How to craft an unforgettable brand experience by building loyal customers

Tracy Steffensen

Brand experience (BX) refers to the overall tangible and emotional experience that potential and existing customers have when engaging with a brand. It encompasses a wide range of interactions, touchpoints, communications and content streams initiated by the brand.

These experiences can arise from various sources, such as marketing activities, day-to-day business operations and transactions with the brand or business. In essence, BX encompasses every encounter or interaction between customers and the brand, shaping their perception and feelings towards it.

Understanding brand experience will allow a business to shape the perception and emotional response of their target audience. Why is this important? It’s because positive experiences or feelings towards a product or service facilitate deeper connections, inspire audiences and ultimately deliver results. After all, building a loyal fanbase is easier if your products or services are perceived as top-quality and your brand as trustworthy.

Brand Experience vs User Experience: What’s the difference?

Although closely related, brand experience and user experience are distinct concepts that intertwine and complement each other. Brand experience is a larger concept that contains user experience within it. Part of brand experience is creating a memorable user (or customer) experience that is in line with the entirety of the brand experience.

The brand experience caters to the consumer even before they become a customer. The customer experience helps guide a customer throughout a transaction or an interaction from within the brand. Together, they contribute to shaping a comprehensive and engaging experience for customers at different stages of their engagement with the brand.

User experience and other elements that make up your brand

If we are to pick a brand that excels in brand experience, it would be Apple. From their retail stores to the packaging and the interface, all the touchpoints in which consumers interact with their brand are curated and harmonious with the overall brand experience.

To really understand what makes a brand experience successful, it’s important to see how the experience relates to other key branding elements.

  • Brand design – It’s all about creating a brand identity that perfectly reflects your brand. It’s your visual identity, your brand’s signature look and feel, that is instantly recognisable in a crowded market landscape.
  • Brand voice – It’s the way you talk to your customers and is defined by your brand’s style of communication, which should be consistent across all channels and doesn’t change.
  • User experience (UX) – Don Norman coined the term UX defines this as “everything that touches upon your experience with a product.” User experience is a journey your user (or customer) goes through to reach their goals with your product. It’s all about interactions, making everything seamless.
  • Brand image – This refers to people’s general opinion about your brand. It’s different from “brand identity” and “branding,” even though they’re sometimes treated as interchangeable.
  • Customer support – A poor customer support experience can make a customer switch to a competitor. This element is crucial to your brand and brand experience strategy. Unfortunately, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of a business that you also need to prioritise if you want to take your brand experience strategy to the next level.

Creating a Brand Experience Strategy

Now that we have identified the essential elements for creating a strong brand experience, let’s discuss how you can create a strategy to support your goals.

  1. Assess if you’re meeting customer expectations. Go ahead and start identifying areas where your current experience isn’t meeting customer expectations. Review social media interactions and customer service calls where people raise issues or problems. If consistent concerns around brand interaction or reaction arise, this can help frame the foundation of brand experience strategy.
  2. Pinpoint areas for improvement. Identify the areas for improvement. If there’s more than one aspect of the brand experience that could use a refresh or redesign, focus on one area at a time. Attempting to do everything at once can spread strategy efforts too thin and deliver less than ideal results. For example, you might want to increase positive social mentions about your brand across specific social media platforms. Whilst the eventual goal could be a larger social impact from initial contact to eventual conversion, easily-accessible social platforms provide an ideal starting point.
  3. Measure your results. What’s the use of your strategy if you can’t tell if it worked? By measuring, you will know your efforts are not wasted. So, suppose you decide to do the social media example above. In that case, you need to track user views, reactions, and responses to social media posts along with the sentiment, whether positive, negative, or neutral. You may also want to explore and innovate by testing multiple strategies to see which yields positive results. From video campaigns to personalised storytelling to marketing efforts, all designed to elicit specific emotions, it’s worth finding that resonates with your customer base and then fine-tuning your efforts to deliver ideal outcomes.

A brand experience strategy is a commitment.

Recognising that a brand experience strategy is an ongoing and continuous effort rather than a one time endeavour is crucial. Brand experience is developed and improved (or maintained) for the rest of your brand’s existence. Here’s why:

  • Brand experience is subjective and changes from person to person because each individual has different experiences and associations evoked by the brand. You should adapt as customer behaviour changes.
  • Brand experience is refreshed when a new product is introduced to the product mix. You should be consistent throughout.
  • Customers are always comparing brand experience. Competitors are always improving theirs. You want to be on top of your target audience choices always.

If your brand experience is dull and underdeveloped, don’t expect your target audience will engage. It really is that simple.

You also don’t need to do all these things on your own. You can get assistance from a marketing agency or brand consultant to help you have a better brand experience so you can start cultivating long-term customer relationships. Talk to us today to find out more.

Also read: 8 Marketing Tactics that Will Make Your Brand Top of Mind

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