When you hear the word brand experience, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You can define brand experience in different ways, but the closest definition captures it: It’s the lasting impression customers develop of your brand. It is the culmination of thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and reactions from small direct marketing campaigns to more effective popup ad campaigns, product launches, and, ultimately, the user experience that people have from using your brand's products.
Brand experience describes customers' emotional experience when interacting with your brand.
It combines user experience, customer experience, and overall brand identity.
Brand experience encompasses customers' feelings before and after interacting with your brand. The name of a brand evokes what it sells.
Brand experience is an extension of user experience, covering the broader range of people who experience your brand. User experience speaks largely to positive and negative takeaways associated with your brand, while the brand experience speaks to the overall brand impression. Positive user experience leads to better brand experiences.
Brand experience is subjective. You can create experiences that produce reactions across a spectrum. Individual users will respond differently. It doesn’t matter how much care you take to curate the brand experience; customers will experience things negatively.
The goal isn’t to create a uniform, universal experience but something that speaks positively to many target customers.
Breaking Down Brand Experience Design
Only 39% of business decision-makers say their brand accurately resonates with potential customers.
This can be a problem. If people don’t connect with your brand with positive emotions and reactions, they’re not very likely to remember your products when it’s most important—when they have to make a purchase.
Neutrality isn’t always enough. Negative brand impressions can drive customers away. But neutral impressions aren’t entirely free of problems. Customers can see your brand listed on search engines or through advertisements, but they won’t choose you over other companies who sell their products with the help of better messaging. You need to provide them with a strong reason to buy from you over others.
So what’s the entire picture that represents brand experience? Here are the four most important components:
Perception is a crucial part of brand experience. Perception builds on audio, visual, and other forms of interaction tied to specific popup ad campaigns. Brands, through their campaigns, can merge different senses to create connections and drive sales.
For example, Sephora, a leader in the cosmetics space, created a unique integrated brand experience by letting shoppers try on different makeup virtually and see in real time how it compliments their look. This combined virtual reality and the excitement of shopping at a real-world store(that often lets shoppers try out different makeup before buying) all from the comfort of their homes.
In addition to this, there’s also the fact that customers will be able to see their experiences more positively if they’re able to participate in the background than simply watch what’s going on.
TikTok, for instance, was able to quickly gather a significant market share because it made users participate rather than remain as bystanders. Not such social media sites or hashtag campaigns alone can create engagement. You too can. For your brand, interactivity may mean offering a way to add suggestions or interact through real-time questions. Also, any physical installation allowing potential customers to touch the product and provide feedback is something to dwell on.
Marketing campaigns can produce returns, but personalization can help encourage a more extensive connection that bridges different segments. Using user-provided data and data captured from social media interactions and other pieces of information, you can personalize your messaging to forge connections between customer needs and what you have on offer.
Creating a Brand Experience Strategy
This is how you build an effective brand experience.
1. Assess whether or not you’re meeting customer expectations
Start by taking stock of areas where customer experience isn’t up to par. A great way to understand this is through social media interactions of people with the brand. It’s here where they share their expectations. If concerns arise, routinely use that feedback to improve the brand experience. You can use the pain points you learnt at this stage to craft your website copy at a later stage.
2. Identify areas for improvement
Next, target areas you can improve. For example, hammered with so many ads on social that look at the same and induce creative fatigue, people are looking for something new. Understand and cater to that. There are several areas of brand experience that could use a refresher. However, doing everything simultaneously spreads you too thin and brings less-than-ideal results.
You can increase social mentions on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. The goal might be to drive a larger impact that begins from the initial contact and moves to conversion.
3. Measure your results
As with everything in life, you can’t understand your progress if you don’t measure your results. For social media, tracking results means looking at views, reactions, and responses to your social media posts, be they positive, negative, or neutral.
This is where you explore and innovate by testing different strategies. Your goal is to find one thing that sticks.
Find what resonates well with your customer base and fine-tune your results to deliver better outcomes.
Brand experience is a holistic branding concept that considers customer experience, messaging, brand identity, and other aspects of branding throughout the customer life cycle.
Brand experience is more of a result. The lasting impression comes after someone engages with your brand meaningfully.
Brand optimization aims to create quality, consistent and meaningful experiences from every interaction.
The Pretense of Good Service isn’t Enough
Brand identity is the sum of all these factors by which a customer experiences the brand combined. That means feel-good prompt customer service may not be enough to drive up brand value.
Brand Identity (BI)
Brand identity means your values, messaging, service, visual identity, and other aspects that serve as the foundation of your brand.
Customer support isn’t always enough. A brand strategy and logo from top agencies don’t suffice anymore. Experiences must be dense and complement each other to create a cohesive brand experience.
Why is brand experience significant?
Positive experiences can help us with better brand connections, inspire the audience, and deliver outstanding results for your business. It's easy to see why branding sells. Why do so many people choose Apple over Android phones despite the former’s flaws and a relatively similar level of technology? There’s the packaging, the crisp feel of Apple products, the in-store experience, and everything else that makes Apple products distinctly them. It took years of development and cultivating their fanbase before they could reach this spot.
At the center of this success is Apple’s consistent branding experience. Many brands focus on flashy experiences, but they don’t do it with consistency. Others deliver consistent brand experiences, but there’s nothing new in those experiences that we can take home, write about, or fall in love with.
As a brand, you must invest in creating unique and meaningful experiences that can draw customers in and keep them in and around.
What Is Emotional Branding?
Emotional Branding is a term coined for branding that speaks to consumers’ emotional state, needs, and aspirations. Emotional branding is hugely successful when it triggers an emotional response to a product or service. Emotional brands can create strong and lasting attachments to brands and result in bonding or companionship.
Emotional branding aims to create a bond between consumers and the product by tapping into consumers’ emotions.
When buying something, the consumer generally acts emotionally, reacting to images and designs around the product. Emotions are associated with compulsive behavior culminating in a subconscious reaction to stimuli.
Most companies today are booming owing to the relationships they built with consumers by engaging with them through personal dialogue.
Marketers who broke through clutter did so by connecting with consumers and creating strong brands. You need to create an emotional love affair with customers and provide them with buzz.
When that transforms into a relationship, you have a fantastic brand.
Your brand personality reflects the character of your brand and charisma. Your brand shows customers how you differentiate yourself from your peers. Next is a strong emotional appeal. A brand message feels flat and incomplete without emotional branding.
These touch points and interactions across multiple forms of brand communication in design, performance, and packaging sum up a customer’s brand experience.
Unique brand elements build outstanding brand equity in consumers’ minds and are composed of differentiation, relevance, and brand esteem. These methods help different dimensions of brand equity.
You must carefully consider each factor to deliver a powerful integrated brand experience.
- How your brand differentiates itself- Brand differentiation is a brand’s ability to stand out from others. It’s to gain consumer choice, preference as well as loyalty. It’s the degree to which brands find customer attention and maintain the same.
- How relevant is the brand in its messaging- With changing customer attitudes, brands need to shift their messaging to connect with the new audience. Relevance refers to the meaningfulness of the approach with target consumers. Niche and growing brands can focus on differentiation and relevance, whereas leading brands excel on others.
- How well is the brand regarded- Esteem measures the degree to which people respond to the brand. When the company keeps growing and becoming mature, the brand's esteem grows. Companies use both emotional branding and traditional media. This helps build brand esteem.
- Understanding who the brand is for- Knowledge of the brand shows if consumers understand what the brand stands for. The brand-level knowledge shows up through the brand's past performance and serves as the foundation for the future. This accurate understanding results in brand loyalty. Knowledge determines whether there is a proper understanding of what a brand’s products do and who they are for.
A brand's soul is emotional branding, and the experience customers use the brand’s products. Combined, these two present you with a powerful opportunity to create an integrated process that enhances customer experience makes brand differentiation better, and offers a way to build a powerful brand.
By combining traditional media, interactive technology, innovative retail practices, and online brand communication, consumers can hear, touch, and sometimes touch brands in ways that weren’t possible earlier. An integrated creative approach helps build lasting brand equity and comes across as a strong alternative.