Brand experience is the ultimate brand value any business can gain. The overall objective for an effective brand strategy is to make sure your target audience enjoys an awesome brand experience at all times across all touchpoints in your business. Achieving this one objective can be very challenging especially for a business with financial constraints. Even with limited funds, your business must not only exist but be positioned to thrive.
What is brand experience?
According to brand experts, a brand is what your audience says it is and not necessarily what you say your brand is. This implies that brand experiences are simply how your target audience perceives your brand across every touchpoint they have with it. A customer who likes your expert professional service but finds it difficult to forget an awful reception in your office didn’t have a good experience. A barrage of unsolicited emails wouldn’t have given an awesome experience with your brand.
Some definitions of brand experience:
Brand experience is how the user feels when engaging or interacting with a brand. Some brands evoke feelings of innovation and technology, while other brands are untrustworthy and have a bad reputation. – Interaction Design Foundation
The means by which a brand is created in the mind of a stakeholder through all experiences and interactions with or involving the brand – OVO
Sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments – Brakus, Schmitt, & Zarantonello, 2009. Journal of Marketing.
A type of experiential marketing that incorporates a holistic set of conditions created by a company to influence the feeling a customer has about a particular product or company name – WhatIs.com
Carefully looking at the above definitions, you will notice feeling as a common theme. Brand experience has to do with how the customer feels about interacting with your brand. So how do you go about creating an awesome brand experience without breaking the bank? According to Alicia Tillman, a former Chief Marketing Officer of SAP, you should leverage these three main factors to building your brand:
- Empathy with your customer,
- Effective brand message delivery.
1. Brand practice authenticity
Understanding your purpose as a company and being true to your brand personality is to be authentic. For StarRose Designs, this simply means helping optometric eye clinics, small businesses or personal brands discover growth through design aligned with brand strategy. It means that creating a website just to be beautiful without serving as an asset that drives growth is not authentic to us. There has to be an impact that leads to growth. Consumers today prefer brands that create designs that offer solutions. As outlined in a previous article – 6 Must-Do Steps For An Effective Brand Strategy,
The clarity of purpose determines your trajectory. It involves a clearly predefined purpose. It also entails understanding your clear purpose, having a (smart) mission, maintaining a consistent tone of voice, presenting in a unique style, and even focusing on a well-defined target audience or clients.
2. Brand empathy with your customer
A brand with empathy is one that has its purpose aligned to understanding its target audience. Having a good knowledge of the pain points of your target audience and what value means to them will help you offer the best experience. For instance, running an eye care business in a highbrow area may require you to offer your audience wholesome in-house experiences. This would be different if you are in a rural area where patients come just for clinical needs. Again, a real estate firm that develops luxury estate properties must seek to understand those who need and can invest in its properties. Empathy will help you understand and position your brand for needed value.
To develop empathy for your customers is beyond just understanding who they are. It requires you to discern their top emotions and connect with them in deep engaging ways. It means observing them in their real everyday behaviors and listening with your heart to help you develop a human-centered brand strategy. It is to be able to dig into their emotional needs beyond what they say. According to Mark Ingwer – A business psychologist and the author of the book Empathetic Marketing: How to Satisfy The 6 Core Emotional Needs of Your Customers,
A business that invests in empathy devotes itself to understanding the emotional needs and motivations of its customers and aligns itself to meet them.
3. Effective brand messaging
Like brand authenticity and brand empathy, an effective brand message must resonate with your target audience. The brand tone, brand personality, and brand voice must be crafted to emotionally connect with your audience.
How do I effectively tell my brand story? How do I clearly communicate who I am, what I do, and why I am unique? How should I communicate about my product or services in a compelling way? How will I be able to convincingly communicate my beliefs? A great brand messaging strategy starts with discovering answers to the above questions and using them to tell a consistent and cohesive story. It becomes an effective brand messaging if it helps your brand connect with your target audience in meaningful and engaging ways.
The essence of effective brand messaging is superbly captured by Lee Fredderiksen, the managing partner at Hinge Marketing. In his article – Elements of a Successful Brand 8: Messaging, he said,
Every brand needs a voice. Messaging provides the words that help customers and prospects understand a firm’s value (why it’s useful) and values (what it believes in). It articulates the brand’s promise and stimulates the desire for a firm’s services. Brand messages tell a story that gets people excited about your services and rallies them behind your flag. In the war for customers’ hearts, messaging leads the charge.
Being authentic, connecting with your customers in empathic ways, and leveraging effective brand messaging ultimately leads to an awesome brand experience. The 3 powerful steps when used to align your brand purpose with your brand promise and brand practices definitely help you give your target customers their expected brand experience.
Book a Free Discovery Call with Okwukwe Davis – Optometrist/Design Strategist, to get started in creating an effective brand experience for your target audience through a purpose-driven web design aligned with a value-driven brand strategy