Sunday, 11 November 2012

It is how brands make consumers feel that is really important

I love this quote:

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will not forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

For me, brand organisations should care most about how consumers feel about their brand. To do that the have to do something special. It takes planning and alignment of the whole organisation around all consumer touchpoints.

It not just about glossy TV ads. It not just about having a clever social media activity. It not just about a slick service department. It is about all these touchpoints working together and making consumers feel really good about every interaction with the brand.

Brands need to deliver experiences that WOW

Check out Zappos, who do this really well. Alternatively check out this presentation.

Consumers will remember a brand experience more readily than a load of brand facts

In my first Brand Experience Matters post in 2008 I wrote:

A brand is a collection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer”.

So, what shapes consumer perceptions?

A load of stuff will shape their perceptions but a key driver of it will be their experiences of a brand. It is each and every brand experience that shapes what the brand is in the mind of consumer.Since I started writing about brand experiences in 2008 I have been trying to find a good articulation of the power of experiences...."

I read an interesting post by Steve Davies's about content marketing (Skiddmark) in which he says this about experiences:

"We remember experiences more readily than facts, because experiences are more likely to be related to other experiences through one or more sensory triggers – the smell of a classic car reminds us of our childhood, the winding road in Jaguar’s F-TYPE video triggers memories of a favourite drive."

I like it. 

This for me helps highlight why brand organisations need to place more focus on delivering brand experiences that delight consumers not just making a load of brand promises (claims, reasons to believe, 'facts', or whatever..) that are likely to be at best forgotten and at worst not believed. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

British Airways use Google to deliver personalised brand experience

This is a really nice use of Google street view.

British Airways (disclosure: a client) invites viewers to submit their address/postcode before viewing the ad.

They can then watch the latest British Airways ad - showing a plane driving passed iconic parts of London (Houses of Parliament, the Chard, etc) - which ends up showing Google street view of the postcode/address entered.

Check-out the link and use ZenithOptimedia's London office address (24 Percy Street, London) to see where I spend some of my time.

This is a brand experience that will get noticed and get people talking about it.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Hot models get Abercrombie & Fitch video noticed

What can I say...

I guess this Abercrombie and Fitch video is spot on for it's brand and should appeal to it's core target consumer.

It is getting the brand noticed with an impressive 7 million+ Youtube views.

The store brand experience they deliver consumers - ' hench' models, queues to get in, dark lighting, loud music and indifferent customer service - isn't an approach that I'd typically recommend, but it seems to be a successful formula.

At the very least it seems to be  a film that people are sharing. A positive indicator of advocacy.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Hellmanns deliver an inspiring brand experience in-store

This is a really smart idea from Hellmann's.

In Brazil Hellmann's partnered with 100 stores and installed software at the check-out that provided consumers with Hellmann's recipe ideas based on the other ingredients in their shopping basket.

A neat idea that provides consumers' a great brand experience at the moment they buy.

I assume the objective was to drive usage. I guess it worked as sales increased 44%.

Check the full story at Mashable.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

This is one way to get noticed...Add Drama

This video is great fun.

Imagine the situation.

~You are in the centre of a small town in Belgium.

~There is a large button that says: "Push button to add drama"

What do you do?

Of course, you push the button....go on watch the video.

What unfolds is over the top but the message is clear. TNT - your daily dose of drama.

A brand experience that people will talk about.

Good one.


Friday, 16 March 2012

Mercedes invisible car works for me

I like this.[posted in The Week]

The idea is clever but the message is simple. A good combination.

Anyone that saw the car when it was 'on tour' in Germany would have had a memorable and powerful brand experience. 

The 8+ million viewers that have seen it on Youtube will have had a different but engaging brand experience.

Both will have helped drive advocacy

Nice one.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Experience is the next Corporate Battleground

This is the type of headline I love. 

"Customer Experience: The Next corporate Battleground".


Brand organisations are starting to catch-on that it isn't enough anymore to focus all effort on traditional marketing. 

As the article says, they need to build an experience so extraordinary that it differentiates them from their competitors and inspires people to become advocates...

To do that they need to build an operation that delivers fabulous brand experiences at every stage of what I call the path to purchase.

The article mentions Apple and Zappos. Two brands organisations that dominate all articles about successful organisations that get it.

Take a look at my previous posts on what these organisations do to win.

Zappos focus on WOWing consumers
Apple understand the importance of in-store delivery and delight.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Loyalty programmes usually don't deliver positive brand experiences

I have said before that fanatical loyalty should be a brands primary objective - but I am not a big fan of trying to do this via so called loyalty programmes.
Digital technology makes it easy to set them up but brand organisations should think very carefully before doing so.
Too many loyalty programmes are looking for quick sales but do nothing more than give regular purchasers discount cash-backs and coupons.
There is an interesting article from Colloquy about recent research that shows that only 17% of consumers say loyalty programs are a "very influential" factor in determining a purchase. They suggest that this is because loyalty programmes have fallen into a trap of copying one another with discount and cash-back rewards that increasingly look alike to consumers.
Brands that get it wrong waste resource, turn-off consumers and lose margin.
If a brand does decide to set-up a loyalty programme it should focus on demonstrating that the brand recognises and appreciates their consumers loyalty by adding value to the brand experience delivered.
The Colloquy articles suggest three tips:
  1. Give consumers what they want - smart analysis of consumer data makes this possible.
  2. Make consumers feel special – give them a sense of VIP insider status.
  3. Keep it simple and be truly consumer-centric.

There may be more effective ways to deliver positive brand experiences that drive loyalty and potentially advocacy. 
Tread carefully.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Great brands make a promise and exceed it

Seth recently posted a great article.

One line jumped out at me:

"The ability to delight and surprise is at the core of every beloved brand"


This is what my Promise Deliver Delight framework is all about.

Seth goes on to say:

"Research shows us that what people remember is far more important than what they experience. What's remembered:
--the peak of the experience (bad or good) and,

--the last part of the experience."
Designing and delivering a great brand experience - that exceed the brand promise - should be the primary focus for a brand organisation that is looking to differentiate in an increasingly 'me too' world.
This framework can help.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

British Airways have plans to make them smell better

I hear British Airways are planning to create a fragrance that they spray in their planes [see article in Business 2 Community].

I like this idea.

It makes sense given that the smell of aeroplane chemicals and the body odour of other passengers are not always that pleasant.

Supermarkets have understood the positive power of smell for a long time, although it  can attract some media flack [Mailonline]

I think it is a dimension of brand experience that can be very powerful when it evokes positive and fond experiences - think cut grass, burning fireplace, or home cooking.

If British Airways get it right then good luck to them. I guess it is worth a try.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Real-time marketing paths the way to delight consumers

There is an excellent article in AdpulpHow To Win Big in 2012: Create Exceptional Brand Experiences For Your Clients’ Customers.

The article talks about 'real-time marketing' and how companies have to recognize that change as the new normal.

I totally agree.

The artticle tells a fabulous story about how Porterhouse Steakhouse made real-time one-to-one marketing possible by listening on Twitter. They basically saw a tweet from a fan jokingly asking for a Porterhouse after a hard days travelling (he had just landed at an airport 23 miles away). They responded by sending out a  tuxedo-clad waiter to meet him with his requested steak.

As the article says, this is textbook case of 'surprise and delight'.

I love it.

This type of brand behaviour is at the heart of what I mean when I say that to win brands need to surprise / delight / WOW their consumer.

We live in a time where there is huge opportunity to listen (to consumer's social conversations) and respond. 

Brand organisations that get this and start to deliver brand experiences like the Porterhouse story will win, because it will drive advocacy and usually loyalty.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

5 Experience Enhancers That will Build Competitive Advantage

There is an excellent article in Forbes written by executives at PricewaterhouseCooper

"The Key to Customer Loyalty: The Total Shopper Experience."

The article offers excellent advice based on a study by PcWs that is designed to help businesses identify often hidden sources of value that lead to exceptional, differentiating customer experiences.

They recommend developing an experience action plan that’s built on the customer knowledge - extracted from your loyalty program—and that activates the following five “experience enhancers”. These points echo many of the things I have said in my previous posts:

They end by saying: "Businesses that understand what their customers value most in the purchasing experience, and that build strong psychological bonds with them, will pull ahead of their rivals and strengthen their customer loyalty."

This is great advice.