Collective: A Brand is a Set of Expectations
“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a customer’s decision to buy one product or service over another.” Seth Godin.
Contrary to popular belief, ‘branding’ is more than just the development of distinguishable colours and memorable logos. Those are branding devices that help with recognition. To which point, many highly recognisable brands will still fail despite their legendary logos and reputation (just think Polaroid, Nokia, ToysRUs just to name a few).
Branding is the outcome of a well-oiled marketing machine called ‘brand experience’, which is powered by an engine made of parts such as cognitive science, linguistics, haptics, somatics, information architecture, ethnography and anthropology. When strategically used together, these parts produce more intricate operating systems such as customer journey, storytelling and design thinking.
The sole purpose of the BX machine is to build quality brands and customer relationships, which in turn form positive perceptions. These perceptions boost equity. Strong equity signifies a business brand with loyal customers and strong profits. Rinse and repeat.
How can you effectively apply this ideology to your own business? Here are 4 key steps to get you started:
Understand your customers’ needs and values beyond ‘demographics’
The best way to provide a customer with meaningful brand experiences is by understanding what really matters to them beyond the transaction. Remember, they are also a husband, wife, parent, business owner etc. Tailor special programs, offers or services around their unique value systems and they will repay you with repeat business.
Map out the customer journey from inquiry to purchase and isolate ‘trouble’ zones
From the moment a stranger makes an inquiry, they become a ‘lead’. And the next action you take – or require them to take – will influence the likelihood of conversion. Mapping this process is called a ‘customer journey’ and every organisation should have one. This way, you can better understand at what point in the journey you win, lose, excite and disappoint.
‘Easy’ and ‘delightful’ should be the cornerstone of every touchpoint
That means assessing all your system and platforms including your website and appending an ‘easy’ and ‘delightful’ score. The best way to do this is through a customer survey. If you are averaging less than 80% for both, it might be a sign of trouble.
Shoot for the stars
As an organisation, you should constantly find new and better ways to operate and provide products and services to your customers. Why? Because your competitors are. Being ‘innovative’ is an attractive trait for brands, one which customers’ value.
So, Keep Calm and Carry on Spending.
Need advice on how to gain more ‘share of voice’? Contact our marketing specialists today.