People live in constant interaction with brands; surfing the Internet, shopping, commenting on social networks or drinking a coffee in the store. These experiences forge the image we have about a brand and its experience. Which brands do you remember after having any contact this week? If you don't remember anyone, those brands failed in their brand experience strategy.
It's essential not to overlook the fact that brands are emotions. But first, what is branding and how do you make a brand experience strategy?
What is Branding?
Branding is positioning the values and qualities of your brand in the market, placing it in the public's unconscious by making use of emotions, marketing strategies and visual materials. Indeed, 73% of businesses invest in design to help their brand stand out. That's why investing in getting visual elements that separate your brand from the rest of unbranded businesses is so important.
It is essential to have recognizable signs people can link to your products, and if they can touch them and feel them, better yet. When you manage to link your brand with your customers’ senses, then you're creating experiences and bonds with customers. Branding focuses on generating experiences we remember and share because we seek that our consumers prefer our products before any other.
Some of the big brands that do brand experience really well are Levi's, Converse, Lego, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Barbie, etc. Samples of the great branding work of these brands are noticeable in the work of Andrew Miller and his Brand Spirit experiment, in which he painted certain products in white, eliminating any brand footprint, and despite this, customers reach to identify all of them.
We remember those moments that generate emotions, and this is what the brand experience does. To achieve this, brands need to understand their followers, know what they want and when they want it. Brands already know that it’s not enough to sell products or services, they must offer experiences and emotions, being able to make users vibrate and transmit the values and ethics of the brand. So, brand experience is the emotion that users perceive and feel due to the brand’s actions.
The sensations, emotions, and feelings are an allusion to what a brand awakens in us. So, it’s essential to establish quality experiences throughout the entire relationship because 84% of the companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue (Forbes).
Consumers are demanding instant benefits today. For this reason, the generation of brand experience is so relevant: it adapts to the requirements of the current market, manages to retain customers and creates a careful reputation. Similarly, the large number of stimuli overwhelm consumers. But those that manage to create a memorable and distinctive impression are the ones that will triumph and differentiate your products.
You don't have to look too much for samples of big brands and their brand experience strategies. Many of them are evident and they owe their success to the experiences they manage to transmit to their users. For instance, Apple is one of the greatest exponents that manage to create a universe around its brand. Buying a product in their stores is an innovative, exclusive, and attractive experience. What Apple wants to convey, it achieves through its stores.
Likewise, thinking of a coffee shop with strong corporate social responsibility is the same as thinking of Starbucks. In Starbucks, drinking coffee becomes a moment of relaxation, their stores create a relaxed and welcoming environment, resulting in one of the most valued and recognized brands worldwide.
Another example is Lego. Visiting a Lego toy store is an imaginative experience, in which buyers are the protagonist. In their shops, you can play with Lego pieces or photograph huge buildings. This makes it a fun experience for both children and adults.
Benefits of brand experience marketing
Every brand should think in terms of brand experience because regardless of the industry, there are always several ways to provide a unique experience that awakens feelings, associations and perceptions in relation to your brand. The most common benefits of brand experience are the following:
- Identification with your brand. The first and clearest advantage is the identification of users with your brand. If the experience is positive, users will willingly accept the emotions your brand produces. As a result, every time that emotions are there, your brand is also there in their minds.
- Differentiation. Brand experience allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors in a much clearer way than other advertising actions. Why? Because the interaction takes place at a deeper level.
- Recommendation. If it works, it will give users a unique experience. The resulting impression is so positive that consumers don't hesitate to share and recommend this experience with their circle of friends.
- Generate more engagement. That is exactly what brand experience intends: engagement and user-brand interaction.
- New experiences. People are constantly looking for new experiences, adventures and emotions. The creative effort of brands to offer these differentiating experiences fuels this innovative aspect of people. It makes them feel special for having the opportunity to enjoy something that not everyone experienced.
- Empowerment. At this time, users are more active than ever. They talk directly to the brand through social networks and if there is something they don't like, they say it clearly.
- Brand awareness. Brand awareness is another extremely important result that you can get. When there are good results, it means that a large percentage of your target audience knows that brand and is aware of its main characteristics and qualities.
3 basic tips to help you convey a great brand experience
In the relationship of consumers with brands, it is natural to have moments of contact and your brand has to make these moments memorable. For instance, having a comfortable and welcoming environment, music that has to do with the identity of your brand, a seller approach where it creates a positive perception about the brand, an aroma of the store and its products that causes a natural association, etc.
It's a matter of building an enjoyable consumer experience. So, your customers associate your brand with positive moments. In short, developing a good brand experience doesn’t depend only on the products or the design. It is a management philosophy, in which taking care of every element is necessary. And for creating this unforgettable brand experience in users, you must consider the following fundamental aspect:
1. Focus on design and branding
This is what branding is all about. Every brand wants to communicate messages to its potential customers that speak about their product or service. To achieve this, you have to use the help of graphic design and through logos, brochures, advertising, graphic image, and packaging, it is possible to deliver the message effectively.
Graphics are what will help you build your distinctive symbols and brand identity. For a brand, this is essential since it associates with your products or services.
2. Create the personality of your brand
The personality of your brand is the feeling that your brand delivers. What do we do when designing a logo, or any other element that will define the corporate identity? We are introducing the brand. It consists of communicating and transmitting the values and objectives of a brand. By the way, you can transmit your brand personality through:
- Communications: Corporate, commercial, advertising storytelling, tone and style, design, and content (branded content) take care of all of them.
- People: Employees are the main ambassadors of a brand, and interaction with them (not only in-service companies) is one of the main sources to generate good (or bad!) Brand experiences.
- Social and digital media: The corporate website, mobile strategies, applications, and blogs are among the touchpoints in this area that are gaining relevance.
3. Have a clear communication strategy
Why should a brand share its experiences? These are the benefits of sharing a good brand experience:
- Convey a solid image. Brands that publish their good experiences have a stronger image and promote a perception of responsibility and professionalism.
- Collaborate with brands, celebrities, or influencers to motivate the consumption of your products in a creative way. You can offer discounts, benefits or promotions.
- Incorporate dynamic and effective customer service to create a positive experience for your consumers. Always answer and be friendly.
- Post content related to the values of your audience. How? Incorporate trending topics to humanize your brand. Be creative and don't forget to produce positive emotions.
- Create ads targeting different audiences. Not everyone likes the same content and not everyone uses the same platforms. Diversify them!
- Design your website and add relevant and graphic content to produce positive emotion, confidence, enthusiasm, or appreciation.
- Strengthen the trust. As a consequence of this strong perception of the brand, consumers feel more secure when they buy from you.
- Build customer loyalty. The effect that this security generates causes repeat purchases, which leads to customer loyalty.
- Get brand ambassadors. Constancy communicates good brand experiences and creates brand lovers.
After defining objectives, methodologies, and tools, each company finds its way towards generating emotions. In fact, the future is for those brands that know how to build memorable experiences and permanently maintain an emotional involvement with their audiences, beyond their products and services.
And it is also important to know how your competitors are performing at each contact point of the customer journey, to find differentiation opportunities and identify what we know as pain points.
The experiences of the brand will make up the main component of your brand experience. The feeling of modernity and elegant design when using a product will attract customers, especially loyal customers, who are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company (Forbes).
Live the brand experience!
Brand experience marketing is about taking care of the smallest detail that can influence buyers, trying to awaken all their senses and generating emotions and fantasies in their lives. It contributes to maintaining lasting relationships with your customers. Brands are definitely betting on experience to be more and more relevant. Consequently, brands need to design strategies, from the simplest to the most elaborate to remain competitive.
If you feel you need more ideas to take your brand to the next level. Contact us and we will help you with your branding strategy!