Can I ask you a question? How have companies like Apple, Amazon, and Disney built such powerful organizations? Sure, they all offer top-notch products to customers, but so do many of their competitors. The thing that really sets these companies apart is brand experience.
There’s something special about unboxing a brand new iPhone. Buying products on Amazon is incredibly convenient. And our Disneyland memories will stick with us forever.
Here’s the thing: you can create an amazing brand experience for your company, too! Keep reading to learn five tips to help you in this area. But first…
What is Brand Experience?
Let’s start with a definition: Brand experience is the summation of every thought, feeling, reaction, and encounter consumers have with your brand.
The feelings they have when they browse your website. The first impression they get when they walk into your store. The thoughts they have after talking with one of your employees. The way they react to your social posts, TV commercials, and billboards…
Brand experience encompasses every interaction your company has with the general population, good or bad, and the lasting results they produce.
Why is Brand Experience Important?
So what’s the big deal? Will crafting a better brand experience really help you connect with customers on a deeper level and elevate your brand above the competition? Absolutely!
Here are three key reasons why brand experience matters:
- Engagement: Consumers want to engage with their favorite brands, but they need a compelling reason to do so. By creating an amazing brand experience that your target audience is excited to be a part of, you’ll encourage them to connect with you on a deeper level, which will lead to more sales and company revenue.
- Trust: How many times have you bought products that didn’t live up to the hype? Your closet is probably full of them. Because of this, modern consumers have a hard time trusting brands. A positive brand experience, though, helps build trust. When your customers trust you to deliver on your promises, they’ll become lifelong fans.
- Loyalty: Engagement and trust combined result in greater customer loyalty. It’s 5x more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep existing ones. Your brand will be a lot more profitable if it can inspire loyalty. But how? Brand experience. If your customers enjoy buying from your company, they’ll continue to do so.
A consistent focus on brand experience will enable your company to better engage with its target audience, build real, lasting trust with them, and turn casual consumers into raving fans that wouldn’t even dream of patronizing your competitors.
How to Create a Better Brand Experience
Now the question is, how do you create a brand experience that your audience really connects with? We’ll be honest, it’s not easy. But it is possible.
Here are five tips to help you craft a one-of-a-kind brand experience:
1. Have a Purpose
Who are you and what do you stand for?
There are A LOT of other brands out there competing for the same customers you are. You need to distinguish your brand, which can oftentimes be done by clarifying your purpose.
For example, Nike, the well-known athletic apparel company, doesn’t exist to sell shoes. It exists to inspire athletic excellence, ambition, and an enduring perseverance. Take a look at the company’s slogan and marketing materials and you’ll see that this is true.
Once you determine your brand’s purpose, you can begin crafting compelling experiences for your customers that speak to this objective.
2. Know Your Audience
You can’t create a winning brand experience if you don’t know who your brand is for.
Who do you want to serve by fulfilling your brand’s purpose? Get to know these people! Learn about their interests, hopes and fears, and daily challenges. Consider demographic information, too, like their gender, age, occupation, income level, and geographical location.
Next, assemble this information into buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents the real-life customers your company sells to.
When you know your audience, you can create brand experiences that cater to their wants, likes, and needs, while avoiding things that turn them off.
3. Become a Better Storyteller
Successful branding really comes down to effective storytelling.
If you can tell your brand’s story in a compelling way—a way that stirs up emotions in your target audience, you’ll connect with consumers on a deeper level that inspires loyalty.
How does this relate to brand experience? Your story needs to be infused into every interaction your customers have with your company.
Let’s pretend that I own a small burger joint, which I started because I want to use my love of cooking to make other people happy. I’m also committed to donating 10% of my restaurant’s profits to a local charity. This is all a part of my brand’s story.
To infuse this story into a winning brand experience for my customers, I can:
- Tell people why I started the restaurant on my website’s “About” page.
- Use a warm color scheme in my restaurant to inspire feelings of happiness.
- Ask customers if they want to donate to a local charity after every order.
- Train my employees to prioritize customer satisfaction above everything else.
Can you see how my restaurant’s story influences the experience customers have with my brand? Now think of ways you can do something similar with your brand story.
4. Focus on Customer Engagement
To improve brand experience for your customers, engage them in your company’s world. In other words, give them a way to connect with your brand in a variety of ways.
For example, you can email them surveys, respond to their comments on social media, give them free samples when they come to your store, create the occasional popup shop, run contests for fun prizes… There are so many options available to you!
The key is to keep your brand’s purpose and unique audience in mind.
Make sure that the way you engage with your customers is true to your brand. Also, do your research to ensure your engagement strategies jive with your audience’s preferences.
5. Strive For Consistency
Last, but certainly not least, strive for consistency.
This tip is twofold: consistency of image and consistency of process.
To achieve consistency of image, make sure every element of your brand experience, from your website color scheme to the attitudes of your employees, speaks the same language.
To achieve consistency of process, make sure your customers receive the same brand experience every time they interact with your company. There’s a reason why every IKEA around the world looks and operates the same way. This consistency inspires trust.
Consistency doesn’t mean your brand can never evolve—it can! But it does mean that you should strive to meet the expectations your customers have of your brand.
Inspiring Brand Experience Examples
Looking for a few brand experience examples to draw inspiration from?
The three companies below are brand experience masters, which is one of the reasons why they’ve risen to the top of their fields and become household names around the world.
Coca-Cola has based its brand on the twin pillars of sharing and happiness. This was clearly illustrated in its “Share a Coke” campaign that started in 2014.
If you’re unfamiliar with the campaign, the beverage brand replaced the Coke logo on its bottles with the 250 most popular names in America. It then encouraged its customers to buy bottles with names of their friends and family, give the bottles to these people, and tweet about the experience with the hashtag #ShareACoke.
Why did this campaign work so well? It spoke to the characteristics of the brand, sharing and happiness, encouraged consumers to engage with Coke via Twitter, and boosted sales. After all, the only way to participate in the festivities was to buy bottles of Coke.
In other words, Coca-Cola created a winning brand experience for its customers.
Lego does a fantastic job of creating brand experiences for its legions of fans.
Walk into any Lego store and you’ll be able to play with Lego blocks. Attend one of the company’s events and you’ll probably receive free products. If you happen to be in San Diego, CA, visit Legoland and become immersed in the Lego world for an entire afternoon.
And we haven’t even mentioned the many Lego-inspired movies, video games, and virtual reality experiences the brand has created to entertain its target audience.
Lego constantly promotes fun, an image that every toy company wants to have, by creating a variety of experiences, across multiple mediums, for its customers.
3. Harley Davidson
When it comes to brand experience, few companies can top what Harley Davidson has built. In fact, Harley customers are so loyal, some refer to the brand as a cult.
The motorcycle manufacturer represents freedom and a rebellious spirit, which is why its slogan, “screw it, let’s ride” rings true. But even more importantly, Harley Davidson represents a specific lifestyle. Riders consider their Harleys to be a badge of honor.
This lifestyle is promoted across all of the company’s public facing channels, including its website, social media profiles, and TV commercials.
No matter where you encounter Harley Davidson, you get a consistent brand experience that speaks directly to the target audience it intends to reach.
Better Experiences, Better Brand
A positive brand experience is key to the success of your company.
Crafting experiences that resonate with your target audience won’t be easy. But if you follow the five tips listed in this article, it will be possible. You can’t ask for more than that, right?
If you’re looking for more branding tips, peruse the CleanPix blog.
Or, better yet, give CleanPix a try for free for 14 days. Our digital asset management (DAM) platform makes the branding process much more convenient and effective with top-level features like automatic file formatting, a robust tagging system, and control permissions.