Why customer experience needs to be brand relevant
It’s been a busy start to 2018 here at Caulder Moore, enjoying some exciting collaborations and eagerly awaiting news on some new adventures ahead.
We are continually bombarded by the term 'customer experience' (CX) – it continues to be a buzzword in 2018. We wonder though whether often there is lip service being paid to the idea of experience, where adding a juice bar or hosting a yoga class feels like token gestures rather than initiatives that are both brand relevant and enhance the brand in the eyes of customers…
We ask what does customer experience mean in 2018? Who will win this year and how can you seduce consumers to spend time with your brand?
Retailers are under pressure more than ever and are forced to evaluate their portfolios in a volatile and fierce battle in a playground where multichannel is key and 'voice' is being added to the mix too.
We start by exploring the word ‘experience’ itself without the additional demands that the customer brings. The word ‘experience’ is conceptualised as sensations, feelings and behavioral responses to stimuli, in this case to brand stimuli such as identity, packaging, communications, environments and beyond.
Add the customer into the mix and this can seem quite daunting particularly when it seems we spend 220 plus minutes a day scrolling media on our phones being bombarded by brands. We are advocates of brand love and leveraging the opportunities that physical bricks and mortar spaces offer to accelerate brand love.
It could not be more exciting to create true destinations as markets start to fuse and the opportunity to own brand memories rather than simply owning more ‘stuff’. Brands must build connections irrespective of device wherever, whenever and however.
“When a retailer opens a new brick-and-mortar store traffic to that retailer’s website jumps 52% on average within six weeks of the store opening” Retail Dive.
John Lewis’s new store in Oxford leverages true customer experience by creating a concierge style shopping journey with an ‘experience desk’ at the heart. Consumers can visit the bar to find out about daily events and what the store has to offer from free personal styling services for men and women to free technology training to express nail and brow bar to travel advice and eye tests…or simply book a table at the rooftop restaurant.
"We hope to inspire and delight consumers with the wonderful services and events that they never thought they would get at John Lewis." Brand Experience Manager, Richard Knott.
Let’s take a moment to review Richard’s title 'Brand Experience Manager' - a nod to a new level of brand focus for retailers. Subsequently the 322 partners recruited to work at the department store have been given bespoke theatre training by the Oxford Playhouse to teach the art of outstanding service in their own authentic way.
John Lewis are actively addressing innovative approaches to brand engagement, integral to delivering an experience in 2018, a brave, bold and confident move for a player in the department store landscape that many are finding challenging.
Let’s not ignore the independent brands causing disruption and are rethinking their experiences…
However to succeed in the experience world it is easy to be distracted by what others are doing, and follow suit. We urge brands to stand out from the sea of sameness, craft a clear brand purpose and know your consumer inside out.
Ask the question – why should consumers fall in love with you? If you can’t answer this then embark on an exciting journey to unearth your unique brand story, once this is defined, the right and brand appropriate ‘customer experience’ will fall into place.
As the possibilities of leveraging ‘customer experience’ as a genuine brand building tool across every touchpoint of your brand comes into focus as never before, so do creative opportunities to deliver this expand.
Our core team are the heart and soul of our business, however we are increasingly responding with a diverse set of skills to maximise creative customers experience, building on a true collective creative community built around us, including scriptwriters, digital geniuses, filmmakers and writers.
We work with our clients to best accelerate brand love and deliver distinctive ‘customer experiences’ that consumers love to discover, love to return to and love to spend more time with.
Let’s craft your unique customer experience.