Brand Experience: The Complete Guide to this New Type of Marketing

Brand experience is the relationship a customer develops with a brand by using their 5 senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing, seeing). Brand experience is developed through multiple interactions with a product, with advertisements, during brand events, and through consistent interactions with a brand.

Brand Experience: the complete guide to this new type of marketing

Companies can develop a better brand experience by focusing on branding not just their products, but their image, their employees, and the way a customer interacts with their brand digitally and in person. It’s important to understand that branding needs to be consistent, which makes sense considering 70% of marketers say consistent branding is the most crucial factor when it comes to interacting with customers.

Consumers can develop their brand experience through both brick and mortar operations and through e-commerce sites. It’s up to a business to focus on brand experience design to ensure that customers get the best experience in-person and online.

The basis of the brand experience is associating elements to the brand that make it possible to draw public attention and generate value. So we will build a brand that includes sensations, perceptions, and the connection between company and consumer.

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    What is Brand Experience?

    Brand experience, to put it simply, is every sensation, perception, thought, and feeling that your customer has in response to your brand.

    By developing brand experience and making it more positive, you ensure that your brand has value, continues to attract customers, and continues to remain seen as valuable and high-quality. Brand experience can be developed through:

    • Buying products
    • Product packaging
    • Customer service
    • Sensations when entering a store
    • Interacting with a product online
    • Viewing advertisements

    In addition, Digital Marketing also plays an important role in promoting a brand to the public, adding another layer of brand experience.

    More importantly, it’s important to develop a brand experience design that incorporates all of the elements listed above into a single, enjoyable experience.

    What is Brand Experience Design?

    Brand experience design is a purposeful design that takes into account every single element of branding. For instance, take into account the company Nespresso.

    They design the coffee pods with certain metallic and soft colors, have commercials with actor George Clooney, and use the same color scheme for their stores and company offices.

    When you taste Nespresso, that is also a part of the brand experience. All of these elements have come together purposefully, which is the brand experience design Nespresso has implemented and that has helped them be hailed as one of the most sophisticated coffee brands on the market.

    When creating your brand experience design, keep in mind the 5 senses. Look at every step of a customer interaction, from picking up the phone and calling your customer service center, to visiting your webpage, to buying a product.

    In every interaction, there should be brand experience design driving their buying experience.

    How to Improve Physical Contact with Brand Experience

    Now that you know what brand experience design is, you can work to improve it every interaction with your brand.

    For physical interactions, some of the best ways to improve your brand experience design include:

    • a comfortable and inviting environment.
    • a place whose ambient music communicates with the brand identity.
    • a salesperson approach that creates a perception of the brand.
    • an aroma that causes a natural association with the brand.
    • snacks and drinks served in the store.
    • a branded tone of voice applied to a phone call or email.
    • an effective, educational, and friendly service.

    These details serve to build an experience that is pleasing to the consumer.

    Thus, the consumer’s perception of the brand will be associated with that positive moment they lived while interacting with your company.

    Conveniences and facilities

    Working with brand experience is also about planning how a brand can best serve its consumers from its products and services.

    Convenience is an excellent way to design good branding, and can include:

    • eCommerce that permits order pickups at a physical point.
    • diversified payment options.
    • products and services personalization.

    Flexibility and convenience are huge selling-points for your customers, who will associate your brand with simple and easy shopping.

    Contact and interactions

    There are always those contact moments between consumers and brands. Those moments can be in person, such as a trip to the store, or at a distance, through a telephone or email service.

    For each of these contacts, there are also interactions, which are exchanges of information, that is, natural conversations.

    And the brand experience way comes to build remarkable experiences for customers during those contacts and interactions

    For example, if customers go to retail, an ideal strategy is to welcome them with a series of special touches that make a difference, such as:

    • a comfortable and inviting environment.
    • a place whose ambient music communicates with the brand identity.
    • a salesperson approach that creates a perception of the brand.
    • an aroma that causes a natural association with the brand.
    • snacks and drinks served in the store.
    • a branded tone of voice applied to a phone call or email.
    • an effective, educational, and friendly service.

    These details serve to build an experience that is pleasing to the consumer.

    Thus, the consumer’s perception of the brand will be associated with that positive moment they lived while in a place or interaction with a company.

    Associations that generate awareness

    Associations and relationships are key factors in the brand experience, as this technique seeks to awaken the consumer to unique feelings and moments. 

    So, if the brand manages to achieve a good brand experience, it will generate positive impressions among the public.

    The client will quickly associate the brand with a certain point explored in this brand experience strategy. 

    For example, if a clothing brand uses a specific perfume in its products, the customer will make a quick association between it and that aroma.

    This is a way of generating brand awareness with striking and straightforward associations.

    “(…) It’s important to develop a brand experience design that incorporates all elements into a single and enjoyable experience.”

    Brand Experience vs User Experience

    Although brand experience and user experience are definitely related concepts, it’s essential to understand that they’re not the same.

    A particular consumer’s brand experience will incorporate everything to do with their response to your brand. It’s the overall impression the person is left with given the sum of all the feelings, thoughts, conceptions, and reactions they may have had while considering your brand, it’s marketing and its products.

    On the other hand, user experience refers solely to a consumer’s end takeaway after actually using a brand’s products, interacting with its sales personnel or customer care specialists, and so forth.

    Ultimately, both concepts are equally important for marketing professionals to grasp, as they go hand in hand.

    For example, whether or not a customer has a positive experience using a product or service can’t help but affect their overall impression of the brand.

    That said, thorough, effective marketing strategies always incorporate both, as you can’t conceivably improve one without also considering the other.

    What are the Essential Pillars of a Brand Experience?

    Every company must think about brand experience. By using experiential marketing, a company can better understand how to help their customers improve their experience while shopping.

    There are several ways to provide a unique experience that awakens feelings, associations, and perceptions in the customer concerning your brand. If you’re experimenting with new products and brand experience design, keep these pillars in mind.

    1. Think about Purpose

    This first pillar reinforces that brands must always highlight what their central purposes are.

    This means that, when selling, communicating, and simply existing, your mission must be clear to the consumer, and this idea will be understood without much difficulty.

    A good example of a successful case applying this specific pillar is Nike, a giant in the sports industry.

    Through its slogan, the company has reinforced its proposal to deliver technology and quality in sports products that ensure anyone can practice physical activity, regardless of whether they are professionals or not.

    nike logo

    2. Increase Sensations

    The second pillar focuses on creating immersive experiences, capable of touching human senses. Have you noticed that your favorite store has a specific smell? Have you ever heard a song you liked while shopping there? And the aesthetics of the place, do you like it? All of this is a brand experience!

    For a long time, it was very common to apply this strategy in retail, but over the years, it was necessary to adapt it to digital.

    In this environment, the visual and sound fields have great strength, as they capture attention and generate sensations with precision, even virtually.

    For those who lived in the early 2000s, a striking example was the sounds of the MSN Messenger instant messaging tool. They were alerts that indicated the arrival of messages, when a friend went online, among other actions.

    These are epoch-making sounds that helped to build an experience that generated brand awareness and associations.

    msn messenger

    3. Feelings and Emotions

    Your brand needs to make a positive emotional impact on the customer. For instance, think of the brand Red Bull.

    In all its advertising and messages to the public, Red Bull passes the image of a positive lifestyle, sports, health, and good memories.

    4. Do More

    As a brand, you should always strive to do more for your customer. This highlights your brand as being focused on the customer, and provides the basis for all future products.

    One example of a company doing more is Ray-Ban. Ray-Ban launched its virtual model tester, a tool that allows the user, using the camera of their smartphone, tablet, or computer, to project the glasses’ 3D model on his face, in real-time.

    The customer can choose the model, try the frames on their face, and then decide on his purchase.

    rayban virtual model tester

    5. Connect

    The feeling of belonging is one of the most important pillars and one that best connects with the reality of digital transformation.

    Today, consumers expect much more than a business relationship. They want to be participative, want to interact, and, in general, want to be part of the brand’s routine and activities.

    The connect pillar’s role is precisely this: to ensure that brands work closer to their audience so that they develop a sense of identification.

    Chipotle, a Mexican fast-food chain, encourages the public to produce small videos for TikTok, talking about its food menu, how to say Chiplote’s name correctly, and, of course, the love for the brand.

    @chipotle Imagine if this was her first sentence @jdutch #chipotle#chipotleismylife #fyp ♬ original sound – Chipotle

    This is possible in both physical and digital retail, and the best ways to obtain it are:

    • defining placements that meet the brand’s buyer persona.
    • working with storytelling strategies that communicate with the buyer persona’s pain and routine.
    • sharing the content of the company’s daily routine on channels such as Instagram Stories.
    • keeping open channels of interaction on social networks.

    https://interactive.rockcontent.com/en/create-buyer-personas?utm_medium=rock-convert&blogconversionurl=https://rockcontent.com/blog/brand-experience/&blogconversionpath=RockConvert&blogconversiondate=08/15/2022&__hstc=10334826.2c08221776ab759a8165defb715eb3d9.1654197323595.1661358666992.1661360752556.107&__hssc=10334826.3.1661360752556&__hsfp=3404011741

    What are the Gains when Applying Brand Experience?

    Brand experience brings concrete results for the companies that develop their performance through the experience of retail and relationship.

    Regardless of whether the work is in person or digital, using the pillars we mentioned guarantees decisive strategic gains. Better understand what they are and why they are so valuable!

    Loyalty

    Customers’ loyalty is more difficult to reach than winning new ones, and the reason is simple: only those who really see value in the relationship with the brand remain. 

    This can only be achieved by developing a good brand experience, providing unforgettable moments to each consumer.

    A customer can buy a smartphone of any brand, but few can place them on a level of belonging to an exclusive group.

    From this strategy, companies like Apple, with a precise marketing strategy and innovative design, can win a legion of loyal buyers, thanks to their unique products.

    apple products

    Value

    Generating value is one of the main challenges, but also one of the most valuable gains that a company can achieve from the brand experience.

    Brands are always looking to be recognized, widely disseminated in a market, and remembered by the public. One of the main paths in this relationship with the customer is to create value.

    This is a direct consequence of a work that invests in details, aiming to awaken feelings and create associations that the consumer easily assimilates.

    Over time, the brand’s value also increases the added value of the product, generating greater sales and potentialized profit margins.

    Brand awareness

    Brand awareness is another important result that companies can achieve.

    Good results in this sense mean that a large percentage of your target audience knows the brand and is aware of its main characteristics and qualities.

    Among the positive points that lead to this level, many may be the effect of a good brand experience.

    Investing in good branding techniques helps to project brand awareness to consumers, leading them to associate it with details that generate sensations and feelings.

    Closeness to the public

    Reliable brands are those capable of being close to their audience, with a relationship full of interactions, positive feelings, and satisfaction.

    A good brand experience job can strategically promote all of this, generating a positive perception and more pleasant experiences.

    Whether in a physical purchase or an online service, if the brand knows how to develop an outstanding experience, in the end, it will approach its consumer.

    If you want this positive relationship to happen, you need to rely on brand experience actions. 

    Competitiveness

    Definitely, brands are betting on experience to become increasingly relevant. Those who want to occupy prominent positions in the market need to design strategies, from the simplest to the most elaborate, to remain a reference.

    The brand experience provides competitiveness in any segment.

    Customer impact

    The client is the main one affected by the brand experience work since all actions are designed to reach them, awakening feelings, and activating sensations.

    This is very important because, if the customer is satisfied and involved, the chances are higher that they will be loyal, have a positive perception of the brand, and still speak well of it.

    Longevity in the market

    Companies that follow the path of experience can remain, besides being solid, totally relevant for longer.

    For it to happen, the proposed experiences must always follow the trends of the time, also opening space for innovation. Thus, the brands remain timeless and long-lived.

    Amid its competitiveness, the market requires companies to know how to drive brands relevant to the public.

    How does Brand Experience Work in Practice?

    Great companies have applied brand experience in their performance so effectively that it’s not always possible to identify the strategies behind each action and detail.

    This makes these brands so relevant and makes them have so much recognition within their markets. 

    It’s essential to divide them into two categories to analyze concrete examples of applying brand experience: physical and digital.

    Physical

    We have already talked about sensory experiences, which are the most traditional and applied in retail, but a valuable example is the events that brands organize.

    An interesting case of success is Rock in Rio, a music festival that takes place every two years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Still, it has already been hosted by other cities worldwide.

    Nowadays, much more than a music festival, Rock in Rio is a great sensorial experience designed to propose a broader concept to the brand.

    rock in rio event (example of Brand Experience)

    Besides several stages, those attending the event can participate in various activities such as the famous zip line, the Ferris wheel, bars, and restaurants. 

    There are also the actions of brands that support the event, always bringing news to each edition.

    This repositioning that Rock in Rio projected in its most recent editions enhanced the event in such a way that today it is, above all, a brand. The audience associates with Rock in Rio all these experiences possible within it.

    Digital

    Applying the brand experience in digital is no longer a big challenge as it once was, after all, an adaptation was necessary.

    Among cheaper shipping, sites with great navigation and graphic environment, and interactions on social networks, there’s still room to innovate.

    As we showed before, Ray-Ban, with the virtual model tester, offered the consumer the best condition when deciding on a product, even in a virtual environment. 

    How to Create an Awesome Brand Experience

    Just as no two brands are exactly alike, no two brand experience strategies will be, either. However, there are certain best practices that can be creatively applied to pretty much any brand, industry, and niche. 

    Here are some examples to keep in mind.

    1. Understand the purpose behind your brand

    The world’s most beloved, memorable brands are just like people in that they have distinct personalities and values. 

    They’re also on different missions, so a great brand experience always starts with a thorough assessment of the purpose behind what you do.

    Today’s consumers want more from the companies they buy from than great products and reliable services. With so many choices out there, they also want to feel like their buying decisions make them part of something bigger than themselves. 

    A bold brand purpose behind what you do can help you stand out.

    2. Stir your audience’s emotions

    Great branded content doesn’t just paint a compelling picture of what a particular company can do for a consumer’s quality of life. 

    It also makes them feel something that extends well beyond the product itself — something that creates an emotional connection to the brand behind it.

    The video below from Coca-Cola reinforces the soft drink brand’s association with concepts like happiness, connection, and fun by temporarily turning a standard Coke machine on a college campus into a happiness machine.

     It can’t help but make you smile and feel even better about making Coke your cola of choice.

    3. Tell your customers a story

    Everyone loves a good story, and your customers are no exception. 

    Stories have the power to make people sit up and take notice. And the really powerful ones can change someone’s mind about something specific in an instant, so it’s not surprising that the most effective brand experience strategies include storytelling.

    Use your company blog and social media content to share your brand’s backstory, invite consumers into your world, and help them get to know you better. 

    Explore ways to use storytelling to empower your customers and inspire them to dream about the new possibilities your brand can help them achieve.

    4. Meet your audience where they live

    Remember, today’s consumers want to feel a personal connection to the brands they buy from. 

    In addition to wanting to be on board with what a brand stands for, they want to actively engage with the brands they love regularly, as well. 

    Social media is a huge part of delivering a positive brand experience for that reason.

    Figure out which platforms members of your target audience hang out on regularly, and establish presences there. 

    Learn what they care about most, and create helpful, entertaining content that meets their needs. And use social media to engage regularly with your audience, as well.

    5. Achieve and maintain brand consistency

    Think about a friend you know really well and like a lot. Not only are they likely part of your daily life offline, but you probably follow them across multiple social media platforms, as well.

    And whether you’re catching up with that friend on Instagram, Twitter, or in person, you’re always aware it’s them because their unique personality shines through in everything they do or say. 

    That’s the power of consistency at work, and it’s essential to cultivate the same effect for your brand.

    Without brand consistency, brand experience falls apart, so it’s crucial to make sure everything about your brand is in sync. 

    Yes, that means maintaining a cohesive voice across all your social media profiles, but it’s also about your visual assets, product packaging, website design, etc.

    6. Make things as convenient as possible for your customers

    So much of the process of getting a shopper to convert is selling them on the idea of what life might be like if they become a customer. 

    However, it’s just as important to make sure that experience measures up to expectations once they are your customer. 

    Remember, brand experience is about the entire picture when it comes to how your brand makes people feel.

    Everything about purchasing, using, and obtaining support for your products should be as simple, convenient, and effortless for people as possible. 

    Ensure you’re adequately supporting your existing and potential customers throughout every stage of their buyer’s journey.

    See to it that you’re also giving your customers enough different choices. This includes payment options, ways to try out or buy your product, and channels through which they can get in touch with you if they have questions or issues that need to be addressed.

    7. Keep an eye on your competitors

    No brand is so big, important, or successful that it doesn’t have to worry about what its competition is doing. 

    Even very loyal customers can be tempted to switch to another option if the brand behind it brings something to the table that their current brand doesn’t, so it’s essential to keep an eye on your competitors.

    Check out how well market veterans and newcomers alike handle the process of creating a positive brand experience for their customers. 

    Make a note of anything that might be giving them a competitive edge, and consider how you can offer something just as good or better.

    Wrap Up

    With increasing demands, the consumer expects to see innovation and efforts to be conquered, which the brand experience can provide.

    Feelings and sensations are the keys to experiences of great value and are capable of building loyalty.

    Did you know that it’s also possible to offer experiences through content? Understand more about this strategy and how it can be valuable!

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