Over the last 2 years or so, I've noticed my role changing. Once a digital advertiser, now transforming to a Brand Experience Designer, which I've seen as an elevation of the tools built and used for digital advertising. Being the analyst that I am, I started reflecting on this seemingly organic transformation and found some practically amazing things.
But first let me describe what I mean by Brand Experience Design. I see this as the science and artistry of connecting each interaction between a brand and consumer in way that is not only personalized and relevant, but interactions that build upon one another and satisfy / exceed the brand's promise.
Let's break this down a bit.
"Personalized and relevant" is something that we as digital marketers have been saying since social media hit the scene. How can we leverage the data at our finger tips to bring together a personalized communications strategy. Well, we've had over a decade to figure this out, but most of us haven't cracked the code. But this will become increasingly important and almost a cost of entry to the relationship consumers will have with your brand.
"Build upon one another" is a crucial aspect of the brand experience design. A consumer who interacts with you online will begin to expect that interaction is expanded upon during the next moment, whether in store or online. However this seemingly simple task has instilled so much fear in corporate America right now. Since the dawn of CRM and IT infrastructure, we have all been gathering data on our customer in various ways, storing that information across different databases around multiple server farms. This has created a tragic case of legacy issues when trying to incorporate a strategy that uses interaction data in a way to enhance the consumer experience.
"Satisfy / exceed a brand's promise" is the driving force to the essence of Brand Experience Design. This means that each interaction or how a consumer interacts with a brand and that immediate response is one that only that particular brand can provide. This can be in the form of a retail location, a call center responding to an inbound issue, the interaction design of a mobile app, or the advertising message that is seen on a preroll ad. Each of these interactions are ways and opportunities that a brand can display their brand promise. And if these opportunities are missed, the consumer becomes more likely to defect. This also indicates that there needs to be a broader Experience strategy that the brand needs to define and instill across each touch point of the company.
What does this mean for my business?
In a recent study, only a mere 16% of companies think they provide a consumer experience that satisfies their brand promise. Also stating that 66% say their efforts are "hit or miss," with 14% saying they are completely missing the mark.
This is also reflected in the latest "Temkin Experience Ratings (TxR)," stating that average ratings across all industries dropped from 2015-2016. Also noting that the TxR dropped an average of 5.2 points.
This is a huge gap in the service that we are providing from our brands to for our consumers. And by the way, this gap can be monetized. Forrester has said that the top companies in their latest CX Report have an average growth rate of 17% from 2010-2015. Not too bad. So the drop in consumer experience ratings coupled with the sentiment that companies aren't satisfying their brand promises equates to a tremendous amount of revenue left on the table.
So what can I do about it?
A lot, but don't think of it as something so overwhelming. A strategy like this won't happen overnight, especially with the aforementioned legacy data issues. But it does need to happen. Daily changes can go a long way. Here's a quick work plan.
Define your brand promise and what that means across the activity in your business. How would your brand interact across channel and how would that conversation continue from interaction to interaction.
Develop current and ideal user journeys across the entirety of your business. This activity is a great starting point to this work plan. Plus it's amazing what you uncover about your company's processes. It's also amazing to see where your brand can go. It's definitely empowering and uplifting.
Identify how the touchpoints work today versus how they need to work in the future. This gives you a gap analysis which allows you to see what you need to do next. The gaps can also be prioritized to make the biggest impact for your brand's experience.
Then develop a work plan and start executing. It's as simple as that.
Be consistent and persistent. It's definitely a new way to think, so persistence pays off.
The world of Brand Experience Design is definitely upon us. And as mentioned before, it's an organic transformation from things that we've already been doing. Now it's a matter of refining somethings, expanding on others and reframing what our company means to our consumers.