With so much brand choice available, customers need a differentiator, a reason to buy in and keep coming back. Today, that differentiator is brand experience. Customers are demanding consistently positive interactions with their brands and if they don’t feel that connection they’ll look elsewhere. In the words of Forrester’s Laura Ramos: “Exceptional experiences are now your best competitive advantage.”
‘Brand’ is now defined by the customer journey. So what do organizations need to do to ensure their brand experience stands out in the marketplace, and what do these efforts look like in practice? The findings of a recent survey Brandworkz conducted together with CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing), highlights the everyday issues that, for marketers, risk compromising customer experience. Here we’ll look at the top six challenges, and at the same time, what some brands are doing to get it just right.
Make sure every area of your business understands your brand
Of the 2,200 marketers we spoke to 63 percent believe the Operations team is important to delivering brand experience, yet only 30 percent feel it knows exactly how to do so.
Every individual contributes to creating value for the customer, regardless the touchpoint.
Organizations need to create working environments that educate employees, across departments, so they in turn can transfer the value of the brand to the customer.
At UK bank, First Direct, every staff member – no matter their department – is reviewed and remunerated on their ability to deliver a service that lives up to the values of the brand. Account holders of this online-only bank have given First Direct a Net Promoter Score of +73 – that’s 30 points ahead of any other UK high street bank.
Great brand experience starts at the top, so get buy in from senior management
Almost half of marketers believe senior leaders lack a comprehensive understanding of their role in the delivery of on-brand customer experiences. Furthermore, just over two thirds say their senior leadership perceives brand as a tactical, communications or identity-focussed concept only. With just over one third of brands discussing brand performance and metrics at senior levels, it’s clear these misconceptions result in brand not making it to the board agenda and into the right conversations.
If business leaders are educated in the wider significance and inherent value of brand, then the responsibility for its companywide relevance can break out of the marketing department – with senior support.
Steve Jobs understood the extraordinary potential of brand and so ensured every employee knew how to make the Apple experience consistent everywhere, every time. Apple differentiates itself because it sells the story of its DNA, the ‘why we do it’ , and it’s that integrated philosophy, tangible at every touchpoint, that customers experience every time they choose Apple.