But let’s go back to the beginning… what exactly is brand experience?
In a nutshell, it’s all the sensations, feelings and reactions that people have to your brand. It’s not a specific media type or social media platform. It’s the impression you leave in their head after speaking to your customer service team, walking into your store or seeing a post on social media.
That impression can decide whether they’ll get to know, trust and ultimately buy from you. Ever had a friend put you off shopping with a business after hearing how shocking their experience was? Yep. That’s why brand experience matters. Think about it; would you shop with yourselves??
Preparation is everything.
You might be asking; well, how do I create that great brand experience? And the answer is preparation. You need to understand your audience and how they get from A to B (B meaning buy – obviously.) To appeal to your audience with a meaningful, authentic and memorable experience you need a plan for how you’re going to connect it all up.
This is a great time to get clear on your customer journey and brand strategy. Make sure you have these nailed down a grasp on these before you spend a penny. But with these in hand, the 2 key things that your brand must do is a) come to mind easily, and b) create a memorable and positive experience. Here are some ways you can do that:
Engage the senses – according to Dr Aradhna Krishna (author and sensory expert, ‘Customer Sense: How the 5 Senses Influence Buying Behaviour’), to create a more memorable and compelling experience you should appeal to two or more senses.
Make it an event (literally) – this one is a great way to grab audience’s attention. Whether you’re marketing at an event where they’re invested in the subject matter or you’re creating your own event to bring a group of like minded individuals together; it’s a surefire way to create a powerful brand experience.
Popular culture – people are smarter than ever. They know your business is out to make money, so it’s important to walk the walk when riding a trend. It’s fine to jump on the hype but you should ask yourself – does this thing align with my brand and what we stand for? If yes – then see if any of the latest TikTok challenges or hyped up TV shows could align with your brand. Look what Stranger Things did for Kate Bush. If not, then there are other ways to make sure your brand is relevant.
Make it personal – brands need to tell their story, but they also need to play a part of their customer’s story. Many modern technologies now offer augmented reality (AR) to help customers picture that item in their personal space, location tracking allows customers to get notifications based on both their interests but importantly their location and product recommendations.
We’ve told you the ways to enhance your brand experience but what about those things to avoid?
It’s important to know what to avoid when building brand experiences as a bad customer experience can damage your reputation. A few common shortfalls are:
Following them round – you know when you’ve just been looking at something on Amazon and seconds later it pops up on Facebook. Yeah that’s a bit unsettling. Get permission and only talk to customers when they want to listen. We all know that our data is out there, but we want to feel like it’s being used properly.
Being unresponsive – If following people is a bit creepy, the opposite is just as bad. It's often been said we judge a company on how they deal with a problem… there’s nothing worse than when you had an issue with an order/service and not getting a quick response. It’s all well and good having a chatbot or live customer service, but you need to offer outcomes - and fast.
Poor accessibility – disabilities are such a large part of society and ensuring that everyone who interacts with your website/service should be offered the same experience. Things like ensuring your website can easily be read with a screen reader, or that you’ve considered colour blindness when designing your app can make all the difference.
More than a logo? You bet.
You know the saying “a brand is more than a logo?” Well brand experience is the reason why. People are busy. In truth they barely notice most brands, let alone read your sales blurb and remember it. If you’re lucky, they might remember that you’re the “purple one.” Ironically, this apathy makes your brand more important.
Having an impressive and attention-grabbing brand experience takes times and strategy to perfect. It means connecting your logo, slogan, visual assets, colours with outstanding design. And it’s about telling your story in a memorable way that makes sense from start to finish.
Some people say the era of brands is coming to an end. But with more competition for each customer, and with more demands on their time and attention; your brand is more powerful (and more important) than ever.