The brand experience isn't just the first encounter but its the take-away also; the residue that your customers leave with and how they perceive the experience they've just had with your brand. If you're struggling or don't know what your brand's experience is, here's some help!
Not long ago I met up with an old friend. He handed me his new business card. Surprisingly it was a sticker, I looked at it oddly because it wasn’t what I expected- it was different and seeing my reaction, he stated "Stickers are more fun." Fun is part of his brand.
After our meeting, I was reminded of a time when I was younger where I had just gotten my very own room in the new house my parents had built. The first thing I did was to put stickers on that brand new paneling. Well you can imagine the horror of my parents when they saw it. I had to remove the stickers which only made things worse… peeling them off left bits of paper, and nasty glue on the wall, and others just removed the stain completely from then paneling. So my new room ’s walls were marked… and still are to this day.
Realizing the cleverness of my friend's sticker business card idea, I wished more people I worked with could 'get it'; that a brand is the 'whole' experience from the awareness to the residue it leaves when all of your senses cease interacting with it. Its the feeling you get when you walk into a Neiman Marcus, a Walmart, or when you drive a Mercedes- what people in the industry term, “the brand experience.”
How does your brand stick?
You as a website owner, business owner, marketer have to consider your brand. You and your employees are responsible for the experience and its residue. Here are three questions you can ask yourself:
- How is my brand being interpreted by those I want to reach?
- Is my brand represented in my logo? my website? my communications?
- Is your brand helping you achieve the success you desire?
Some experiences are controlled environments such as advertising, products and services, digital strategy and websites, and even the retail environment. Some are uncontrolled such as the Google reviews, the ultimate ‘word of mouth’, the social media rantings of an unpleasant experience. A strong brand is formed from consistency in each of these aspects to form the overall brand experience.
Like the sticker experience with my friend, my experience fit his brand perfectly and the residue inspired this article. Unlike the experience with the new room, the sticker residue and marks on the wall weren’t so pleasant, and the experience serves as a reminder to this day to never make that mistake again!
Know Thy Brand
A great way to gain clarity of the brand experience is from your customers. Put together a quick anonymous survey and ask clients, business partners, co-workers - those you are trying to reach and have reached, to complete the survey. Some will, some won’t. Those that do will give you a clearer picture. Doing this often will help you be on your way to better brand communication and with that you'll get better results that lead to better brand experiences.
One way to do this is using a form builder like WuFoo
You can create a set of questions or ask simply, “How was your experiences with “My Business Name Here.” If you do the survey, let us know your results in the comments below.. we can all help each other grow and have better brand experiences.
If you're struggling or have just realized your brand has issues, been peeling the stain from your clients walls or leaving them with an overall bad experience, it may be time for you or your company to get some help from a branding expert.