How to use Brand Experience (BX) as a secret sauce
If you’ve ever watched Walt Disney’s Ratatouille, you’ll probably remember the scene in which the famous food critic tastes the restaurant’s ratatouille. His mind travels to a tender memory of his mother preparing the dish for him as a boy. And he almost loses his mind. Spoiler alert: There’s a happy ending as a result.
Does your brand offer that same sensation?
BX: If people don’t feel it, taste it, or remember it, it doesn’t exist
You don’t have to give your customers a bowl of deliciousness, or a flashback to their childhood, but you should give them something to cling to. Because if you don’t, they aren’t customers, but travellers. En route to somewhere else. Without you.
BX: Feeling is believing
Have you ever met someone, chatted for a while, and realised they’re going to be largely insignificant in the grand scheme of your life? Sure, you can have a pleasant conversation, but they don’t offer any real value or impact on your feelings.
BX: The proof is in the pudding (or ratatouille)
You walk into your preferred grocery store, where you’re probably looking for the best deals on your favourite items. Today, it’s the ingredients for your family’s favourite pasta dish. The one they love you for.
You get to the olive oil aisle, and there it is… A life-changing special on olive oil. And it’s not a bargain for just anyone; only loyal customers with a rewards card, as part of a loyalty programme, are allowed to benefit from this hot deal.
In your mind, people without the special card are total suckers. And your beloved grocery store has treated you to a bargain that has your name written all over it. It’s for you, and you only. (Not really, but you get the idea…)
BX: Add more value to make it memorable
Most grocery stores have loyalty programmes, which means that personalised experiences have become the norm. Everyone’s doing it! So how do you differentiate? You personalise your brand experience beyond the norm.
Why go to all the trouble? According to Canto, 80% of customers cite experience as having the most significant influence on their brand loyalty and 67% of customers get frustrated with an impersonal shopping experience. Lastly, a good customer experience brings in more than three times average revenue. Case/s in point.
1. Apple, Disney, and Lego all take it a step further
Apple: When you walk into an iStore, you know you’re in an iStore. The clean, white walls. The quiet and relaxed atmosphere. The sophistication of the tech. It’s all there, and you can feel it.
Walt Disney: Anyone can buy a movie ticket, but Disney has Disney World. If you’re lucky enough to afford a trip, you can hug princesses and see an actual castle.
Lego: Almost every store selling Lego has a section for kids to play it… for free. They can’t take it home (supposedly), but they can have a real-life experience. In fact, Lego is so famous for adding value that even grown-ups have Lego Land on their bucket lists.
2. Human Experience (HX, if you will)
Here’s a hot tip: Refer to your customers as people, not “consumers”. Yes, writing “the consumers” sounds professional, but only to those who aren’t actually customers. Give them personas, names, and lives. Get to know them.
3. People aren’t stupid (more often than not
Emotion is a powerful thing and with the pandemic creating a new population of hermit crabs, people are more susceptible to experiencing human emotion.
Under the emotion umbrella are subcategories that evoke it, like connection, memories, relatability, frustration with competitors, etc.
But! Before you make your audience cry, there is a difference between forced and targeted emotional content. Forced emotional content is manipulation. Targeted emotional content is memorable.
The moment people feel emotionally manipulated, you can forget about winning them over. Instead, influence them by providing real-life experiences that make them connect with your brand on a deeper level. See the difference?
And remember, emotions don’t necessarily mean happy or sad; they can include humour (always a winner, but don’t overdo it), motivation, and inspiration.
4. Data, tech, and strategy: A BX Blueprint
Let’s get real for a moment. Creating a personalised brand experience requires research; otherwise, you’re just making your customers, teams, and employees emotional for no good reason.
A BX Blueprint gives you a step-by-step process to analyse the problem, past reactions, and existing trends, and create a substantiated brand guide. These modern tools are there for a reason: so that you can use them to become a “Business to People brand”.
A bit more BX Blueprint advice
·Make BX part of your methodology so that it becomes one with your brand identity.
· Use your Blueprint as a guideline to create content, add value, and evoke positive emotions.
· Incorporate EX, CX, and UX into your Blueprint – they’re integral to your brand identity.
· Brands of choice are employers of choice. You’re more likely to get top talent when you have good customer loyalty.
· Host workshops in which you complete exercises that help you create a BX Blueprint aligned with your brand, customer, and employee identity.
· Create a 1-pager outlining your mission, vision, values, and the special sauce that differentiates you from the rest of the pack.
· Ask us to run a BX Blueprint process so you can get the guideline and create the experience. We’re standing by.