In the past, marketing boiled down to the 4Ps: price, product, placement, and promotion. You needed to price your product competitively, make sure it fits the needs of your consumer base, promote it often on the airwaves, and ensure it got a good spot on a shelf in your partner retailer’s store. Very little attention was paid to brand experience: the lasting impression that consumers have of your brand. Either they bought your products or they didn’t, and you expected to lose some share of the market to competitors.
Now, the consumer journey has evolved to the point where it’s not enough to make sure your products get prime real estate on local shelves. You still need the 4Ps of marketing, but your brand needs to capture the attention of your consumer long before they make it to the website or store and maintain relevance throughout and beyond the buyer’s journey.
The building blocks of brand experience:
Consumers today want shopping experiences that are personalized, optimized, and unique. Your brand has the chance to deliver a phenomenal brand experience with a new set of 4Ps: perception, participation, personalization, and prioritization.
Perception covers every sense that is activated by your marketing, your product, or your storefront. Everything from the sounds they hear (like a classic brand jingle) to the textures they feel (like the warmth of a bakery) falls under the perception of your brand experience. For example, a consumer-packaged food brand might activate the consumer’s sense of smell and taste by using the products to cook something on-site. Depending on the product, you can use these tools to evoke nostalgia, happiness, or hunger. All of these feelings contribute to the consumer’s drive to purchase.
The next building block of brand experience is participation. According to data from the Harvard Business Review, 73% of customers prefer shopping through multiple channels. Think about the ways in which consumers can be allowed to interact with your brand in real-time. For example, beauty stores often offer on-site makeovers that are customized to each consumer using the products in-store. Cohesive omnichannel experiences like pop-ups and exclusively in-store offers invite your consumers to imagine life with your brand, turning them into more loyal brand advocates.
Without personalization, your brand experience will fall flat. Personalization hinges upon using data to push the right message at the right time. Your brand experience depends on the ability to anticipate consumer needs and cater to their preferences. For example, let’s say you work for a clothing and apparel brand. Dynamic product recommendations can make or break the difference between a one-time shopper and a loyal brand advocate. Each of your product pages can be empowered with recommendations of accessories and apparel that pair well with the selected product.
The last building block of brand experience is prioritization. This encompasses knowing and catering to the audience segments that will respond to your brand experience the best. For example, research from Hubspot found that 0% of baby boomers and less than 1 in 4 Gen Xers consider influencers to be one of the most important factors in their purchase decisions. If most of your audience is in these categories, you’ll need to prioritize other channels over influencer partnerships.
It’s also important to prioritize the metrics that are the most important for your brand at its stage of life and growth. For example, one of our clients, a telecommunications company, noticed that their customer base was turning to third-party sources to refill their minutes and data plans. They decided to use Breinify to send automated notifications and texts when it’s time for people to renew their plans. As one of the leading telecommunications companies in Latin America, this project took priority over Breinify’s capabilities to personalize shopping experiences for new consumers.
Brand experience is now a crucial part of the consumer journey. These four building blocks will help you stay relevant and memorable to your customers before and beyond the point of sale.