Look at your business from the outside in.
Businesses learned long ago that if they could act and speak human, they could have deeper brand relationships with their audiences and customers. They also learned that creating these deeper, more compelling relationships must be intentional and strategic. And that becomes the challenging part. Traditional business thinking instructs leaders to closely examine their organization from an operational standpoint, from a financial standpoint and from a sales standpoint — all of which are extremely important in driving and supporting revenue. But creating meaningful brand experiences for audiences challenges these same business leaders to look at their business from a different angle — from the outside in. In other words, they must closely look at their business from the consumer’s point of view.
Gain loyalty with a consumer-centric approach.
The consumer’s point of view encourages a nontraditional way of thinking, that becomes the foundation of creating greater connections and more meaningful customer loyalty. In order for businesses to act and speak human, they must FEEL human. We define this as a Consumer-Centric Approach to Brand Experiences. We know from market research that when the desires of the consumer drive the brand experience, then meaningful relationships are created. Why? Because brands can begin to solve real consumer problems and deliver greater value to the consumer relationship. Naturally and systematically, this will lead to a place of brand trust, brand durability and an emotional connection that is not easily displaced. It creates a position for the brand that has the ability to drive action and conquer product and service shortcomings. We call this discipline brand experience management.
Brand experience management allows business leaders to run their businesses using consumer intelligence, customer and employee empathy, and human-like personality to secure a differentiated position in the marketplace.
Go back before you move forward.
At Chernoff Newman, we often say that brand building begins with brand deconstruction. We strategically remove obstacles for a brand’s consumers, creating a direct path for acceptance and belief. And while this exercise can be complex, there are a few questions businesses can begin asking themselves to put them on a course to healthier brand experiences by looking at themselves from the outside in.
The most common question is “where to start?” We recommend a close examination of the consumer journey. Look at every critical touch point that the business engages with its customer.
Ask the hard questions: “Who is graduating from our funnel and why? Who is dropping out of our funnel and why?” It’s critically important to understand the customer’s actions, step-by-step, in the journey. We need to know who is engaging, why they are engaging, when and why they move from a digital experience to a physical experience, when they are providing feedback on the experience, and where they are recommending the brand to others. It’s a deep dive into how all of the touchpoints are working together to create the brand experience. As strategists, when we critically deconstruct the current experience, then we can make better decisions to improve the experience. And if done correctly, the brand experience will be in a better strategic position to build a deeper, longer-lasting consumer relationship. Think about it this way: If a business has 20 critical touch points with its consumer in a single quarter, and if two or three of those touch points are out of alignment then the entire experience is handicapped. Getting each step properly aligned is where a business will discover exceptional value in its brand-building efforts — satisfying customers on a deeper level and driving business growth and revenue goals.
Putting this experience management to work on a global brand.
One example of brand experience management that we’ve deployed ourselves is the rollout of AES into the US Utilities market. We started the campaign work outside in by commissioning consumer research to better understand the brand values identified with each existing local brand so that we could apply connective tissue to the new global brand and its focus on innovative solutions, a value-driven culture and access to resources. We strategically aligned this energy innovation with a human characteristic: childhood awe. Then we activated our campaign across the footprint with an integrated approach. If you’d like more details or preview the campaign itself, you can find them here.
We utilized childhood awe to express a focus on innovation in the energy space.
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At Chernoff Newman, this human-first approach comes naturally to each of us because we live it as a part of our own culture. The connections that we make with our teammates, our colleagues and our clients all start as a relationship. We’re committed to collaboration, respect and empathy — because we are people first. And once we start connecting on a personal level, then the business comes naturally.
If you’re interested in having Chernoff Newman take your company through the brand experience management process, let’s talk. You can reach out directly to me via email or on LinkedIn — I’m always up for a cup of coffee in person.