Thanks to everyone who tuned in for my webinar ‘The Brand Experience Gap’. I’ve had great feedback from and discussions with those who attended.
I wasn’t able to answer all the questions during the webinar so here’s my answers to those questions I didn’t get to.
Q: Could you talk a little about what a company can do in order to understand their own brand in order that they have a coherent understanding throughout the company and a strategy to match?
(Duncan from Yodelay.com)
A: Many organisations have plenty of research to hand on how their brand is perceived, and most large organisations track this on a regular basis through large scale brand tracking studies.
The breakthrough comes from measuring qualitatively and quantitatively how the actual customer experience and perception measures up against target brand experience. Service design or experience design principles, when developed with corresponding customer statements, can be used to measure which parts of the customer experience are supporting the brand and which need to be addressed.
Q: When working in a big corporate organisation, how long do you expect the cultural change to take, as I see this as the biggest challenge to all companies trying to go down this route?
(Simon Roberts, Vistaprint)
A: How long is a piece of string?!! It depends primarily on who the most senior sponsor for customer experience is and the legacy culture in place. I’ve been amazed by how quickly things can change in an organisation the moment the CEO and management team really get it.
Q: Are the steps the same for a small company creating a new brand as a large corporate reinforcing/re-launching an existing brand?
A: The strategy planning process can essentially have the same steps although the starting point for insight will clearly be different. Existing brands have assets and liabilities which they need to understand. New brands and organisations perform best when they have an intimate understanding of the customer ecosystem.
Q: Does that process work when the company spans many products, across different markets and customers? Or do you need multiple versions of that – split by the different markets?
(Chris Collingridge, Sage)
A: Typically yes. We generally have to go through a process of establishing global design principles which have their own customer statements depending on their market, geography and context. It’s important to start there to create unity and commonality rather than bottom up, which leads to unintentional fragmentation.
Q: How do you convince clients to listen to users rather than to opinions about users?
A: Evidence needs to speak to the head and heart of stakeholders, which is why research and insights must be robust and compelling in communication. A picture tells a thousand words and visualising insight is key to winning the heart. Connecting observed behaviour and metrics to business outcomes is the key to changing this mindset.