Our Brand & Image Development team is here to help your business impress your customers. Have you ever asked yourself why a competitor’s business gets more attention than yours? The answer just may have to do with the elements that go into how memorable the business is. And that has to do with branding.
But exactly what is branding, anyway? Think of branding as pre-defining what a company is all about in the minds of its clients. Good branding differentiates your products and services in a positive way that really sticks in the minds of potential customers.
Our Image Development efforts create results through expectations. It defines who you are, how you operate, and how you’re different from your competitors. In essence, your brand image is a promise – a promise that must be kept.
If the brand is a promise you make, then the customer experience is the fulfillment of that promise. The customer experience can’t be left to chance. It should be actively designed and controlled in a manner that enhances your brand image.
Here are five easy steps to building a strong brand and an optimized customer experience:
Your brand promise is irrelevant if your customers do not believe it. Therefore, your promise must be supported by reasons-to-believe. This will automatically add substance to the promise and define specific expectations for the customer.
For example, an automobile manufacturer promises potential customers that Car XYZ is an “intelligent choice for serious drivers.” What makes it an intelligent choice? Why should the customer believe this promise?
To address this question effectively, the manufacturer could frame its promise with two reasons-to-believe… sporty performance and safety. These two reasons in essence define “intelligent choice” and clearly set customer expectations. They also give the company specific direction for designing the customer experience through tangible customer touch-points like vehicle design features, advertising campaigns, dealer sales approaches, and customer service activities.
2. Identify customer touch-points.
Each individual step in your business process contains a number of touch-points when the customer comes in contact with your brand. Your ultimate goal is to have each touch-point reinforce and fulfill your marketplace promise.
Walk through your commercial processes. How do you generate customer demand? How are products sold? How do your customers use your products? How do you provide after-sales support?
This comprehensive trace of your marketing, selling, and servicing processes allows you to create a simple touch-point map that defines your customers’ experiences with your brand.
3. Determine the most influential touch-points.
All touch-points are not created equal. Some will naturally play a larger role in determining your company’s overall customer experience. For example, if your product is ice cream, taste is typically more important than package design. Both are touch-points, but each has a different effect on our customers’ experiences as a whole.
To determine the touch-points driving your customers’ overall experience, your organization can use a wide array of techniques ranging from quantitative research to institutional knowledge. The methods you use will depend on the complexity of your products, commercial processes, and your existing knowledge base.
4. Design the optimal experience.
Once you have completed the above three steps to building a brand, you should be able to design your optimal customer experience.
Determine how to express each reason-to-believe at each key touch-point. For example, how can you reinforce sporty performance (a reason-to-believe) in product design, at the dealership, and in marketing campaigns (the influential touch-points)?
5. Align the organization to consistently deliver the optimal experience.
A holistic approach to aligning your organization to consistently deliver the optimal experience is essential. Identify the people, processes, and tools that drive each key touch-points.
We look at your employees strengths to positively impact the direct direct relationship they have with your customers. The impacts of these behind-the-scenes activities are less obvious but no less important. Similarly, the impact of workflow process management and technological packages have a residual impact on your overall customer experience.
Lets identify how to maximize your key activities and align them with your envisioned customer experience. Determine how to address your online brand so that each individual component is used to maximize your bottom line.
Every product or service you bring to market yields a customer experience. Is it the experience you intend? Does that experience fulfill the promise you’ve made to the marketplace?