Brand Building and Customer Experience Management
As any business owner knows, maintaining an identity is a vital part of running a company. It can make the difference between selling a few items versus being extraordinarily successful. An identity gives legitimacy in a way that many aspects of your business can’t – the power of instant recognition.
You may also know how difficult maintaining this identity can be. Not only do you have to figure out what your identity is and keep it steady through every interaction you have with customers, vendors and the general public, you also ensure a wonderful customer experience throughout every aspect of your business and brand. It can be tiring and more than a little confusing.
With a few simple tips, though, the task becomes much easier! Here are some ways you can get your brand off on the right foot.
Create a Narrative
If you’re working on building up your brand as well as a unique customer experience, there’s no better way to approach it than with a narrative. Not necessarily creating a story (but if that helps, go for it), but simply a narrative for your company that intrigues the customer and can safely shape the rest of their experience.
For example, it’s safe to say Coca-Cola has done well to establish not only a brand but a strong narrative. They’ve designed it where a customer will “feel” like having a Coke instead of merely being thirsty. The storyline Coca-Cola has created over decades in business makes customers feel nostalgic and warm – they even associate fun, family and Santa Claus with the brand!
Does Coke actually do any of this stuff? No. It’s all a storyline created by Coca-Cola. The storyline is the typical “built from the ground up company” that’s all about family and Christmas and just wants you to have fun. In reality, Coca-Cola is a giant company that could probably buy a small country if it wanted to.
If you create the proper narrative for your company (rugged entrepreneur, obscure creative, religious-oriented) half of your work is done for you. Your core customer base will immediately identify with your storyline. Now all you have to do is help maintain it.
Enhancing the Experience
Ideally you want every part of your business to reflect the narrative you’ve built. This includes not only buying your product but emailing customer service, going on the company Facebook, or even when a customer simply talks to a friend about their experience.
As a customer, there’s nothing much worse than finding out your favorite brands aren’t exactly what they say they are. Think if news broke out that Coca-Cola was secretly funding organizations to kill puppies around the world. Not only does it go against their family-friendly narrative, it breaks the trust you’ve had with the company for decades.
So if you’ve gone with, say, the “rugged entrepreneur” narrative for your business, all aspects of your customer experience must reflect it. It won’t work to have a website that’s all about how you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and then talk about all the startup capital you received on your Facebook page.
Likewise, a brand run by a “rugged entrepreneur” would do well with strong, personal customer service. A nameless entity emailing a customer back about a problem just wouldn’t fit the image you’ve created. This is why it’s important to cover every aspect of your branding before you launch so you don’t accidentally break the illusion for anyone.
How did you decide on your “brand”?