Fresh Facets

Branding Across Multiple Touch Points

Branding should be used across all touch points where your customer can be influenced. Therefore, it is important to plan your branding as an important activity before, during and after a sale. Whenever the customer is dealing with your brand/product, they should be fully aware of its benefits and have the information they need to choose you over competitors. The customer should make a conscious decision about wanting to use your brand. The aim should be to tempt the customer at each touch point, so the customer has a longer, more intimate interaction with your brand — to the point where your brand becomes invaluable.

The brand and customer experience should be consistent across all touch points, which can be classified as paid (traditional push media with advertising messages), owned (self-owned marketing instruments, websites, brochures, sales consultations, etcetera) and earned (test data, word-of-mouth publicity). The customer could be engaging with you through your stores, but also through a smartphone or laptop. Strategies should be designed so that cross media and offline and online outreach reinforce the brand’s value. The larger the cross-platform and multi-channel coverage, the greater the chance for word-of-mouth publicity.

The customer’s experience at the touch point can go a long way in determining whether the customer will stay with you or move on. Right from pre-sale engagement to the post-sale experience, if the brand comes across as customer focused and consistent in its values and processes, the customer will be delighted and likely recommend you to others. If the customer is mishandled due to bad policies or inflexible attitudes, the negative word-of-mouth publicity can be difficult to deal with. Online forums provide great opportunities for customers to air their grievances, and this type of publicity can cause you to lose customers.

Communication should be clear and concise. The content should also be fresh and varied across all platforms. In-store experiences should be pleasant, and any interaction with employees should be polite, courteous and helpful. After-sales service should be responsive. At no point should the customer feel they have been neglected or received a raw deal. Any involvement or interaction with the customer is an opportunity to build your brand’s image. A strong perception of your brand strengthens the customer’s loyalty.

When you communicate the same basic values and message across platforms, the brand recall and identity increase. Once your brand is associated with positive experiences and recognized as a brand that surpasses customer expectations, the leads will flow in. People willingly engage with brands that provide them with value, and companies that come across as transparent and honest in their dealings. Your principles of operation should be clear and consistently followed. Updates and changes should be made only if these changes are for the better. Building customer awareness, communicating the brand’s message and creating customer loyalty take time. This means that management must “invest” in a brand, perhaps at the expense of short-term profitability.

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