Whilst brand experience is becoming a very popular expression in marketing circles it seems to me that we should be considering the more holistic concept of the customer experience in order to deliver greater returns for the business.According to a 2014 survey by Gartner, 89 per cent of companies in 2016 will be competing mostly on the basis of customer service alone which is massively up from only 36 per cent four years ago. It seems that more businesses are seeing the potential to having great customer service, however there are still many that need to follow through with such changes. In the past, a brand was more about what it said it was. Nowadays, a brand is what it does. As Carl Jung put it: “You are defined by what you do not what you say you are going to do”. We are now firmly in an era of experience branding and the impact of this is felt right across the business, which is why we feel that envisioning, mapping and delivering the experience should become core capabilities in a modern business and not just a tactical marketing activity. In this new era everyone in your business is either a brand builder or destroyer. We need to engage the whole business in the delivery of the customer experience, all of us using our brand as the lens through which we plan and deliver. We wouldn’t ignore our financial wellbeing, our logistics efficiency or our operational processes so why would we ignore the most important aspect of our business – our customers and their experience when they interact with us. Read more about branding a business:
- Personalising a brand: Trusting the customer to take control
- Venus vs Mars: How gender impacts SME marketing
- Branding: Five steps to achieve business success
Stage one: ExploringThrough immersion and investigation we explore the concept’s internal and external strengths and weaknesses. Using inspirational new insight we outline the possibilities and opportunities for the concept and build the case for any change needed.
Stage two: VisioningUsing the output from the Exploring stage we engage the company to create a vision that is distinctive and inspiring. We robustly test it and ensure it delivers in alignment to your business ambition.
Stage three: AligningWe identify or create the brand basics and brand amplifiers that ensure your customer experience, people and communications are aligned to your new concept vision.
Stage four: DeliveryWe help create a robust, sustainable blueprint detailing exactly what your people, communications and products/services must do in order to deliver the new customer experience. Throughout the whole approach we use internal and external data, both tactically and strategically, to monitor progress towards the vision, diagnose issues, prioritise actions and assess the impact on business. By using systematic and rigorous approach we are able to help our customers deliver consistency and distinctiveness for their brands through what they do not what they say they are going to do. Working on your own brand can be incredibly difficult. That affinity you feel is a double-edged sword. So what are the common pitfalls when attempting to work on your own brand? Andrew Stothert is the CEO and a founding partner at Brand Vista, the Manchester based experts in brand alignment and delivering irresistible customer experiences.
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