Stop me if this sounds familiar.
When your company last created or evolved its brand, a few things happened.
First, a team of key people in the business gathered into a room. They discussed at length (possibly with an agency present) what the vision of the brand was—painting a picture of what the world would look like if the brand achieved all its goals.
Next, they set up the mission. Ambitious strategies that would keep pushing the brand toward its vision across all areas of the business.
On and on it continued, defining or re-examining their way through brand personality, values, functions—perhaps even a brand promise or an ‘essence.’
Hopefully, it was done with the customer and the realities of the business in mind.
All of it was fantastic work. People left that room energized and excited for what comes next—positive that the brand would soon change the game in your industry.
Next came the visual outputs. Stunning creative that brings the brand to life and carves out a creative identity of which everyone in the business can be proud.
But then, something strange happened.
The visual parts of the brand work were carried through into the business and used regularly. But the other stuff, all the key strategic work that would form the strategic foundations for a world-changing brand—that stuff got put into a drawer and forgotten.
Not deliberately, not necessarily right away, but nevertheless put into a drawer.
What is a brand experience?
It’s making sure the strategic part of your brand isn’t put into a drawer.
It’s taking that fantastic brand work and baking it into every single customer touchpoint in your business. It’s empowering your employees to live and breathe the brand on a day-to-day basis. It’s the overwhelming consistency felt by customers that allows them to connect on a deeper level with your brand.
Why should you bother creating and managing a brand experience?
It’s been shown that a group of strong brands dramatically outperformed the S&P 500 index by 172% over a 12-year period.
It’s also been demonstrated that customers who have a deeper emotional connection with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value than those without.
A brand experience is therefore serious business. A brand that is formed as a result of meaningful customer insights, then baked into each interaction with customers, leaves a distinct feel in the mind of the customer. It feels like the brand ‘just gets them.’ Like it aligns to all their core values as a person.
Because you have that connection with the customer, you can plan how to maximize the value of that relationship—and not just in customer acquisition. A truly powerful brand experience will make sure the connection is deepened across acquisition, retention, advocacy—even down to the smallest interactions in customer support, billing, product delivery, and feedback.
Check out the infographic below for a better understanding of brand experiences, how they stack up against average brands, and how to go about creating one for your own business.
Stuart Harrison is the founder of Burning Need, a brand strategy consultancy for B2B businesses. Stuart encourages people to forget ‘customers’ and start creating ‘brand fanatics.’ Over the years, he’s worked in agencies for some of the world’s top B2B tech brands, defining brand positioning and developing content strategy.