In a nutshell
As a Brand, you need to formulate a clear and articulated answer at each moment. These answers should reflect customer identity, satisfy the objectives and meet expectations. We usually say that your Brand is the experience you offer to your customers. You should have brilliant answers to every single customer need at each moment: these are your brilliant basics!
In the Marketing Canvas
In the Marketing Canvas, we have identified 6 main categories for building your Marketing Strategy: Customers, Brand, Value Proposition, Journey, Conversation and Metrics. Each of these categories, have 4 dimensions which means that a total of 24 dimensions (6 by 4) are defining your Marketing Strategy.
Experience is a one of the 4 dimensions of the Journey category.
How do you use it?
When working on your Marketing Strategy, You should understand (and orchestrate) the experience customers have with your Brand.
Your customers (or future customers, or past customers) interact with your Brand when searching for your products, buying them, using them and even complaining about it. This can be a lot of interactions and everything you do, consciously or randomly, contribute to the brand perception perception ultimately.
Managing customer perception is one of the most important things your Brand should be doing.
For your Marketing Strategy, have you orchestrated the experience that your customers have with your brand? Do you have consciously thought and decided how you would like this to happen? Matt Watkinson in his book , The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences, suggests 10 principles that we should follow if we want great customer experiences.
Strongly reflect the customer’s identity – most purchases are led by our values and self-image and what the product will say about us, contrary to the more traditional selectors of quality and price. Consider the values of a Mont Blanc pen over a Bic biro
Satisfy our higher objectives – successful products are ones that help us achieve our goals. Define the end goal, particularly the super-objective of any purchase – e.g not to buy an airline ticket, but to attend a family funeral. This is particularly important for employees who rarely have any contact with customers. Dyson and the clothing company Patagonia had the advantage because they created products for people like themselves. Others have to conduct more market research, but you need to be aware of what people won’t say in a focus group. Sony was trying to decide whether to launch a boom box in yellow or black and the group decided that yellow was the best. But when offered a black or yellow one at the end of the session, every single person chose a black one. Nothing can beat getting out and about talking to customers and seeing what they do and don’t like about your product
Leave nothing to chance – there is no detail that should be overlooked when considering your customer’s journey to your product. Watkinson shows how to break every stage in the cycle down into steps, with mini scenarios mapped out for different customer groups and specific success factors to measure against, to ensure that every interaction with your customer is positive. Waitrose cashiers will always smile and ask after the customer at the till, check each egg box and seek help for customers who need it. Tesco has already admitted that its cost-cutting drive for self-checkouts has resulted in too few staff around to help and a lack of personal service, and therefore a drop in profits
Watkinson sets out these first three principles as the foundation to the rest. He then urges us to set and meet expectations – we have all been disappointed when the reality of a product has not lived up to expectations. Accenture discovered that 68% of electrical item returns were not because they were faulty but that they weren’t what we expected. Setting clear expectations, and meeting them consistently, is key.
If you have not defined a clear and consistent answer with minimum standards (fantastic basics) for each moment of the persona customer journey, it is a Brake in the Marketing Canvas Assessment because you are not systematically orchestrating the brand experience you provide which will impact brand perception and conversion rate between moments.
Is the EXPERIENCE of your user journey helping you achieve your goals?
Matt Watkinson, Book, The 10 Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences.