This article was after the conference given by Lydia Harroch, an expert in brand strategy and client experience at the September 2019 edition of Who’s Next. She advised brands about their brand identities and sales points. And this, from defining brand all the way up to how to implement their strategy and the ad hoc training of their teams.
So much has changed, today the client has the power. They are now conscious of their purchasing choices and they need the brands they choose to buy from to be spreading a strong message. The customer is looking for brands which can offer them significant added value through its brand experience.
What are the key points of a successful customer experience?
In general, a customer doesn’t actually need what they are deciding to buy in a shop and so you have to give them emotion. From their first impression of the brand or the shop up until the last, when they leave the point of sale, whether in person or digitally, this experience is an “impression created by the harmony of sensory, intellectual and relational impact” of the brand.
To achieve this, the brand and the partners who wear it must be able to represent themselves, to carry the brand history and values so that the customer can find reference points, an anchor in the brand’s universe. These values have to then be expressed across all communicative and expressive platforms by the brand. Also, the brand image must be spread out in a completely coherent way, we call this the brand “social skills.”
These brand social skills comes from the added value of a human relationship, which will attract new clients. Clients have always preferred human interaction over technology. This is why the question of partners who are working for the brand is crucial. We have gone from a need for professionalism on their part to a need for engagement, which has allowed us to switch from a satisfied customer to a delighted customer. The more the partner is involved, the more pleased the customer will be: they will develop a real feeling which will last and then consolidate their impression of the brand. This allows the customer to feel a sense of belonging and loyalty, more or less in the long term, creating a community around the brand.
From lifestyle living to the living experience
Customer buying habits have also changed a lot. A few years ago, the client was obsessed with buying things, constantly comparing prices and products, in a constant frustration of never having enough. Today, they buy in a conscientious and engaged way, it is an experience that integrates their identity, they plan their purchases, and they are more satisfied with them, thus creating memories with the brand, this is the living experience. The customer needs to connect with the brand and the product. To re-enchant the customer, we have to develop user-centric collections and service styles, as well as personalised relationships. In this way, the customer can take ownership of the brand and the product. This ability to establish such an experience is a catalyst for adding real value and innovation to this service.
The ultimate combination: the perfect experience 3.0
Today, the perfect client experience is made up of 7 different elements.
It has to be both sensory and human, but also digital. The client has to be able to engage all 5 senses within the brand’s commercial universe and the brand has to create a privileged relationship with the customer, engaging voluntarily. The relationship has to be established on all the different virtual platforms.
It has to be fun, enriching and to escape the client to somewhere else. In other words, the client experience has to offer the client: interactions and quality life moments, it has to enrich their knowledge and know-how, all whilst giving them a chance to free their minds.
That said, all this would not be possible if the experience was not a management decision. It is essential for brands to unite their teams. They must bring their employees together so that they can be excellent brand ambassadors.
Finally, today, brands have to establish a very strong standpoint and set of values. They do so at the risk of not pleasing everyone, but so that the customers who do support them will be delighted by what they have to offer and therefore become their best brand ambassadors.