Ok, it’s official. The idea of consumer experience has reached the saturation point in marketing management conversation. We get it. CX has quickly become one of the most important brand differentiators within our marketing arsenal. People who enjoy an amazing experience with your brand will be your best consumers. So, as smart marketers, let’s spend some time breaking that statement down for maximum understanding and impact. The key words to focus on here are PEOPLE — AMAZING — BRAND.
Understanding the PEOPLE part of your experience plan is critical. Don’t think about how to improve your consumer experience, think about how your product or service can fulfill the human experience. No matter what business or industry you’re in. No matter where in the world you operate. We are all human first. In fact, new data shows that “brands more attuned to the wants and needs of people are growing at faster rates than those treating people like consumers first and people second.” Researchers with The Human Experience: Quantifying the Value of Human Values report found that brands who actively align themselves with the core human beliefs of customers, employees and even business partners are outperforming those doing 'business as usual'. Therefore it’s critical to look at information beyond your target audience’s preferences as consumers. Look way outside the consumer journey to find core human insights that can be used to bring a new perspective to how you build an amazing experience. Think more like Maslow vs. Kevin Lane Keller.
And so we move now to how you define, design and create what AMAZING means for your consumers. There are no shortage of framing references for great consumer experiences. Fast, convenient, timely, flawless, predictive, beautiful, personalized and high-touch just to skim a few off the top of the list. But which should you focus on today? And where are human experience standards headed? This is where some strategic research and thinking time will pay off in a big way. Of course, you should already fully understand what the leaders in your industry/category are doing and assess how you can meet or exceed their performance. There are many ways to take a structured look at your brand’s current state across key category experience metrics to see how you measure up. From social listening to engagement mapping to mystery shopping, surveys and other primary research. Perhaps most importantly, though, you should spent time looking OUTSIDE your current category to learn how adjacent (or even non-adjacent) companies are blowing their consumers’ minds with amazing experiences. Benchmarking and studying CX with a wider lens can present a gold mine of new ideas and opportunities for your brand that may allow you to leapfrog the competition and tilt the playing field in your favor.
Which brings us to YOUR BRAND - the third key area of focus when it comes do designing a winning CX strategy. Are you comfortable with where your brand is today? Have you explored deeply what your brand purpose is? Your brand voice and tone? Your brand values? If your company is truly looking to improve its consumer experience, then it’s critical to go back to your brand home first. Spend some time remembering your brand pillars and nuances. Revisit your competitors’ brands to assess their current state to better understand if or how to evolve. Once all your key stakeholders are in lockstep with the brand, then this becomes the final screen for how you manifest YOUR best consumer experience. Look at each facet of the experience you want to create for your human consumer and find the best way to bring it to life from your brand’s unique point of view.
When you focus your energy around synchronizing all three of these critical inputs, you will find and deploy brand-authentic, human-centric, amazing experiences for your consumers.