Something most business owners don’t realize is that they don’t actually own their brand.
As much as you want to believe that investing in a traditional brand agency, walking away with a brand strategy and visual identity, curating content that’s on-trend, and positioning your offers in the right segments puts you in control, you’re sadly mistaken.
Brands are no longer the only ones telling stories.
Social media and the rise in the digital age has shifted the power from brands into the hands of consumers. Gone are the days of traditional marketing campaigns where a brand is responsible for shaping consumer opinions about its product or service. Consumers are now the driving force behind the perceptions, emotions and connections that their peers have with brands.
So, how do you ensure that your brand connects with consumers in an influential way? How can brands try to control the narrative? Through building strong brand experiences.
Brand experience is an open-minded, holistic branding concept that unifies user experience, customer experience, and brand identity and messaging across channels and throughout the entire customer life cycle. It’s the sum of all of the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and reactions that people have in response to your brand.
Really, brand experience is not a thing. It’s a result. It’s the lasting impression that remains after someone encounters or engages with your brand in any environment, at any time.
So, the goal of BX optimization is to create quality, consistent, and meaningful experiences across every interaction.
As brand experience strategists, we use more colorful, large, and out-of-the-box tools to spread the message of brands compared to traditional brand agencies. Brand experience is heavily rooted in business strategy, as opposed to design, and if executed correctly, directly drives profit.
In order to fully understand brand experience, it’s important to understand the underlying experiences that are the foundation of BX.
BX = BI + CX + EX + UX + MX
As you can see, providing flawless customer service isn’t enough anymore. In the same way, a brand strategy and logo from the top brand agency in the world does not guarantee a good brand experience. It’s only a slice of the pie.
That’s where things get tricky. All of the experiences above are incredibly dense and cannot exist without the other. This is why clients work with brand experience agencies for months as they strategically design and comb through each interaction within these experiences.
The warm smile still has power! Positive experiences have the power to build deep connections, inspire your audience, and ultimately deliver results for your business. For example, it’s easy to see why many customers choose Apple over Android (sorry to our Android fans). Apple’s attention-grabbing brand experience from their Keynote launch strategy, to the packaging, the cold, crisp feel of their products, and in-store experience has massively contributed to its success as a company.
One thing Apple has done well is create a consistent brand experience as a foundation for their otherwise flashy and exciting experiences. Too many businesses hear the word “brand experience” and focus on such “flashy” experiences, but lack the consistency that pulls it all together. On the other hand, brands can have a flawlessly consistent brand experience, but never do anything worth writing home about. Don’t forget that branding is supposed to be fun!
In our highly competitive world, investing your efforts into creating a unique and meaningful brand experience is the key to drawing consumers in and keeping them around. Because consumer acquisition costs 5-25x more than customer retention, the investment is a no-brainer.
Remember, your audience is not just deciding if they want to buy your product or service. They’re deciding if they want to buy into your entire brand experience- your identity, community, values, mission, differentiation, status, and more.
Traditional brand agencies are enduring something similar to what advertising agencies experienced around the launch of social media. What they have done in the past, and what many are currently doing, is not enough anymore.
What we’re doing at the GT Studio is consciously bringing together a variety of disciplines to create exciting, meaningful brand experiences. Each project may feature a blend of business consultants, designers, strategists, writers, developers, interior designers, event planners, marketers, PR specialists, and other experts depending on the project brief. We’re not looking at individual touchpoints like traditional brand agencies. We’re looking holistically at the entire business from employee experiences to pricing and sales experience, and connecting every dot in a way that makes a positive impact on their consumers.
Our goal is to help brands develop strategies that allow them to show up in a way that their audience desires across every touchpoint, creating meaningful experiences that keep consumers coming back for more.
When a brand has an experience-led strategy, the value of the consumer-brand connection grows, enhancing the lifetime value of each consumer.
If you’re interested in elevating your brand’s experience, we’d love to help you! As a team of entrepreneurs and business strategists, we take a unique view on branding that we’d love to share with you. Request an application to work with us via our contact page and we will schedule a call to discuss things further.