Monday, 7 December 2009

Brand usage – the opportunity

“Never, in the history of the consumer, have so many known so little about so much.”

I can’t remember where I heard this Winston Churchill misquote, but it sums-up the reality of the consumers' world today.

Think about it…everyone has a mobile phone, most have a computer and quite a few have some cool new must-have gadget they could not live without……but nearly all haven’t a clue what they are fully capable.

Is that a problem for the consumer?

Well, no.

Is it an opportunity brands?

Errr.. yes.

All brands want to increase usage frequency - as it drives loyalty, advocacy and sales volume.

To encourage consumers to increase usage it is imperative to deliver great brand experiences from the second ‘moment of truth.’

The question is how?

There are three vectors that need to be right in all categories:

First, when a consumer first opens the packaging.

  • Don’t used difficult to open packaging (avoid shrink plastic moulding)
  • Make sure the packaging adds to the pleasure of ownership (think iPod)

Then, the first time they use/consume the brand.

  • Make sure the brand delivers what has been promised.
  • Ensure instructions are jargon free and easy to follow.

Lastly, every time they subsequently use the brand.

  • Have a relevant re-contacting strategy (I get frequent emails from Cannon telling me about some clever feature that will help me get more out of my camera).
  • Build a fabulous customer service department (I had a delightful experience when I called Toshiba's help line to get guidance on how to tune my new TV)
  • Make sure the packaging will last.
  • Promote different usage occasions (my kids eat cereal when they get hungry between meals, not just for breakfast)
If you want to win in at this stage– the usage stage of the path to advocacy is not generally a focus for brand organisations - my strong recommendation is to gather the marketing, sales, customer service, etc, and consider how you can deliver brand experiences during this stage that will delight the consumer.

If you get it right you will gain increased frequency, drive advocacy and ultimately build sales.

Worth the effort don’t you think?

If you can think of any other examples let me know.