Brand experience is all about the interaction between the brand and its public. While we all remember the four ‘P’s of the marketing mix (though I’ve seen up to 11 at the last count!) – the crucial dimensions of brand interaction are the five ‘E’s.
– interactions need engagement. The more people engage the greater the opportunity for interaction. Smart brands maximise engagement. Product, literature, advertising, communications, customer service and online connections – all present chances to interact.
– the goal of any brand should be excellence in its chosen arena. Excellent product, customer service, processes – each touch-point should be the best we can make it.
– we see more brand disasters arise from unethical dealings. This is all about poor brand values and bad leadership. A sound brand should deal openly and honestly with its customers, suppliers, employees and the world in general. People are far more likely to forgive incompetence or poor service than they are unethical business practices.
– much of our attachment to brands is emotional (though we try to convince ourselves it is pragmatic). It is intangible, but we should recognise it as a core brand strength, deeply embedded in brand values. Apple, for example, has a loyal following who simply love the brand – it is difficult to analyse, but the company does seem to understand it and builds on the values it embodies.
– as with ‘engagement’, the points of interaction are points of experience. Whether it is visiting a store or a website, opening a brochure or a package or using a product – there is a user experience. Our entire understanding of the world is based primarily upon our sensory and emotional experience of it. Brands such as Starbucks understand this – it is not just about the product (which lest’s face it is just a cup of coffee), but the whole experience of the store, the environment. It is about all the senses, visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile.