Let’s face it: we all aren’t lucky enough to work for brands like Disney or Nike that have excitement naturally woven into their DNA. For the majority of brands, creating buzz or improving the customer experience doesn’t happen without putting forth a little, or a lot, of effort.
However, while your company might lack in flash, you can still deliver a brand experience that goes above and beyond what some of the most exciting brands in the marketplace are doing. Let’s take a look at some strategies that can be put in place to deliver the ultimate brand experience (yes, even for “boring” brands).
The Power Is In The Customer’s Hands: Act Like It
Being more customer-centric is a growing trend across most industries. When looking at global B2B organizations, 58% are turning their attention towards ‘value marketing’ (up significantly from 39% in 2015’s study). What this means is more organizations are moving away from leading their marketing efforts with price, instead emphasizing how they meet customers’ needs.
What happens if you don’t meet these needs? According to Esteban Kolsky, a customer strategist and researcher, if your customers are unsatisfied, 13% of them will let 15 or more people know they are disgruntled. On the flip side, 72% are willing to share a positive brand experience with 6 or more people.
Be customer obsessed. Instead of focusing on your product, focus on the impact it has on your customer. The customer is the star of the story, not your product, so make sure the benefits to the consumer are communicated loud and clear.
Use Active Language
Industry buzzwords are too often tossed around. Even if they make sense between the walls of your organization, on the outside they’re likely meaningless or even off-putting. All industries can fall into this trap, but the insurance and financial services industries tend to be particularly bad offenders.
But by using simple, active language any company can differentiate its brand from the pack, and make it more likely that prospects and existing customers pay attention. The first step is to ask yourself what makes your company different. Then explain that value proposition clearly and concisely. Don’t be afraid to create content marketing assets to showcase those differences.
Know Your Role
Being different can certainly boost the brand experience, but don’t fix what isn’t broken. Think about New Coke. If you’re already on the top of the food chain, be smart about the ways you choose to rock the boat. On the flip side, it’s also dangerous to be too complacent. Companies like Blockbuster and Kodak learned this lesson the hard way.
Take a cue from companies like Caterpillar, who respect tradition but are excelling in today’s market by stepping outside the box and inserting themselves with forward thinking. They connect with the operators of their equipment, listen to their ideas, and treat them like individuals with interests outside the cab.
If your brand already controls the market, don’t try to make changes that could put that success in jeopardy. Look for small ways to evolve and improve the brand experience.
Engage The Unexpected
If you work for a boring brand, try to improve the brand experience by engaging with customers in more casual settings where your brand’s personality can shine through. Social media is a good place to start. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of American adults use social networking sites, so there’s a good chance you can use them to connect with customers or prospects.
Let’s take a look at General Electric (GE) as an example. Their “Badass Machines” Pinterest page has nearly 20 thousand followers. They frequently share their own amazing technological accomplishments, along with other innovations from organizations across the globe to insert their voice and make the industrial market seem “cool.” Social media allows organizations like GE to gain exposure in places or at times where it was once not possible, like a Pinterest user searching for dinner recipes.
Be social. With a little outside-the-box thinking, your brand can show a side that otherwise wouldn’t be possible and connect with customers on a more personal level.
Invest In Talent
If you work for a boring brand, you likely know a handful of colleagues that have been there for years. While these employees might be reliable and hardworking, they may not be the most engaged, especially when it comes to brand innovation.
By bringing in talent that can tell your story in more compelling ways, your boring brand will be able to inject new energy and innovation into your offering, service, distribution, and experience. Look at T-Mobile’s CEO: John Legere has totally reenergized the company by bringing his edgy, “can do” attitude to the inner workings of the organization. Legere has more than 2 million followers on Twitter and has a history of speaking out against competitors or even answering customer service questions from individuals.
Building a better brand experience doesn’t always have to rely solely on strategy. From the top of the organization to the bottom, the folks that represent it every day have more control of the brand’s reputation than any other factor.
Just because your brand may not be the flashiest, doesn’t mean you can’t deliver a top-notch brand experience. Today’s consumers want to make personal connections with brands. So whether you’re selling laundry detergent, life insurance or SUVs, there is an opportunity to deliver an engaging brand experience by applying these five strategies:
- Be customer obsessed.
- Dare to be different.
- Look for smart ways to evolve.
- Be social.
- Leverage talent.
The above points are just the tip of the iceberg. What are some of the brand experience tactics you’re employing to bring your company to the next level?