumers must be allowed to progress through a brand offering new and supportive experiences. More experience will equal more revenue.
- Determine the most influential entry points
All entry points are not created equal. Some will naturally play a larger role in the brand experience. To determine the entry point driving your customers’ overall experience, your brand can use a wide array of techniques ranging from quantitative research to market place demand. The methods you use will depend on your consumer base and the experience you’re trying to create.
- Design the best experience.
Once you’ve determined brand position and characteristics, you should be able to design your desired experience. Engineer each entry point to allow for the maximum positive brand exposure. Re-enforcing the benefits will send a clear message to your target audience – you’re prepared to offer a superior product with a superior experience. Anything less will result in a failure and loss of revenue.
- Consistantly deliver the best experience.
Look internally to employees and the organization plus externally to brand carriers that will have direct contact and influence with your customers. The impacts of behind-the-scenes individuals are less obvious but no less important. Identify which activities don’t align with your desired experience and make the changes as required.
Finally, every product or service you bring to market, yields a brand experience. By orchestrating the desired experience plus allowing consumers the opportunity to grow with the brand it will naturally re-enforce a positive brand experience. A positive brand experience will always result in positive revenue.