Branding in the age of experience
In today’s digital world your brand, and your competitors, are constantly at the fingertips of potential customers. Interaction and user experience is the new currency, as your brand constantly converses, engages and interacts with the consumers on a diverse range of platforms.
In the past the importance of interaction, for forming a brand positive image, was only highlighted in service-based industries. What’s new? As all brands now have a digital presence, customers have frequent interactive experiences with all categories of companies. What a company looks like, sounds like, and how it behaves all become factors of what a brand means to a consumer; but with so much noise, how can a brand stand out? Brands are now defined by the sum of their communications and interactions so, in order to stand out, marketers must understand the main components that make up a consumer’s perception of a brand.
Visuals comprise the graphic elements used to communicate the brand; including the logo, typeface, images, and other elements of a style guide.
Tone is used to express the brand’s feelings or thoughts. In other words, it’s the style of communication the brand uses; from the text on a website and the messaging developed and used in targeted advertisements to the manner in which staff speak to customers.
Behaviour represents how the company acts in certain situations. Does the company reflect the morals and values of their customers? Do they actively express those values through their actions?
Only when all three components are present and aligned to a core brand message, do customers have a consistent enough experience to form a clear brand image. In the digital world we live in today, customers interact with the representation of the brand in the form of websites, social media accounts, and other interactive services, making behaviour a crucial attribute of the brand.
The granularity of behaviour as a brand attribute does vary as it can be expressed holistically, at the level of entire processes and interactions on a site, or at a finer level, in more specific behavioural guidelines for a brand's various touchpoints.
Why User Experience (UX) is a brand differentiator
Most people can’t differentiate how they feel about a brand from how they feel about the experiences they have with that brand, so in many situations, UX becomes the brand differentiator. It can be part of, or all of, the reason a customer chooses to engage with a company or its products.
Brands that are, at the core of their business, addressing an unmet user need are regularly disrupting industries by focusing on UX and, specifically, on unmet user needs as brand differentiators and succeeding in oversaturated markets by doing so. Examples are not hard to find: Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix are all based on this philosophy of making their branded service as easy to use a possible. Check out our client OPEN who has hit the mark by focusing on user experience with their newly launched app that is bound to make the life of any homeowner that much less stressful.
With more competition in the market, and consumers having access to a range of competitors through digital platforms, it’s more important than ever to stand out. In order to do so the entire experience of a consumer looking for, finding, and interacting with your brand must deliver a consistent and seamless user experience.
Interested to find out more? Chat to us about how we can differentiate your brand.
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