4 tips to help you think of your brand as an experience

Last week’s Branding 101 post about the benefits of thinking about your brand as an experience left a lot of questions unanswered. Here are a few tips on how to think of your brand as an experience.

It’s a mindset

There are several ways to treat your customers and other stakeholders and view your brand. Viewing your brand as an experience is a matter of mindset. Understanding that consumers, employees and other stakeholders have their own unique opinions and ideas that are constructed through their experiences and relationship with your brand is the key to understanding the brand as an experience. People do not just purchase a product or service from you, they purchase an experience with your brand. For example, I do my best to make sure that my customers do not just purchase web design or brand consulting; they purchase an experience with Web Couture, in which they help create an ideal website for them and/or learn more about their brand through our discussions.

Focus on creating brand value with stakeholders

Companies create brand value with their stakeholders not for their stakeholders. Through interaction and dialogue with your customers (and other stakeholders) you facilitate a brand experience and co-create brand value with your stakeholders. Conversations with people on Twitter could turn into a number of brand experiences: new clients, a co-operation with other companies and brands, or an invitation to a mastermind group.

Relationships are everything

You want to have relationships with your stakeholders – these are key to creating experiences with stakeholders. Interaction and dialogue with stakeholders on various social media channels, or directly face-to-face is a good step to creating relationships and supporting good brand experiences for your stakeholders. Value through brand experiences is created through various forms of interaction with stakeholders.

Enhance the experience with storytelling

Stories have the benefit of adding an emotional side to your brand. Customers are easily able to connect and become emotionally engaged with stories, resulting in better brand experiences.

Would love to hear your comments and tips on how to start embodying the “brand as an experience” mindset. How do you facilitate experiences with your brand?

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5 Reasons why you should think about your brand as an experience

Your brand is not just a logo

It is cringeworthy to see so-called-marketing/business-experts define brands as logos. In this day and age, brands have moved beyond just being logos, and are defined by people and their interactions, experiences and relationships with the brand. Companies do not control their brands. People create and control brands. Whether they are employees, customers, consumers, government officials, journalists, bloggers, fans, or other stakeholders, everyone is able to shape your brand. Stakeholders are not passive recipients of messages – they think about your messages and how these relate to them. Think about the power a popular blogger has over your brand if they have had a negative experience with your service. Experiences with products, services, or companies change the way people feel and think about the brand.

People want unique experiences

Your audience does not need another commodity product or service. Consumers are beginning to search for experiences that are tailor made for them. Through interaction and dialogue, consumers want to create unique experiences and value with companies, not have value created for them. Value is created with people, through experiences.

Experiences create brand value

By focusing on creating unique experiences with customers and other stakeholders, you are creating brand value. People react more positively to experiences, especially unique experiences that exceed their expectations. Their positive reactions transfer to positive thoughts about your brand, resulting in a higher brand value.

Good brand experiences result in more word-of-mouth

People love good experiences, so much that they are willing to let their friends and acquaintances know all about it. Although your audience is more likely to spread the word about bad experiences than good experiences with your brand, if you exceed expectations with a great unique experience, people are likely to talk your business up.

Brand experiences are competitive advantages

By creating a unique experience for each and every customer, you are essentially creating a business model that is extremely hard to replicate. This gives you a great advantage over your competitors, and allows your brand to be diverse and differentiated from the other offers in the marketplace.

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Brand Building Link Love

Busy packing my bags and generally getting ready for a business trip to Denmark tomorrow. Hoping the London weather holds up, the tubes and planes run/fly on time and that the weather isn’t ‘too’ cold in Denmark!
This time, it’s editing the annual report I have been contracted to do the copywriting for. So far it has been an exhilarating journey – meeting wonderful people, doing some really interesting interviews with employees, consumers, managers and other stakeholders, and putting it all together to showcase their brand. Can’t wait to share the final version in April.
But instead of leave you without a Branding 101 post, here are my favorite brand-building/marketing links that I’ve come across the past week.

A weekly marketing schedule for warriors. You would have to be pretty committed to pull this off. I’m just wondering when you are supposed to have time for client work?

Some good tips on how to get your first testimonials. Another good tip is to host a giveaway of your product/services and have the winners write a testimonial.

8 simple ways to build customer loyalty. It’s all about relationships and experiences.

A series on creating a great video for your blog. I’m using this advice to create videos for my own blog and website.

Love this infographic, it’s a visual guide to online marketing. I’m printing it and putting it on my wall.

On a somewhat less brand-related note, an interesting ‘study’ a professional designer did on the quality of cheap logo design services. The agencies that only take $25-50 for a logo – you get what you pay for and they are not worth your time or money, even if you have a low budget.

A pretty funny backfired Twitter campaign for McDonalds. Seems consumers didn’t quite have the same thoughts on their products as they did themselves…

A guide for writing your new about page or elevator pitch. It’s down-to-earth yet will help you create a much better picture of yourself, your brand and your services.

Have a lovely and productive week!

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