Brands can no longer rely on massive ad campaigns alone to convert increasingly tech-savvy and knowledgable consumers. The conventional approach of dream building through lavishly expensive productions and celebrity endorsements no longer work because customers these days are looking for a complete brand experience consisting of five key stages:
This is the first but not the only stage where a brand establishes itself among existing and potential customers. It is all about creating a dream based on attributes and values of the brand. Its objective is to have customers “drooling” over the brand and its products. It can be exercised through commercials and product placement in mainstream media as well as in-store visual merchandising
Customers these days hope to find out for themselves instead of being pushed into buying. Creating opportunities for them to explore the brand and “play around” with products have, therefore, become an integral part of a complete brand experience. This used to take place mostly in the retail space but can now be done virtually. Producing online content to “educate” and “inform” customers has become an indispensible component of this process. The “lookbooks” created by fashion websites to provide tips on “how to dress” is one such example.
Discount coupons, free give-aways and other special offers are often used by brands to lure customers into taking part in the brand experience. As conventional as they may be, they work well with brands looking to expand its market share and increase brand awareness. Creating an in-store brand experience is another way to allow customers to participate in the brand. There is no better example than the Apple Store experience, where Apple’s attributes and values are precisely translated into its retail space.
The brand experience does not stop just because customers have completed their purchases. These days, companies are capturing every opportunity to further enhance the brand experience at home. Packaging, instruction manuals as well as tips and how-tos are just some of the ways to maximise enjoyment of the overall brand experience.
“Word of Mouth” marketing has never been more important with the explosive growth of social media. This mostly relies on feedback and comments from existing customers, influencers and other trusted third-party sources. Content marketing, again, has a crucial role to play in this final stage of a complete brand experience. Brands must be strategic in creating the necessary platforms for consumers to express themselves and hopefully cast a positive light on the brands.
About the author
Bonnie Chan Woo is the CEO of Icicle Group. She leads the company’s strategic development with a special focus on brand integration in original content. The piece was also published on her LinkedIn page.