The success of any brand is directly related to the perception of that brand in the mind of each individual customer.Today’s customers have a growing number of touch points to engage a brand, its products and services. As a result, it is increasingly more difficult for companies to differentiate themselves and maintain/gain customers who are brand loyalists. The biggest asset and differentiator for any organization is the brand experience. Without a doubt, it has the most impact in creating a positive memory and transforming perceptions.Therefore, organizations must pay close attention to the type of experiences they are delivering - whether by design or not, all organizations deliver an experience. The consequences of mismanaging the customer experience are greatly amplified by today's connected society. Research shows that over 80 percent of customers have stopped doing business with an organization after a bad experience and on average 40 percent of them have shared that experience online. Millennial have an even shorter fuse, walking out the door for good after a single bad interaction.
Despite these statistics, the customer is fundamentally the same as it was years ago. While the tools have changed, the triggers in our brains, although evolving, are largely the same. Customers want it all, they want it now and they want it with exceptional value and delivery. Today, however, the 21st century consumer also expects seamless interaction across the entire omnichannel platform.Numerous studies show that brands that craft a unique customer experience outperform competitors and grow market share faster than those that do not. In essence, if you’re a retailer, this unique and unified customer experience that is the culmination of all the emotional and physical interactions with your brand, cannot be ignored. The following are three key steps to ensuring you're one of the out-performers:
- Have a clear understanding of the market segment, consumer culture and business opportunities that then inform brand strategy and help guide the design principles that shape the brand experience.
- Break down the traditional silos that separate corporate leadership. Connect groups to an overarching initiative to motivate and inspire change.
- Establish mapping techniques that visually unfold key touch points before, during and after a brand engagement. The map reveals how the use of experiential, sensorial and physiological brand cues express and represent brand attributes at each point of contact. This includes everything from the marketing campaign that creates brand awareness, to the customer journey inside a store, to the way store associates engage with customers.