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As TechTarget would define brand experience as, “Brand experience is a type of experiential marketing that incorporates a holistic set of conditions created by a company to influence the feeling a customer has about a particular product or company name.” Well, let’s just get to the simplest form of it.
When you look at any brand or business to buy from, you will ask people who have interacted with the brand in any way. And depending on their review and experience of the brand, you will decide if you want to purchase from the brand or not. This means, the customer experience of people defines the brand’s quality. So, we can say that brand experience is how customers interact and perceive the brand. Brand experience starts a business right from the moment it is discovered by a customer and then further towards more interactions, purchases and reviews.
Now, there are various touch points today through which the customers can interact with the brand like digital platforms. Such platforms can be a brand’s social media platforms, brand website, communication channels and so on. Today’s customers, along with customer experience also take into consideration the brand’s online status before interacting with it. But why do you need to know about brand experience so much and what more is there to it?
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You need brand experience for your brand so that customers feel connected and inspire other people too to interact with the brand. Although, it is important for you to build a strong positive brand experience which can go to customers choosing your brand over the others in the market.
Companies go out of their way to make sure they give their customers unique and exclusive experiences be it with personalized products, offers and discounts or just efficient customer service. While carving your brand experience in a positive way, you need to make sure that you stay consistent with making the customer feel attached and engaged. It will help you to have loyal customers with lasting relationships and better brand recognition.
A study says that just 39% of the business decision-makers feel that their brand actually resonates with their buyers. Whereas, it is really hard to keep the customers if they do not feel positively after hearing your brand’s name. Further than this it is customers who feel negatively about your brand, and also those who feel neutral. Remember, neutral customers are just as problematic as negative ones. When they see your brand listed in their search results, if they do not have any positive points about your brand, they won’t bother to open your website. Hence, just the absence of a positive image is enough to drive your customer away from you. This is just another reason why most companies are investing and focusing more on their brand experience.
After talking enough about WHY it is important to have a brand experience, let’s talk about HOW to have it done the right way.
Well, understanding the audience and their choices is more scientific than it is critical. It just doesn’t stop at them, liking or disliking something. It goes ahead to understanding how their senses are taking your brand’s experience. As Dr. Aradhna Krishna, a sensory expert says in her book “Customer sense: How the 5 senses influence buying behaviors” that, how much your brand is appealing to two or more senses of the customer can create more memorable and compelling experiences for them.
As an example, let’s take Dunkin’ Donuts for the time they launched a campaign where they used to pump coffee smells into buses every time their jingle played on the sound system. Customers’ senses are deeply associated with the way of experience they have. So, the moment you figure out a way to forge a symbiotic relationship between the two, the trick is bound to benefit the brand experience.
If you have to attract the maximum audience, you will surely go to a place where the audience is already present in large numbers. And what a better place than events, where people gather in large numbers and you can gain more attention. You can do so by participating or just inserting your brand in such events to help a large number of people.
For example, let’s say Instagram for that matter, who had selfie-spots for the people to take selfies and post on Instagram. This way, people had fun while indirectly interacting with the brand through the concert. You can call it a marketing tactic where you try to gain people’s attention who are present for some other reason.
Another way to have a good brand experience is to jump the hype wagon. Meaning, go with the trend around the world and adapt to market your brand. Although, it is for a moment in time and with proper planning and execution, it can turn out miracles for the brand.
For example, REI created a Zombie Survival Kit infographic around the time when “The Walking Dead” took over the internet. They also created “Zombie Preparedness” courses at locations across the US. Now, pay attention to how REI never even mentioned The Walking Dead anywhere, because well, they didn’t have to. This is a perfect example of using the pop culture ride to use it for your brand experience enhancement.
Another way of bringing your customers closer is to give them personalized experiences. As a brand, you might want to tell the customers your story but it is even bigger to be a part of their story. By personalizing the brand right, marketers can benefit from both of these factors along with gaining customer loyalty.
To talk about some examples, IKEA serves their customers using technology that helps it to customize the services for each and every customer. Along with this, various other companies have inherited AI (Artificial intelligence) technology to give special experience to their customers, like stock market broking brands and others.
Customers are 2.4 times more likely to stay with a company that solves their issues quickly.
52% of customers expect brands to respond to their feedback/comments within an hour.
Use the opportunity to turn to deliver positive CX. When you respond quickly with an effective solution, you gain customers’ attention and exceed expectations.
If you acknowledge and make up for your mistake, you can deliver customer satisfaction and drive loyalty.
Build an effective customer feedback strategy to ensure none of the feedback slip through the loop without analysis.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and his interaction on Twitter is one of the best examples of turning negative feedback into a positive situation.
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Now that you have ways of enhancing your brand experience, let us take a look at how exactly you can measure your brand experience to gauge the brand’s performance and move towards making it even better.
Just like we discussed above, about customers sharing their experiences between each other, well when we talk about today’s businesses, this sharing of experiences happens mostly on the social media platforms. These social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter allow the customers to amplify their views and experiences which goes on to reach millions of people.
Thanks to the common use of hashtags and mentions, brands are easily notified when there is talk around them in any way. It becomes easier to pick out major stories and discussions with regards to what customers are talking about your brand.
Brands that run on providing subscriptions to their customers can acquire new customers through online sign-ups on their apps or websites. This can be used in favor of incentivizing the subscription for new customers for their first use. For example, Disney+Hotstar provides two plans for its customers, having different facilities. Customers can get the premium subscription with added functionalities just for a few bucks.
Along with it, Amazon Prime also brings down its subscription fees for some time so that more and more customers can benefit from their streaming platform.
Who doesn’t like free products? Well, your customers are the same. Many companies have built their brand experiences based on giving out free trial products to their customers, or attractive offers like “Buy 1 get 1 free”.
Based on your budget, when this type of marketing is done right, it serves the brand well by gaining customer trust and loyalty. A product sample study was conducted by Artibron and Edison, which stated that 35% of customers who try a sample will buy that product at the end of their shopping trip.
What is a business without data? To know your customer base means to know where they come from, their choices, perspectives and much more. Although, you will have to conduct surveys and studies to ring out what major kind of customer base you attract. After that, you can customize your services accordingly.
Many companies have adapted to the data science tools and analysis of such collected data which will bring out meaningful insights and results.
There is a new technology emerging in the market called “Crowd intelligence technology” where businesses track audiences and their movements in the market using Wi-Fi beacon signals that are transmitted from the customer’s device.
This technique captures all the customer’s online data in real-time about its dwell time, footfall, repeated visits to sites and traffic. One of the leading names in this technology is Crowd Connected.
How much sales your product makes also comes from product sampling form of brand experiences. As a business, you need to maintain this sales spike to ensure a stable brand experience.
It is important to keep the customer engaged right from the beginning of their purchase journey till the end.
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After understanding what is, how to and why to have brand experience, let us dig into some real-world examples of brands that have successfully built a good brand experience of their own.
Apple does not even need an introduction, just this is how strong and positive their brand experience among the customers is. Apple made sure to deliver top quality products and services, right from the Apple store to their packaging or products, ads and functionalities. Apple has ticked all the checkboxes when it comes to highlighting innovation, style and luxury.
Customers that purchased from Apple have been observed to be loyal to the brand, not only vouching for them but also affirming the quality and innovative products they sell. They have created their own image where they don’t sell a phone, they sell an iPhone. It is not a laptop, it’s a MacBook.
Red Bull has a tagline of “Red Bull gives you wings. Well, they were not lying when they sent skydiver Alex Baumgartner 24 miles above the Earth’s surface to record the highest skydive ever and become the first person to break the sound barrier during freefall.
Even though this record was later on broken by a Google executive, the fact still stands that Red Bull took their slogan to another level with this stunt and broke the records.
Nike realized that letting customers be in control of their products allows them to enjoy the journey. Nike By You allowed them to design their kicks, with their choice of color and pattern.
Along with this, their flagship store in Nike’s SoHo has a sneaker bar where customers could customize their shoes with their own hands by dip-dyeing, patches and accessories.
This initiative allowed Nike to get closer to their customers’ lives by giving them a personalized experience. This way, their brand experience lasted even longer after their purchase.