I spend a lot of time talking to clients about how they wish their brand to look and what they want people to perceive about the business. More recently however, I have been stressing more and more the importance about taking your brand to the next level, from simply providing a service, to becoming an experience.
Whether you’re a mass-market global tech company or a more localized retail business, it is important that every time a consumer interacts with your service, they gain the right experience and leave feeling like they’ve benefited in one way or another. Providing a positive lasting effect or feeling will encourage consumers to come back for that same experience or recommend it to others.
I have recently been involved in assessing a business offering luxury weekend breaks in the countryside. The business does well and the offering is clear, the client is happy with how the business is now, but wants to take the next steps in improving the service offered to her clients.
She is targeting an already affluent market, used to being pampered, and doing all the right things in providing the right services. But, although producing a nice welcome pack recommending local activities, the interaction with them as a brand stops here, this is because opportunities to communicate what the brand stands for have been missed. What may seem like simple necessities, like soaps and pillows, must become considered choices – by displaying a reason as to why that product has been chosen can then promote the ‘luxury’ theme the company wants the guest to experience.
Choosing the right products or services that your client comes into contact with, reflects on you as a brand, and how you wish your clients to experience working, purchasing or interacting with you.
However, this is not only important when communicating your brand messages to your consumers, but also when it comes to dealing with other businesses too.
Another of my involvements, with a client looking to raise money, saw me revising the look of an investor presentation, to a way that reflected how the brand saw itself, communicating the values that the brand wants to promote to its target market.
The content itself was altered very little, but by presenting the document within the consumer creative, that reflected how the brand saw itself, instead of the standard bland and boring Investor Relations Memorandum, encouraged further meetings for funding. This was a perfect example of how a very calculated, more traditional approach by the client, combined with our team’s creativity that communicated the brand identity gained results beyond expectation.
Identity is something that brands, however great or small, have to be consistent with. It’s not just about how great your website looks or how thick your business cards are, but the experience you offer to your clients. From the first time your client interacts with you, it is important to make sure they can immediately understand what you offer and the benefit they would gain from doing business with you.
With so many businesses now competing to offer similar services to each other, competition is high and the chance to make the first impression last is so much smaller. In a world that’s rather instant in it’s nature, making people slow down to pay attention to what’s on offer can be a struggle – experience is key in executing this. Whether a its retail store putting on a fashion show to keep shoppers engaged, or a hotelier simply explaining the reason why they choose that brand of bed linen over another, there are so many ways to communicate your brand’s values and ensure that the end users experience is a journey not just a fleeting visit.