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Customer Experience will be the main differentiation in 2020

As hard as this is to read – you are not your company’s voice, your customer is. They dictate how your brand is defined and who they are saying it to.

When you present your brand to clients, investors, and vendors – and really, the whole world – you’ve got to make sure you’re prompting the message loud and clear and to the right people – your brand believers; the true voice of your brand.

That is why building an army of believers for your brand and product will  not only stimulate loyalty and amplify advocacy of and for your brand, but it provides you with the ability to sell your product at the premium your brand so rightfully deserves.

That said, the challenge is clear: How do brands create believers? Through justifying value in your product through visceral engagement you create for consumers.

The premise is to create a closer bond between a consumer and your brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience. If a brand or product stirs genuine positive emotions within  people, then they (the consumers) are more likely to associate those emotions with that brand, which is more effective than just showing them a Facebook ad or one-way piece of communication.

Digital’s one big disadvantage is its lack of lasting impact – its low ‘sticky value’ in the consumer's mind. I still remember the last interaction I had with a product in-store, but I have a hard  time recalling any of the ads for that brand or product, online. It remains true that brand recall is often much higher in traditional marketing, especially when there is a "touchable" brand experience to engage with.

In order to stand out and earn a coveted place in the consumer's hearts and minds while converting them into a believer, brands and agencies need to create viral and lasting impressions hrough connected, impactful experiential marketing activations.

Experiential and visceral marketing is about enabling personal connections between brands and consumers by creating real-life experiences that are worth sharing. These experiences combine  digital and real-world connections to create stronger memories and emotional bonds between brands and consumers.

According to research, by 2020 customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator. the same time the Institute of Customer Service has found that a customer’s intellectual and emotional engagement with a purchase will be the driving factor that will determine future decisions.

In order to ensure a successful activation, there are a few key elements that have proven to ensure success:

Agency integration

One of the most common barriers to success is the lack of integration between the agencies. From creative to production to social and media, all agencies and teams must work in concert, and support the bigger idea.

Be real

Today's consumers are often anti-advertising and want authenticity. Focus your activation more around the consumer than the product. If you deliver, the consumer will thank you and broadcast your message.

Spark curiosity

We all have busy lives. If I see someone handing out samples, or offering tickets, I walk away. But if you set up an intriguing experience and spark my curiosity, I will participate.

Use technology

Consumers love technology and innovation. Make these part of the experience and make consumers feel like they are the first to do something special.

Appeal to their senses

If you can create an intriguing experience that looks, sounds, feels good, tastes or smells good, you have won the consumers heart. Make sure you are addressing at least two of these senses in any idea you have.

Support it in all channels

The crucial component to ensure success is that your idea can live and be experienced across all channels. Only then you will become truly memorable.

Make it last

Make sure users leave your activation excited and eager to share it. You want it to be something they will talk about for months or even years.

Make it matter

Above all else, this is the only one that really counts. Any activation has to start with something you know about your consumers in order to matter to them and to create truly impactful experiences. (Show them some love!)

By effectively creating this activation and experience you can prompt the emotion a consumer adopts towards your brand influencing whom they advocate your brand to in the future.

Shoppers have developed more sophisticated, discerning and influenced buying habits, and accordingly expect more of a VIP treatment in-store. Where once they were in awe of luxury brands, they now regard the experience the defining factor in their purchase – and their continued purchase. After all, your future brand believers are the ones holding the purse strings.

Ultimately, the brand that can provide the most immersive, exciting and attentive experiences are the ones that will thrive. Let your brand believer be the voice of your brand, with confidence.

There are a lot of benefits that brands can harness through experiential and visceral campaigns. Those brands that are already leveraging this strategy create impactful ways to stand out above the digital noise and show up in a crowded digital field. Does yours?

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