What You Need to Know About Why Brand Experience is Everything
January 8, 2014
We all know brands that evoke fond associations and feelings, whether it be a favorite cereal from childhood or a magazine subscription you faithfully renew every year. Those positive ‘brand experiences’ are what keep us coming back for more. It’s a magical formula that companies either mildly or wildly succeed at achieving.
According to statistics from Havas Media, “Only 20% of brands worldwide make a significant, positive effect on people’s well-being. Most people worldwide would not care if more than 73% of brands disappeared.” It’s easy to see how cultivating a unique and meaningful brand experience is a large and necessary order.
There are seemingly infinite factors to take into account when creating a unique brand experience. No one thing defines the way a brand is received by consumers. But, every element of a brand experience should move together in a well choreographed dance that excites and delights.
How can a company create and nurture a winning brand experience?
- Create and Inspire Emotion
Consumers want to see that the companies and products they support have a life, a personality, and a passion to which they can relate. Companies can no longer afford to set up a barrier of billboards and TV commercials between themselves and the customer. Instead, they need to roll up their sleeves and get involved! Two great examples of brands doing just that are Innocent Smoothies and Ben & Jerry’s.
Both brands make genuine social efforts and bring awareness to important issues to do their part in making the world a slightly better place for everyone. When buying their products, you’re not just buying an ice cream or a fruit drink. No, in some small way you’re contributing to something greater than yourself, and that rewarding feeling is immediately connected to the product.
- Provide Consistency
A consistent brand fosters a sense of security and brand loyalty in its customers. This concept applies to every detail from company uniforms and product packaging to architectural style and color schemes. When a customer comes across your brand, it should inspire thoughts of established cornerstones of your brand experience. Consumers take great comfort in knowing what they can expect.
Since it’s first published issue in 1925, The New Yorker is an excellent and time-tested example of a brand that has survived the passing of time. It has a definable and consistent style that managed to grow and integrate well with the digital world establishing it as a trustworthy brand icon.
- Adapt to Consumer Needs
One of the most important concepts of ‘brand experience’ is the ability of a brand to get in touch with the needs of the customer. Companies should always be on the lookout for ways to improve or evolve. The needs of the consumer always present new opportunities for companies to create new and improve upon existing products and services. Nevertheless, it’s up to your brand to listen and engage with your customers in order to channel these ideas into profitable reality.
Back in 2011, Vera Wang, luxury wedding dress designer, unveiled a new collection of affordable bridal gowns for the average consumer budget. Wang made a clear statement that, “Every bride deserves to have access to great design. […] Every gown I create reflects that respect for women and how much design means to me.” Partnering with Kohl’s, a US department store, she created a clothing line that sold in all of their locations. Wang obviously saw a need in the market and made her brand more accessible to the average spender.
To put it briefly, crafting the perfect brand experience is a great undertaking. However, it’s clearly a rewarding investment! If you aspire to run with the industry elite, it’s essential to get your company completely on board. As long as the primary focus remains adapting to the needs of the customer, you’re always one step ahead of the game.