Brand Experience

An elliptical I bought ended up breaking. When trying to phone the company to claim warranty on the defective product, I was put on hold for an hour and a half, when I finally got through, they were less than helpful in resolving the issue. Needless to say, I haven’t bought another product of theirs since, nor do I plan to.

Stories like this aren’t uncommon. The experience I had lowered the value of that company for me. Had the experience ­been good – shorter time on hold and the issue resolved – I’d probably still be a customer of theirs today.

Creating a good brand experience creates value for customers. And brands that create better experiences for their customers flourish. As measured in the stock market, companies who are leaders in customer experience grew returns 43 percent over 6 years whereas companies who fell behind saw a 33.9 percent loss.

How can we create a better customer experience? Give customers control. Control works well to quell anxiety by letting customers know they have a way out. Netlfix CEO Reed Hastings makes it easy for customers to find the way out by clearly marking the way to unsubscribe. He reasons, if the exit door is easy to find, they’re more likely to come back.

Experience acts as an emotional driver that’s able to conjure up clear images in the hearts and minds of customers. With experiences coming to life in areas where customers interact with the brand. From first hearing the name, to buying the first product, then using it and eventually making it a part of who they are.

Experience is felt at every level of customer interaction and is a reflection of a brand. If something doesn’t align with what a brand represents, like a weed, it should be pulled out. By aligning experience and brand, you create better, more memorable, customer interactions that serve to increase the value in the minds of customers and the bottom line of the company.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh, RGD, is a brand strategist and designer working with business owners to bring their envisioned brand to life with strategic and practical solutions.

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