27 May Create a Customer Experience That People Want to Share
Brand lifestyles are established through the experiences that they associate themselves with.
Be it activities, sports or environments, brands draw on related positive emotion and link it to their marque. Moving beyond association and sponsorship, we see that brands like Starbucks, Red Bull, and Apple are now creating positive experiences that echo brand values, generating positive moments of interaction between brand and consumer.
Customers believe that their identity will be reinforced or supplemented if they publicly associate themselves with a brand’s lifestyle. In doing so, they search for an experience. Think about Starbucks. Their success is driven by those who work there and the special experience they create for each and every customer. It all starts with their mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. The second you walk into their shop you get a sense of belonging in a warm and comfortable environment. The result: over 10 million cups of coffee sold per day.
In designing a customer experience for the Starbucks brand, they have to know more than just how to brew good coffee. Store environment, product quality, training (doesn’t need to be boring, conventional, or mundane), the development of a playful culture (a playful and positive work environment produces vital and engaged team members), and a social conscience all matter a great deal. Starbucks is driven not by the quality of its products, but by the entire atmosphere surrounding the purchase of its coffee, the openness of its store space, interesting menu boards, the shape of its counter, and other things besides. This positive experience is what makes an amazing lifestyle brand and it makes people want to share that experience with others.
The truth is that most businesses don’t give an experience that makes people want to share it.
Every brand has an opportunity to create an amazing customer experience. If you’re in charge of your own brand, it’s crucial to figure out what that is and how to communicate it consistently. Once you create that message, you have to work extremely hard to live up to that message.
I remember writing content for one company, which would inevitably become their message to people on the outside. It depicted their culture internally and how employees were motivated to produce exceptional work. The content was so good actually that the main feedback it got from executives was fear. website load Fear that they wouldn’t be able to live up to it.
Outside perception is huge, but it only goes so far for so long. Once you let people inside your company, you have to live up to that perception – or exceed their expectations – otherwise you’ll fall short, and it’s very hard to bounce back from something like that.
Here’s how not to fall short on your message.
- Commit to delivering benefits. These are things like more time or money, recognition, acceptance, security or pleasure. Does your product or service deliver any of these benefits?
- Make and keep your promises. These include the features your product or service offers, and how you deliver them. Do you meet the deadline or delivery date? Do you include extras, or go above and beyond the ordinary? Do you find ways to add value?
- Follow up after you’ve delivered. This covers aspects of your business like how you keep in touch, how you deal with problems that arise and how you nurture your business relationships over time.
These experiences drive conversation on and off-line, between brands and people, and between friends. It is no longer enough for a brand to be stagnant and advertise; they have to be on the ground and a part of conversation.