Why not create a ‘branded experience’?


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Every day, we have dozens or even hundreds of transactional experiences with products, businesses or organizations. Everything from using their products, to visiting their websites, to interacting with them in the flesh. And it’s a pretty safe guess that in 80-90% of cases, these experiences are “unbranded.”


By “unbranded,” I don’t mean to imply there was anything wrong with the experience, or that you came away with a negative view of the company. Rather, an “unbranded” experience in this context simply means there was nothing within the experience that made it unusual or special in the view of the customer. What you ended up with was an experience that could have been provided by any number of different suppliers.

Now let’s talk for a moment about “branded experiences.” These are the ones that bring a smile to our faces days after the transaction itself. The ones we somehow acknowledge and validate who we believe we are. The ones our friends talk about on Facebook. And the ones that come up unsolicited in conversations we have with friends and colleagues.

Branded experiences are associated with only one provider in the customer’s eyes. A few examples? Starbucks and Ikea come to mind, as does Harley Davidson and Method cleaning products. The experiences these companies give is unlike what anyone else in the category can deliver.

The thing is, though, that for most categories, the existence of a branded experience doesn’t exist, either because the marketer isn’t providing that “something special,” or because customers aren’t in a position to experience it.

Is there a secret formula to providing or architecting a branded experience? There are a few elements they seem to have in common. A uncompromising understanding of what’s important to the customer, for one. An authentic passion about what what’s being provided, for another. And generally within the experience somewhere lies the element of surprise.

Branded experiences are generally built by transcending the functional side of what you do and focusing on customers’ emotional needs. By knowing the values you wish to impart (your Brand Vision) and reconciling that with how your products or services fit into your customers’ lives, you should be able to find ways to add a wrinkle to your customers’ experiences that will surprise and delight them, and give them a story they will enthusiastically share with others.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mickey Lonchar
Mickey Lonchar has spent the better part of two decades creating award-winning advertising with agencies up and down the West Coast, Mickey currently holds the position of creative director with Quisenberry Marketing & Design, a full-service advertising and interactive shop with offices in Spokane and Seattle, Wash.


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