Keep ’em coming back – how to provide a more consistent brand experience

It may not be the sexiest and might not have marketers jumping out of their seats, but consistency is of keen importance to a brand’s relationship with its customers, says Pip Stocks.

Pip Stocks

I am really late on this column’s deadline. I might even get the boot it’s so late! So why am I so late? Because I am writing about the importance of consistency and it is BORING!

If you asked your friend to describe you and consistent was in the top three adjectives, one would be a little disappointed. It doesn’t feel very sexy or interesting, does it?

It wasn’t until I saw this on twitter that I could really get my ‘consistency juju‘ back on.

 

Sioo:x, a Swedish company selling timber protection products purchased a billboard space for 12 years to prove the point that its brand is reliable. The billboard is located outside a shopping centre in Malmö, a city famous for its high humidity and rainy days. How consistent is that? Customers purchasing timber want to protect it and know it will last, and there’s nothing boring about that.

The reality is that consistency in a brand’s experience reassures us our next experience will make us feel as good as last time. You are a brand that we can rely on and look forward to. You are dependable.

And when a brand fails on these elements, customers go elsewhere. An inconsistent experience costs money. The Temkin Group tells us in its ‘What Happens After a Good or Bad CX’ 2017 study that 22% of customers decrease their spending with that brand and 19% completely stop doing business with them.

Marketers prefer to spend our time on ‘surprise and delight’ options for our customers and less time on delivering a reliable experience, but in a study by US company Kampyle 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.

So how do you do that?

  • Understand the human beyond the customer data – Steve Jobs famously said, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.”
  • Build a picture that details the brand experience – look at it 20, 50 or 100 times to see if every customer is experiencing the brand the same way.
  • Look at this journey across touchpoints – is Adam in the call centre talking to your customer the same way as Penelope is in store? Or is your Instagram page communicating the same benefits and tone of voice as your on shelf promotion?
  • Build a process to fix the inconsistencies – and anchor them into your brand purpose. Start with the people in your business as they will have a million ideas and suggestions.  
  • Check in face-to-face – measure this overtime with your customers so you can hear it from the coalface.

OK, I am drafting the next column.  The third C in our five Cs model on how to build a powerful customer experience is ‘Choice’. Or would you rather hear about customisation?

Pip Stocks is BrandHook CEO.

 

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Image copyright: Ryoji Iwata