The essence of what we do here at BOLTGROUP is to align your brand strategy with your business goals. My colleague, Ed, pointed out in a recent white paper that your company’s brand is not only a valuable asset, but also holds the potential to positively impact your day-to-day performance and provide a healthy return on investments you make in it.
Sometimes we get calls from a client who believes that changing a single item or a portion of their brand might change the course of their company. Perhaps a new logo could give their brand refreshed life, or just the right product design or package might be the big save for a new launch. These applications are important, but they only work as Band-Aids unless you consider the whole brand experience.
A brand experience isn’t something that just happens; it is something you design. And every experience is an opportunity to differentiate your brand from your competition. It is the culmination of all those brand experiences that leads up to the customer journey. When brand experiences are crafted correctly, they’ll deliver on your brand strategy, and help you achieve your business goals.
In order to examine brand experiences more closely and figure out how they all come together, you need to look at the big picture. An effective way to do this is to map out when and how a customer is experiencing each and every touchpoint with your brand. BOLTGROUP uses customer journey mapping to connect, collaborate, and align our clients’ business goals with their brand strategy.
Mapping your customer experience journey allows you to:
- Understand and diagnose experience issues
- Reframe and reimagine experience
- Redesign experiences to positively influence attitudes and behavior toward the brand
Customer Experience (CX) Journey Mapping also creates alignment and consistency amongst your internal team. When you only look at one application—identity, packaging, web—you miss other areas that can change a customer’s perception of your brand. And when only one person, like the Marketing VP, takes a look at a brand experience, they probably focus on experiences that pertain to marketing. But The Brand Ecosystem goes well beyond marketing—it covers everything from sales, to finance, to operations, to customer service, and six other areas. Read more about those in the “Brand Ecosystem” link.
CX journey mapping should cover every single one of the Ecosystem areas, thereby involving people from all those divisions. The result is seamless connections between team member hand-offs with a customer, as well as alignment between team members who might serve the same customer.
Ultimately, those redesigned experiences can lead to customer engagement, which is what every brand looks for to reach their business goals. We break the engagement into six chronological steps we call the “6 A’s.”
The 6 A’s of Brand Engagement*
- Attention—Use the problem as an opportunity and the brand to get the attention of the customer.
- Awareness—Inform the customer with the perspective of the brand (purpose, pillars, positioning).
- Acceptance—Establish what the brand is about and how it is different.
- Advocacy—Convert antagonists into believers/ambassadors.
- Action—Bring the brand to life by showing why the brand exists.
- Adherence—Reinforce and reward behavior toward the brand, measure position with a change in behavior.
So, take a step back and have a hard look at your business goals. Think about value—how much is it worth to you to get it right? Understanding your customer, their experiences with you, and where you can improve is priceless. And my guess is, it’s going take more than a really nice brochure to achieve the 6 A’s.
*Professor Nader Tavassoli, London Business School