A brand is a certain image of your company that sets customers’ expectations for the experience.
It feels like every company wants to be a brand. And not without reason. A brand is what makes a company a unique identity. Companies come and go, and you are free to choose the one that ships faster or offers lower prices. A brand, on the other hand, is something special. Interacting with a brand makes you feel a certain way. A brand is intimately tied to reputation, and so must be treated and cared for as an asset.
Why focus on customer experience?
Most companies differentiate themselves by exceeding customer expectations. Product quality and price come next. That’s right, consumers today care less about what they use and how much they pay for it. Instead, they prioritize a personalized approach and the overall perception of the company they deal with.
When building your brand’s image, you instill certain associations in customers’ minds. And that defines what experience people expect to receive from doing business with your company. Let’s take a look at how branding can help you create an excellent customer experience.
Branding makes your product special
Branded products are perceived as of consistent quality due to the history of a brand and its evolution. A first-time customer relies on a brand hoping for an unchanging level of service as they suppose the company has gone a long way to making its name, so there won’t be any surprises.
Word of mouth that inevitably occurs around a company with history also plays its role. What’s more, branded items project a certain vibe that a person may associate with a social circle they want to fit in. A skate brand Vans is an example.
To make your product a branded item, study good online branding practices to make your company easy to spot. You should:
- Invest in a logo
- Create an intuitive website design
- Bring widgets to your brand colors
Being able to instantly recognize the searched manufacturer or provider among a dozen others is one of the reasons why branding is important to consumers.
Branding makes customers (and employees) happier
A brand usually implies an outward manifestation of a company. However, it is the inner culture that influences all decisions, from production to accounting. When a company's culture matches its brand, a few things happen:
- Employees deliver great service
- Your company attracts better talent
- Customers are more likely to repeat business
In fact, most purchasing decisions come out of a positive relationship between a client and a salesperson, rather than of an outstanding product feature. So make sure your employees know how to properly display your brand to the public. Supply your team with a clear purpose and brand aspirations that they could use as the filter for making decisions.
Salesforce is a great example of matching their motto “to empower companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way” with their company culture by promoting a philanthropic spirit.
In addition, since aligned teams are more capable of supporting a customer at each point of their customer journey, they are the cornerstone of knowledge management. Customers don’t care which of the company’s departments does what. They want to have their questions answered immediately. So, to provide a great experience, you should store, maintain and distribute knowledge correctly to come up with relevant information every time.
Another benefit of having a strong brand strategy translated into the workplace is that you become more attractive to talented candidates. Along with announcing your brand values and adapting them to the internal company culture, you want to ensure you hire the right people who share your goals and want to learn and grow together with your brand.
Finally, an aligned brand strategy and company culture make it easier to keep that unique voice that builds trust and makes it easier for your customers to recognize your message.
Buying a branded product feels meaningful
With the variety of offers on the market, customers no longer seek just a solution to their everyday needs, they want their interaction with a provider to be emotionally rewarding.
Even more, Edelman reports that over 60% of consumers around the world decide to buy from or boycott a brand depending on its position regarding a political or social issue. Thus, customers tend to associate their favorite brand with their self-image. A purchase becomes not just getting a new item or service, but an act of self-actualization.
From a business owner’s point, branding strengthens the company’s reputation and attracts more loyal customers due to the recommendations of the existing clients. It also raises the price tag for your product.
To cater to the emotional needs of your customers, start by aligning your message with your behaviors. Here are a few ways to strengthen your online reputation:
- Stay consistent as you create positive associations with your brand
- Clarify your brand tone to avoid conflicting messages
- Be clear as you tell your story
- Announce your motto
- Share knowledge
- Use brand imagery
- Encourage client feedback to see what you should change in your content marketing
Branding makes your customers look smart
Everyone has an opinion. And people like to share their opinions, be it about a good meal, nice clothes, or a positive experience with a brand. By delivering a good service from a known company, you allow your clients to shine in a conversation. Besides, your brand acquires advocates through organic word-of-mouth advertising.
To ensure your customers have something to discuss, be proactive with the content you post. Along with working on your social media reputation, stimulate your followers to discuss your brand by asking their opinion. Best Buy demonstrates a good sense of humor along with excellent customer support in this sweet conversation:
At the same time, to grow an organic audience, watch the aesthetic of your blog and social media pages: check if all the visuals you post are in your brand colors, and follow the same style. Don’t forget to measure the impact that your social campaign has made and make corresponding changes.
Branding makes customer experience effortless
By staying focused on one category of goods, you keep a sharper eye on changes in the market and can timely react since you only need to care about fluctuations in a narrow niche. You can deeper explore all the possibilities of your sector.
According to Forbes, customers prefer their needs to be met as fast as possible, rather than being wowed. So, by offering them a simple solution to their complex needs, you earn more trust and make them want to “stick.”
Likewise, IKEA has uploaded all of its catalog to Pinterest instead of flooding its customers’ mailboxes. Users can find inspiration and buy a searched item in a couple of clicks.
Over complication is yet another reason why branding is important in marketing. To keep your marketing easy to understand for a customer, you need strong foundations. Set a clear goal for your next campaign and define its steps.
Next, make a content plan and create a schedule you can adhere to. While there are general recommendations on how often to post for each specific industry, to say less but bring more value is a proven way to improve branding and customer experience. Then step back and look at the bigger picture — does it look like your marketing is bringing you closer to your business goals?
People don’t buy just things, they buy emotions. Customers choose to buy from a brand since they see it as something more than a company delivering products or services. A brand is an idea that is resonating with an audience and is supported by a powerful message, eloquent visual representation, and consistent performance.
Customer experience branding FAQs
How does branding improve customer experiences?
A brand is fundamental to your company’s image and the way it presents itself to the world. It’s what sets customers’ expectations for the experience they’ll have with your business. A strong brand helps guide your customers toward the experience you want them to have, and it’s also an essential part of establishing your credibility.
What are the benefits of exceptional branding?
The best brands effortlessly create a feeling, and emotion in their customer. Branding makes your product special, your customers happier, and makes the overall customer experience effortless.
How can you strengthen your online reputation with branding?
Here are a few ways to strengthen your online reputation with branding: stay consistent as you create positive associations with your brand, clarify your brand tone to avoid conflicting messages, be clear as you tell your story, announce your motto, share knowledge, use brand imagery, and encourage client feedback to see what you should change in your content marketing.