The Brand Experience. It’s fun to say and it makes us sound intellectual. But understanding how to create a wonderful brand experience for our customers can be what takes our sales and growth to new heights.
According to a October 2014 study on authentic brands by my company, global communications and public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, the No. 1 quality or behavior which people demand of big brands is:
- Communicating honestly about products and services
This is followed by:
- Not letting customers down
- Acting with integrity at all times
We asked people in the United States and 11 other major markets to rate the top 20 desirable behaviors in a brand. Innovation, great products, and having a popular brand were all near the bottom of the list.
The Brand Experience is About Being Genuine
Because of the power and reach of social media and online reviews, brands will need to embrace the idea of being genuine and displaying authenticity in all their engagements with customers. Without a shadow of a doubt, the brand experience must be based on honesty. Sooner or later, an brand will be found out – good or bad.
When it comes to building a lasting relationship with consumers, one that embraces a two-way street of communication and engagement, you need to ensure that your branding and marketing initiatives include:
- A quick response to their complaints
- Owns up to any mistakes and shows humility
- Delivering full and honest disclosure about products and services
- Open to dialogue and consumer feedback
- Allow brand advocates and consumers contribute to the brand’s messaging
- Delivers what it promises
- Is an active, genuine participant and contributor within a community
The Brand Experience Must Mirror Their Values
Another underlying aspect that many consumers look for in a brand is one that mirrors their values as a person. Socially and community active brands, who do so in an earnest and committed fashion, will earn more loyalty. But beware: If your efforts to help humanity or some community action are not genuine, it will backfire consumers will brand you as a charlatan.