Ville Tolvanen // February 14 2019
The Way You Interact with Your Customer Is Now Your Brand
Imagine you’re boarding a flight. You’re using a digital boarding pass that features all of your previous interactions with the airline, along with your purchase history and preferences. You can access the airline’s customer service or make additional purchases from the digital marketplace through the boarding pass. Your customer experience becomes the brand experience.
We’ve become digital consumers. We look for information, buy things and follow brands online. The most innovative companies offer entertainment and services as part of the brand experience.
Brands respond to our behavior by interacting with us. We receive messages, offers and other communications through customer experience programs. Take a moment to think about how many brands are sending you targeted marketing? What’s your relationship like with these brands? How do they make you feel?
Smart companies and brands are utilizing the information they have about your interests by tailoring a delightful customer experience that’s driven by data.
We used to think about brands and services as programs. Today, it’s the customer experience that brings the brand alive in different channels and situations. Customer experience becomes your brand, whether you pay attention to it or not.
In many companies still today sales channels, marketing, customer service and R&D operate in silos without a holistic, guiding strategy about brand experience. All of these channels, services and customer interactions will eventually become one brand experience. But a lot of companies still have a long way to go to a genuinely relevant, interesting and delightful customer experience.
The brand experience of the Digitalist age starts from combining research, service design, marketing and customer data. A strong and engaging experience starts with a deep understanding of customer needs and by continuously developing service experiences.
The best brands are marketed by their users, who recommend experiences to each other. Tesla doesn’t advertise, because they don’t have to. Their fans do all the advertising they need.
Customers will build your brand, whether you like it or not. The most innovative companies harness the symbiotic relationship they have with their customers, and reap the benefits from the brand that was genuinely built by their customers.