The Brand Experience is a Journey

January 26, 2015

Dissecting the elements of a positive brand experience and its importance alongside a lead generation campaign.

gareth-roberts-lead-generation-branding

I recently did a presentation where I chose a few strategies – that included content marketing, gamification and email marketing and put together an example marketing campaign in the space of 15 minutes.

It was a campaign centered solely on lead generation and conversion that looked at the customer journey, and it went pretty well.

In the digital world, we know too well that the internet is not primarily a method to sell your products to your website visitors. I’d see it as a method to talk to those visitors and find out the motives that drove them to the website in the first place. But in doing that you very much begin the process of turning that visitor into a potential customer. And heck, we are in business after all, right?!

One of the core elements that my audience picked up on though was the limited discussion and implementation of a branding strategy.

That’s something I specifically want to pick up on today. Because before you put together any such strategy where you’re actively producing content for the purpose of driving traffic to a page that’s built to collect leads, you’ll need to make sure that your overall brand experience is up to scratch. That is, everything that you say and do whilst doing everything that you do.

And this will tie in side by side with a lead generation strategy. The customer journey is becoming more complex and harder to define. What you see in the image above is one of the presentation slides I used that maps out a basic progression chart in lead generation and conversion. But what it doesn’t account for is the ‘invisible stuff’ – that is, what may be going on inside the prospects’ mind during those stages. It’s this that makes the sale or not… so it’s hugely important!

Your beliefs, preferences and general outlook on life is shaped by all of the positive and negative experiences you’ve encountered on your journey thus far. This ‘journey’ is what also goes on when a prospect lands on your website, reads your Tweets and meets you in person for the first, second and third time and by itself says everything about your brand.

Therefore, essentially your brand is YOU.

But in reality, it’s pretty straightforward what you need to be doing during these interactions, and that is to provide a positive experience throughout.

What is a positive experience? Well, think about a time where you’ve had a positive, rewarding and memorable time, and dissect all the elements that created this experience to replicate in your business.

Here’s some of the elements that I’ve picked out of one of my recent positive experiences:

1. It surprised me on a number of levels
2. It was personal and human at all times
3. Engagement was present and it stimulated conversation
4. The experience was one where I and the other party both benefited.

These are precisely the type of touch points that I’d be looking to include in any brand experience strategy – and needs to exist alongside any strategy that you put forward (especially a lead generation strategy).

Simply put, everything should just be natural. It should come from how you feel about your products and your services and your industry. If you don’t feel positive about what you do and sell, it’ll be difficult for you to convince your prospects to feel like that.

If you’re not entirely sure, here’s areas where you can improve your brand experience… (Use the 4 elements previously mentioned within these stages to create a mind-blowing brand experience).

Value Proposition. First of all convey what it is that you have to offer based on your potential customers and their personas. Once you have done so then the next step is to connect them to the core values of your business.

Communication Experience. Everything you say that you will do, you absolutely have to do and then over-deliver on that. Make it easy for a dialogue to happen and keep everything consistent with what you have promised.

Personal Touch. If a customer has a problem, it’s the brand that has to care. A customer simply does not disappear once the sale is made and therefore you have to stick around anticipating the future.

Just like the strategic journey that you’ve planned your lead or prospect to take in your lead generation and conversion strategy, your brand strategy must sit side by side (and hand in hand) along the way. It’s this consistency that produces the best experiences and the most sales.

It’s going to be a long journey at that, but one that’ll be worth it.

What do you think?

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