In a world bombarded continuously by content and sales pitches, the way to close the sale lies in the brand experience. Every single day you’ll find an article about how fast marketing is changing. But it’s the needs and way of the audience of doing business that changes. We, as business owners and marketers, need to adapt or die.
Let’s discuss what brand experience means. Now if you go to that Google machine and type in “brand experience,”. you’re more than likely to find a ton of marketing and public relations firms talking about how they have brand experience. That is, they’ve worked with brands. That’s not what we’re talking about.
We’re talking about the experience consumers have with your brand. That means everything from the first interaction to after the sale.
The Comcast Example…
When talking about brand experiences, Comcast comes to mind. The internet is full of complaints about how Comcast handles customer service throughout the entire buyer’s journey. At the Digital Summit in 2017, Comcast talked about their terrible reputation in the customer service department. They discussed their reliance on being the most available provider nationwide, instead of listening to the customers. There’s a massive push at Comcast right now to create a better brand experience for consumers.
The problem at a vast majority of companies is that each department operates as a single entity. Marketing, sales, legal, follow up, etc. all handle the consumer at a particular stage. They never discuss what is happening amongst the departments. For the business, these seem like separate interactions as each department only deals with a specific situation. But for the consumer, it’s all one interaction.
Making a brand experience a focus on your overall business strategy is sure to help you not only stand out from the crowd but to retain clients, create a strong word-of-mouth marketing team (aka happy consumers) and drive costs per lead and cost per conversion down. Everyone makes money; more money stays in business and consumers are happier. Everyone wins with a focus on brand experience.
So how do we create a stellar brand experience?
1. Focus on clients
What do they need? What are their questions? How can you be a better resource for them? I don’t believe in B2B or B2C marketing because at the end of the day we’re all people and so there needs to be more of a focus on H2H marketing. Human to Human marketing is where the real conversions come in. When we lead with passion, authenticity, and value, we create consumers for life because they feel heard and valued. Everyone craves to feel validated. Your brand can do that.
We focus on improving course completion rate by offering our customers an excellent experience.
2. Engage all the senses
Whether you focus entirely on digital or have a physical location, it is imperative to engage all the senses. When creating your brand, think about what your brand smells like – yes smells like! What does it taste like? What foods do you associate with your brand? How will it look? What sort of textures does one experience with your brand?
Consider all the senses when creating a brand because it’s all part of the experience. You know how certain smells take you back to memories, both positive and negative? It’s the same way with your business. If your business is touching all the senses in a positive light, those senses will be triggered out in the real world. Thus, eliciting a positive response and remembrance of your brand. We all want that, don’t we?
3. Be bold & adapt
Sometimes we have to do things outside of our norm to connect with the consumer.
Most brands lead by media, but in reality, we should be leading by brand experience and allowing the media to support the brand experience. When social media first came out, businesses were reluctant to join. Even now, some businesses are failing to get with the times because it feels too new and too uncharted for them. Adapt or die comes to mind. Major retailers are going out of business because they have failed to adapt to what the consumer wants and needs.
Don’t be the company that fails to adapt to what their consumers are saying.
A prime example would be the commercial industry. Raise your hand if you watch commercials willingly. I think your hand is still down. Why? Because that’s when we go grab a snack, run to the restroom, call our mom back, etc. This is why Netflix is so popular. This is why providers now offer no-commercial options. People don’t like them. We tune them out. So why are companies spending millions on them? Because they haven’t adapted yet.
In our case, customers wanted education, so we created Smart Academy. This academy helps business owners fine tune their product creation and launch process, amplifying their results.
4. Involve the consumer – Build a community
Sand Cloud is a prime example of how involving the consumer can help the brand experience along. Sand Cloud is a company that makes beach friendly products with a mission to help “save the fishies.” They have massively encouraged consumers to be ambassadors, use their social media, vote on new products, etc.
As a result, the consumers feel valued. They feel like they are part of the company, helping to lead and guide to the things they care most about.
Why does this work? We all want to feel validated. Involving the consumer in what style of shirt they want to see next makes the consumer feel like a part of the company. We all know when we have a stake in something, we’re more likely to care about it and promote it.
Sand Cloud has created an entirely free marketing team by merely letting the customer feel valued. In exchange for sharing about the brand, ambassadors get a percentage off of their order and can gift friends a discount. With more than 31,000 tags on Instagram using the hashtag #sandcloudambassadors – something must be working.
We also focus on building a community within our programs.
Intentional Brand Experience
So how do we focus on creating an intentional brand experience? We say intentionally because whether you acknowledge it or not, there is a brand experience happening. It’s up to you to decide what the experience is.
Creating an intentional brand experience is about speaking to your consumer. What do they want and/or need? Why do they come to you for currently? What would you like them to go to you for? Is there cohesiveness here?
Figure out what consumers already think about the brand experience. Then determine where there are gaps, what can be improved, what is working insanely well, etc.
When you’ve mapped it out all, start being more intentional about ensuring a consistent brand experience that permeates through every facet of your business.
The more consistent the brand experience, the more likely you are to have happy customers. The more likely are these customers to recommend your business to their friends.
We hope you enjoyed this post. Brand building and experience is something we talk about inside our Facebook group. Join us here.