Customer experience, mind the gap!
Mind the gap? Marketing Week got me thinking - are some
organisations focusing on the wrong things?
This article should be a wake-up call to brand
owners everywhere who perhaps get too focused on the developing a
'brand image' and perhaps neglect the 'brand experience' - thus
creating this gap.
In these tougher economic times, customers will be considering
their purchases much more carefully; they are looking for greater
value and are likely to be more critical when they feel
short-changed. Consequently, this value gap could result in a lost
future sale or more significantly them spreading negative
word-of-mouth to friends and family, damaging the long-term health
of the brand.
In this article Lucy Handle states (in relation to car brands)
"As we come out of recession, consumers have higher expectations
and I think that rather than just focusing on the driving
experience, consumers are looking at the purchase, the dealership
experience and the ethical credentials," - this supports the fact
that it's not just the product, but the purchase experience that
matters. Purchasers need to feel good about the way they are
treated when they buy a product. The experience matters.
Generally we know what to expect from the products we purchase, but
the purchase experience is where there is opportunity for delight
The article does confirm old adage 'under promise and over
deliver', but the real challenge is actually measuring the
perceptions and experiences to know where you are. You need
real-time, accurate, reliable data. You need to get a handle
on the actual brand experienced delivered if you are to manage
And as a final thought - why not differentiate your product on
the brand experience? Create a culture that oozes uniqueness and
value? It's much more sustainable than trying to build a better
widget. As has been said "culture trumps strategy every