Friday, 30 December 2011

Apple, Disney and Google are top experience brands

I borrowed the idea for this chart from the recently published Best Brand experiences study (Jack Morton).

It highlights the different types of brand experiences that can influence a consumer.

It matches fairly closely the experiences I write about on the path to advocacy:

Notice - discovery experience
Choose - digital experience
Buy - shopping experience
Use - product  experience
Loyal - customer experience
Fan - community experience

The key point is that brand organisations need to consider the experiences they are delivering at all touchpoints. They then have to ensure that they are consistent, differentiating and ideally delightful.

That is how brands win consumer loyalty and advocacy.

Check out the  study to see why the following brands appear in the top ten
  1. Apple
  2. Disney
  3. Google
  4. Microsoft
  5. Mercedes
  6. Coca-Cola
  7. Sony and IKEA
  8. BMW
  9. Amazon
  10. Louis Vuitton
Also check my previous posts showing which brands win in other similare studies: 
Beyond Philosophy: Most admired customer experience - Apple, Amazon and Zappos
Nunwood: Top 100 brand for customer experience (UK) - Amazon, John Lewis and Virgin

British Airways were listening to me..

I regularly travel with British Airways, and am an executive club member and fan (check out my posted from March 2009).

I was very impresssed by how they recently handled a tweet I wrote  about being bumped-off one of their flights.

This is a great example of a smart brand organisation that have a social media startegy, including social listening tools, that can help them respond to customer issues.

Consumers will usually forgive a brand that says 'sorry'. 

Full marks to British Airways.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Dominoes app delivers a great take-away

This iPad app is an obvious but inspired idea from Dominoes Pizzas (the best ideas often are).

The app enables consumers to create their own pizza, win points, be social, etc.

Oh yes, Dominoes will also deliver the pizza you create.

What a great brand experience for the consumer.

What a smart idea that they will tell their friends about.

What a great way to improve operational efficiency (less telephone calls, etc).

Nice one.

Coke ads usually make me smile - that must be a good thing

This is a nice ad.

It is classic Coke.

Engaging and up-beat.

It makes you feel good about drinking one.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Brand purpose is vital to ensure organisation is in sync

This is a good post [Jakara Globe] that spells out why it is important to have a clearly defined vision and  mission.

This quote says it all:

"One of the most important and often overlooked factors that separate industry-leading iconic brands from the pack is their guiding corporate mission and vision."

If a brand organisation's vision is based on how to value and treat consumers (which most are) it is a recipe for success.

If everyone in a brand organisation knows how they should engage with consumers in a considered and consistent way, particularly if the focus is on delighting them (such as brands like Singapore Airlines, Apple and Zappos) then every brand experience their consumers have is more likely to lead to improved loyalty and potentially advocacy.

A winning force for sustainable sales success.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

John Lewis create another sensational Christmas TV ad

John Lewis have done it again.

I posted 2 years ago about their Christmas TV which I loved.

I think years TV ad is even better.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Time shift viewing is fast becoming a real challenge for brands

A Guardian article recently pointed out that in UK TV time shift is now 10% of viewing.

This is not a new news.

The media communications industry - and our clients - are very aware of this challenge.

What is new is that distribution is accelerating (Tivo, Sky +, etc) and viewers are fast starting to learn new habits - so things are changing very rapidly.

To be honest, based on my observations (albeit sample size of one) 10% seems small.

In my household on Saturday night we record X factor and, as a family, sit down to watch the programme 15 minutes behind real time. That way we can fast forward through all the ads but still get to the end by the time it is broadcast live.

The recent rugby world cup was another example about how my family viewing habits have changed. Again, we start viewing 15 minutes late so we can fast forward through the annoying ad break just before kick-off and the subsequent half time breaks. That way by the second half we are watching the game in real time.

I think we are at a tipping point and acceleration over the next few years will become even more rapid - particularly with the important younger targets (everyone under 35s).

So, what to do?

TV remains one of the most effective communication channels to deliver mass awareness to attract new customers/acquisitions.

It is therefore becoming even more critical that brand organisations consider how to deliver life beyond conventional TV.

This is where digital come in.

Brand organisations need to review the first to stages of the path to advocacy (notice and choose) - and work out how to deliver persuasive brand experiences using TV content that will have a life in social media beyond paid for advertising.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Great Customer Experience is the Ultimate Brand Experience - Top 100 UK

Here is the ranking:

2. John Lewis
3. Virgin Atlantic
4. Emirates
5. Marks & Spencer
6. M&S Simply Food
=7. Millies Cookies
=7. Greggs
9. Hilton
10. Krispy Kreme

The Marketing Week article then makes an important statement:

"Great customer service is the ultimate brand experience. Consumers on the receiving end of a positive retail experience may spend more than they intend, come back for more and tell their friends."

Absolutely. ..

This is what I go on about all the time.

The success of these brands is clear evidence that building an organisation that is capable of delivering winning brand experiences at every stage of the consumer journey is a winning strategy.

If you are serious about achieving success like these brands than consider the consumer experience at every stage of the Path to Purchase and think how you can WOW them.

Also, check-out the Marketing Week article because it has a number of interesting insights into the actions of some of the top 100 brands.

Here are some examples:
"John Lewis encourages consumers to interact with the brand through well-trained store staff" 
"People find that the Richer Sounds staff are concerned about meeting their needs rather than selling the most expensive item" 
"Virgin’s staff are generally felt to be fantastic....Virgin has become a customer service case study for other brands aiming to humanise their operations" 
"We have found that what people love about Millie’s Cookies is the variety, choice, personalisation and the fact that we don’t come across as a big corporate brand"

Monday, 26 September 2011

Surprise Surprise...Apple deliver most admired customer experience

It came as no surprise to me to see that Apple ranked the 'Most admired customer experience' brand based on  a recent survey by Beyond Philosophy.

In fact most of the brands ranked in the top ten are of no surprise to me.

Listed below is the top ten. It also shows some of my previous posts that will give you some insight into why they have performed so well in this survey and, as importantly, in terms of sustainable business success.

1. Apple - Apple understand the importance of in-store delivery and delight
2. Amazon - Great experience drive word of mouth
3. Zappos - Zappo win by focusing on WOWing consumers
4. Starbucks - Starbucks coffee launch will cause a stir
5. Tesco - Tesco's neat scan to van app
6. Disney - Apple and Disney deliver some in store magic
7. Virgin Atlantic - Virgin turns problem into PR master stroke
8. Vodafone - no post (yet?)
9. Nordstrom - 4 tips on howto deliver consistent winning brand experiences
10. First Direct - no post (yet?)

If you work in a brand organisation that is looking for ways to outperform your competitors then one effective approach is to review the brand experience your are delivering your consumers and consider how you can improve it. It would be smart use the path to advocacy model and also look closely how the above winning brands deliver.

Those bad boys at Carlsberg know how to party

I love this ad.

It is surprising.

It is charming.

It is simple.

It delivers a brand experience that is absolutely what Carlsberg is about.

It will get noticed.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A man without a smiling face must not open a shop

What a great Chinese proverb.

It is spot on and a key part of delivering a great brand experience at the buy stage of the path to purchase. The first moment of truth.

We all know shops we have visited when we had a poor brand experience with the sales person (rude, poor advice, no smile, etc). As a result we may have been put off buying or at least felt less inclined to rush back to buy again.

On the other hand, we have also all had a great interaction with a salesperson. A smile was probably a key part that left you with the feeling of a good buying experience.

It does not take much but can make a big difference.

Retailers know this but don't always have clear values or training in place.

Sure, it takes time and money but if you look at the loyalty and potential advocacy it is worth it [check-out advocacy drives growth paper from LSE].

Kia nail ad will get noticed

This is a nice ad for the Kia Picanto.

It is getting noticed on You Tube (over 3 million hits) and uses stop motion technique to promote Kia's small is beautiful message.

It delivers a fun, clever and easy to watch brand experience.

I like it.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

What kills loyalty?

In a recent article Business Insider suggested 20 ways to kill loyalty. It admits to appearing negative but does provide a useful perspective - and check-list of what brand organisations have to avoid.

To me they the list is fairly obvious and a little repetitive, that said, the last point: 'a failed promise is a loyalty killer' is the deal breaker.

To be a successful brand you have to deliver the promises you are making (via brand communications). That is how you build loyalty, a key stage on the path to advocacy.

It is also important to remember that there are a number of different types of loyal customers [check-out Inertia, Transactional and Fanatical loyalists article], so for some consumers it is also important to find ways to delight them. 

That's how you build brand fans who are likely to advocate you and, as we all know, advocacy is the most powerful form of communication. 

Zappos know how to do this. They have a list of core values that everyone working there has to live and breathe. Top of the list is WOW through customer service.

Working out how to do delight/WOW isn't always obvious or easy but when you get it right, like Zappos, you will build a very successful business. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cadburys plays with Augmented Reality

To date I have failed to get particularly excited by the Cadburys Spots v stripes campaign.

This gaming idea (recently written about in Brand Republic) based on Augmented Reality looks fun and arguably a clever way to get consumers to engage in a unique brand experience.

Will it get noticed? Possibly. (It depends on the tactical support plan.)

Is it relevant? I guess so.

Will it get talked about? I have no idea but will watch with interest.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

St Johns ad turns heads in the cinema

I came across this is brilliant St Johns Ambulance cinema ad thanks to

It would have delivered an extremely powerful brand experience.

It reminds me of a British Airways City Break campaign that I worked on at Saatchi & Saatchi many years ago which, like this ad, involved an actress in the cinema audience interacting with the screen.

It is a brilliant and simple idea but will get noticed and talked about.

I love it.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Wrigleys car park ticket trick

Wrigley's flavoured parking ticket from Gustavo Vieira on Vimeo.

This is a brilliant way for Wrigleys to deliver a brand experience that will surprise and get noticed.

It may even delight and get consumers to talk about it (the brand experience).

This should be the objective for all brands.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

ZMOT should be a priority for all brands

I talk a lot about the first and second moments of truth, however, when it comes to choosing a brand 84% of consumers in US look on-line first - according to Google. They are calling this the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).

The ZMOT concept is simple. The internet has significantly changed consumer shopping habits. Now they typically start the process of choosing by checking out blogs, consumers opinion websites, social network, competitor sites, etc, before they visit the store

Delivering winning brand experience at the ZMOT is something all brand organisations need to be focusing on.

Kevin Roberts has posted the some excellent nuggets that Lecinski (Google US Sales) has suggested. These are key:

1. Put Someone in Charge. If it’s nobody’s job, it’s not going to get done. You need a ZMOT evangelist, in on every meeting and empowered to do the job.

2. Find Your Zero Moments: Find out exactly how people search for your product. Where do they go? Who do they trust to give them information?

3. Answer the Questions People Are Asking: There’s no point meeting people at ZMOT if you’re not giving them the kind of information they want, as and when they want it.

4. Optimize for ZMOT: Show up more when it counts by making your content super-relevant, and being where you need to be (Lecinski makes the point that having a great mobile presence is a big part of this).

5. Be Fast: Know when something’s making people search for your product, and do something quick to capitalise on it. Speed beats perfection.

In my view there is another thing missing from this list. That is to ensure you WOW existing consumers so they become advocates. This is a vital component because positive social commentary and conversations from delighted consumers will fuel your brand's on-line reputation.

Powerful stuff.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Monday, 4 July 2011

Tips on how to get mobile right

Mobile is becoming an increasingly important way for brands to deliver enhanced brand experiences that have the potential to delight consumers.

Technology is getting extremely smart.

Revenues are growing fast (ABI research predict $119bn of goods and services will be bought via mobile by 2115).

Internet Retailing recently published a very useful article for any brand that recognizes the potential of mobile and wants to start using it now. It has a common sense checklist when comparing mobile to on-line.

Here are the highlights:

Screen size - means you have to be sure what content should be served (with on-line 90% of page can be irrelevant).

Load times - mobile is generally slower so you need to think about content and number of steps you get users to take.

Mobile vs tablet – may require parallel sites to take into account differing functionality.

Innovative services – like Augmented reality and location based services are powerful but not always relevant.

Personalization integration –the mobile experience needs to be consistent with that delivered by other brand platforms.

It is worth getting it right because it can be a smart way to deliver brand experiences that will delight consumers and thereby drive loyalty and advocacy.

However, get it wrong and consumers will desert you and may even become detractors who use social media to rapidly spread bad news about your brand.

My advice is simple. Start to test and learn as soon as you can.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Zapposication - the new marketing goal

I rave about Zappos all the time. [See example post]

It is therefore of no surprise to me to see this recent post by, that shows Zappos at the top for customer service:

1. Zappos
2. Expedia
3. Apple (Computers)
4. Acer /Samsung
5. Kindle
6. Discover/ American Express
7. Apple (Smartphones)
8. Fed Ex
9. McDonald’s
10. HP/ Samsung

How do they come top?

Simple...they focus on delighting consumers. They ensure they whole organisation understands the focus by publishing, training and living their core values.

All marketers should take note as winning in marketing in this day and age is not about creating great advertising (although that is important). It is about delivering an overall brand experience that delight. A great customer service is integral to that goal.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Learning about in-store success from luxury brands

Here are two highly effective ways to build a great in-store brand experience (see Sparxoo article about luxury brand in-store experience).

Make consumers feel comfortable and special.

Sure, this is obvious, but the article highlights two good ways to help deliver this successfully combination:

Personalise tech

“….one innovative way luxury brands are adding a touch of special is through mobile technology. In-store sales people can deliver better service with the aid of mobile devices, such as the iPad. “Mobile devices combine personalization efficiency and effectiveness with an unprecedented touch of caring and nurturing

Invest in kind human capital

“..the stuffy, know-it-all, sometimes condescending sales associate is certainly a big turn-off for customers at luxury stores. LI takes example of superior customer service from the online retailer, Zappos. Taking a cue from the extremely polite, considerate and genuine customer service reps at Zappos, “putting polite, informed and well-groomed sales personnel on the floor is just the start, but done well it can be a true differentiator”

The iPad idea is fabulous. It seems kinda obvious but I have yet to see any retailer use the ipad to help improve the shopping experience.

Zappos is a brand I love. I have written about them many times because they know ho to WOW consumers with their great approach to customer service.

So, if you are responsible for in-store delivery of brand experience then look into: a) how iPads can be used as a staff tool to delight consumers and b) at Zappos for ideas about creating values that direct staff on how behave in a way that will delight consumers.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Elle Magazine brings Brand Experience to Life

I just read that Elle are opening a branded spa inside the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach hotel.

This is what I would do if I ran a successful magazine like Elle.

Build an experience that enables readers to engage deeply with and delight in the brand.

It seems in the publishing world a lot of magazines are struggling trying to work out how to survive and thrive in the new always on internet world we now live in.

A few are having success bringing their brands to life on-line.

Others are cutting cost in journalists, cutting costs in product development and as a result losing circulations fast.

Most have forgotten that one sure fire way to win over the hearts and minds of their readers is to deliver a brand experience that brings the brand to life and delights and excites.

This Elle spa look like it will do just that – deliver a winning brand experience - and no doubt make some good incremental revenues.

Others magazines should look at similar ideas.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Have O2 delivered the ultimate brand experience?

This must have been a fabulous brand experience for this very lucky O2 customer.

Imagine it.

Katie hobbs (random O2 customer) gets a ticket to an exclusive Tinie Tempah concert.

The big night arrives.

Tinie appears on stage.

Shortly after the gig kicks off the floor clears and Katie has her your own one-on-one performance from Tinie.

Wow. As she says, she will never forget it.

I love his idea from those clever people at O2.

They delivered a brand experience that absolutely delighted a customer. That in its own right would not deliver a great return on effort and investment, however, the interest in the story and the number of You Tube hits definitely do a good job presenting O2 as a brand that really knows how to delight it’s customers.

Nice one.