When it comes to buying and using a product or service, we’ve all had good and bad experiences. Chances are we’ll go back to wherever the experience has been good and never darken the halls again where it’s been bad.
Not long ago my wife and I bought a new car, something I’d typically place on the list just below getting my eye poked with a sharp stick in terms of fun things to do. After much research and hand wrangling, we settled on a Hyundai. I can’t speak for all Hyundai dealerships, but ours represented the Hyundai brand extremely well and made the overall experience — dare I say — “enjoyable.” The net: I have no problem going back to the Hyundai brand (assuming the car performs as expected) and that particular dealership in the future. There wasn’t any one thing that made this brand engagement work well, but rather a bunch of small things conspiring together to provide an excellent brand experience. Small things like the way the salesperson interacted with us. His product knowledge. The comfort and confidence we felt as we set about negotiating price. The dealership amenities. The features and value of the car itself. The iciness of the cup of water I was provided. Etc.
A couple of weeks later we received a detailed survey about our experience, with questions probing all manner of our interaction with the dealership and the Hyundai product. Clearly, Hyundai’s mission is to continue to improve the brand experience by defining and correcting the specific areas where they under-perform relative to their brand touch point management plan. As a challenger brand (for not much longer, I suspect), Hyundai needs to continue to leverage strengths and shore up weaknesses — just like any successful brand.
Which brings me to you and the brand experience you deliver to your customers and prospects. Do you know precisely what it is? Are you systematically assessing that experience? Do you actually have a formal touch point management plan which prescribes, specifically and in measurable terms, how your brand touch points — various interactions — are to be delivered relative to your strategic brand identity? Do you know which touch points carry the greatest weight in keeping a customer or moving a prospect to become one — or chasing them away altogether?
The connection between delivering an exceptional brand experience and growing your business is obvious, no matter what business you’re in.
So, specifically, what are you doing about it?