Join Expert Brian Solis for sfAMA’s CX Discussion
It wasn’t too long ago that the idea of branding could be simplified and distilled down to messaging and identity. Branding drove marketing decisions, graphic design guidelines, and corporate communications.
However, branding means something much different circa 2016. With mobile devices providing an always-connected world, branding still encompasses those critical tent poles of messaging and identity — but now it comes wrapped up in a bigger picture, one that marketing expert Brian Solis terms as the customer experience (CX).
What exactly does he mean by this? In an interview with PSFK, Solis explained it this way:
“Experiential marketing is an intentional strategy that activates the senses to deliver a purposeful experience. It’s designed to move you, to pull you into a new world that you can’t help but feel, see, taste, hear and smell. It’s empathetic in nature and aspirational in aim.”
Why is this so import for today’s business? Consider what we can do thanks to an always-connected world. We research a product or service online by reading reviews or watching videos online. We purchase it or schedule it through branded websites. We engage with the brand through social media, and if something goes wrong — or right — we document our experience and share it with not just our immediate friends and family, but our digital footprint, creating an opportunity to go viral. Following the customer purchase cycle, the brand stays engaged with social media and traditional communications, even custom apps. These are all designed to continuously engage the customer so that the product/service isn’t just a one-time use, but an immersive commitment, something that constantly engages and rewards.
The experiential brand creates a living strategy, one both dependent on technology avenues and the people who power them (i.e. content managers, social media managers). Every time a customer or potential customer interacts with an element of the brand, their experience is being built — and with always-on connectivity, there’s always the opportunity to either engage them further or have them potentially dissuaded by a subpar experience.
This creates a definitive impact on the bottom line. As Solis notes, “Research shows that consumers are willing to pay more for a similar or better product if they believe they are going to get a great experience. In some cases, upwards of 20 percent. When you want to talk about direct lines and dotted lines to ROI, then experience architecture pays great dividends across the board.”
Of course, the next question for marketers is simple: how do I create a CX strategy? If you’re not sure how to answer this, our March event is designed just for you. On Thursday, March 24, the sfAMA presents “Where Business Meets Design with Brian Solis.” Brian will discuss his research on CX and the new wave of branding, as well as the key components of experience design.
Marc Apple is a Strategist at Forward Push and VP of Marketing Strategy for the San Francisco American Marketing Association.