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The role of experience in winning loyalty and recommendation



The role of experience in winning loyalty and recommendation

Brands – quite rightly – invest much time and money determining what to say about themselves to the public, and how best to get that message across.

But here’s the thing: as powerful as great communication can be, it is utterly worthless if consumers’ experience of a brand doesn’t measure up to what’s been promised.

What do we mean by experience? It’s not just about whether the mobile phone service provides a good connection, or the biscuits are fresh and taste good. Experience goes beyond the experience of use.

A brand experience includes the time someone spends on hold to customer services waiting to ask a question. It’s the frustration of their payment failing on a brand’s e-commerce website. It’s the day they take off work to accept a delivery that doesn’t arrive, and the joy of opening a beautifully designed package, before they even see the product inside.

Every interaction with a brand, its people and its communications, is an experience.

Something to talk about

Experience is the real test of a brand’s purpose, and it is experience that consumers talk about. They’ll happily amplify a good experience, but we all know that most people probably talk much more about a bad one.

This is why brands that deliver a great brand experience grow their value at a much faster pace than average brands. Offer a poor experience, and brand value doesn’t just sit still, it declines.

BrandZ data over the 12 years to 2018 shows that the brands with the highest scores for experience grew by an average of 188 percent in that time. Those with average scores for experience grew 92 percent, and those that ranked poorly compared to other brands in the Global Top 100 finished up in 2018 with a value 8 percent lower than they had over a decade earlier.

Experience is a brand’s opportunity to secure a relationship – or throw it all away.

How Indonesian brands measure up

Indonesian leading brands have a high average Brand Experience index, and analysis shows this is partly driven by levels of usage. This is logical, given that when people have a good experience of a brand, they’re highly likely to opt for that brand again. And, the more often they use a product or service, the more it matters that the experience is a positive one.

However, some brands have a truly outstanding Brand Experience index, which is helping to enhance their brand equity and improve brand value. These brands have a large positive “Experience Gap” – the difference between expected and achieved index scores for Brand Experience.

A positive Brand Experience is likely to drive word of mouth through recommendation, and build both Salience and Meaning for the brand by adding to positive brand associations.

When brands are grouped by their Experience Gap, we see a clear correlation with the likelihood of consumers to recommend a particular brand.

Stars of Experience

**Traveloka dominates all brand experience metrics – and by consistently providing high levels of customer satisfaction has achieved market dominance in its sector, capturing two-thirds of the demand for leisure travel services.

** GOJEK also stands out among service apps for customer care and uniqueness – though it now faces a strong challenge from Singapore-based rival Grab, which has a similarly strong focus on keeping customers happy.

**BRI’s high score on experience is fueled by its attention to customer care and service design; financial services competitors BCA and Prudential deliver good experience in a slightly different way, by emphasizing a user-friendly online/mobile brand experience.

**Traditional consumer goods brands like Rinso, Aqua, Indomie and Pepsodent all have large numbers of satisfied users who recommend them to friends and family.