In today’s highly competitive markets, brands need to differentiate themselves and compete based on their customer experience, as customers now value experience more than products. So, to succeed a brand needs to design and deliver branded customer experience that meets customers’ needs and reflects the brand values. Your customer’s perception of your brand is based on their actual experiences both online and offline with your brand from the initial brand awareness, evaluation, purchasing, delivery and product packaging, product usage and customer service, that is every interaction with your brand.
To start designing the branded customer experience, the brand experience strategy needs to be clearly defined, to design each of the brand values to be delivered as part of the overall brand experience. In addition, research needs to be conducted into the target market to understand customers needs’ and behaviour. The customer insights gained will then be used to ensure that the branded customer experience is designed to deliver value to the customer by meeting their needs.
In a recent article from Marketing Week, it stated that the digital customer experience (user experience) is becoming a key brand differentiator similar to product and price. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the hierarchy of user experience (UX) diagram below from the Econsultancy design guide, shows the relationship between brand and UX. The branded UX is part of the overall branded customer experience.
Designing products that just meet the usability requirements is not enough, they need to be designed for Persuasion, Emotion and Trust (PET). To succeed, a business will need to design and deliver seamless branded customer experience across all channels and brand touchpoints in order to engage the user / prospect with the brand and to motivate them to take the desired action. Trust is a key factor when persuading prospects to make a purchase and they will trust your brand when their experience meets their expectation of your brand. So, the branded customer experience needs to create a sense of trust in order to convert prospects into customers.
Persuasive and trusted brands such as Apple, they can influence consumers using new innovative products to persuade them to buy and to motivate them to change their behaviour. So, it will be interesting to see how the new iPhoneX, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, which include Augmented Reality (AR), will change consumers behaviour with this latest Apple branded customer experience.
To ensure that your customer experience is successful, the entire brand experience must deliver a consistently positive customer experience. That is every interaction and touchpoint with your brand needs not only to be engaging and enjoyable in order to create an emotional bond with your brand, but to be consistent and reflective of your brand values. Delivering consistently great branded customer experience leads to customers having strong relationships with your brand and brand loyalty.