How to make your brand greater than the sum of its parts
Every company is unique in its brand proposition, but all are moving towards the same North Star goal: a consistent experience across every channel, wherever and whenever a customer comes into contact with the brand.
This is a big challenge. How can companies both deliver fast revenue growth and take measured steps towards their greater brand vision?
Invariably, great customer experience means awesome branding. But it also means a hyper-relevant, imaginative journey for every individual, with the right messaging that’s based on personal preferences and triggered by behavior. A journey that captures attention, converts that initial sale, and ultimately wins and sustains customer loyalty.
What I often hear from commerce brands is that teams focused on Customer Experience (CX) – whether they sit in marketing, service, or sales – find themselves thinking too much about their technology roadmap to deliver this connected stand-out experience.
Their CMOs and CTOs understand that a connected or cloud-based ecosystem brings real big-picture benefits to their business, through empowering teams to steer the customer journey in a unified direction. And yet the teams themselves - from department leads to channel specialists - still need to find the space to focus. They often spend more time searching for data orchestration solutions across their internal organizational silos, than on realizing their brilliant personalized brand communication ideas.
The reality is that they could be making manageable steps towards their long-term customer experience goals, whilst making their lives easier by automating repetitive work and proving incremental business value.
Adding the “wow” factor to your customer journey
Your customer’s journey depends on whether you sell socks or power drills - it’s a different buying roadmap. You need new socks every five months, but you need a new drill every five years. Despite these differences in customer touchpoints, critical engagement moments, and next-best-product recommendations, every customer-driven company still wants to work from a similar playbook of tactics to reach their respective goals - in a sequence that makes sense for them, of course.
For example, most marketers want to reduce waste by making personalization happen at scale – taking customer interactions and turning them into smartly orchestrated messages and campaigns. But this is no easy feature.
Another example: all customer service connoisseurs want a single profile for every customer, to understand their browsing and buying behaviors. And then they want to pinpoint predictions for future purchases or potential churn. What, though, are the smaller steps to get there?
In addition, everyone wants these various insights to talk to one another across teams and technologies. Take a fashion brand, for example, building smarter campaigns and customer service initiatives through applying data such as a customer’s eye color, their hairstyle, and their personal suit-fitting preferences across all messaging - via customer chat, web, email, and mobile app.
Trying out these personalization tricks requires teams to navigate new frontiers, with sequential storytelling that adds up. It takes time, and creativity, and a deep understanding of both brand and customer.
Customer experience baby steps, which are built for bigger things
Making sure that companies scale new customer experience frontiers takes a clear success roadmap in tandem with a brand’s storytelling.
What should these first baby steps consist of when setting up for your CX goals?
- Have a shared vision of the desired customer journey (s) throughout your company. Redefining the customer journey often touches different departments with different sub-objectives, so it’s especially important to break down those silos and collectively understand your greater north star goal.
- Customer first actually means - centralize your customer data, order and product data. This means making sure that both the technology and the orchestration capabilities are in place to deliver on your customer experience goals.
- Adopt the new way of working that your brand and customer experience visions require. In order to be more agile and self-sufficient, teams often need to redefine their internal processes and introduce new adoption frameworks and collaborations into their daily work.
Begin thinking and doing in these principles, and your brand will become greater than the sum of its parts. This will be true not only for you and your marketing, services, and sales teams, but for those who should define and shape your brand in the first place - your customers.