The Ultimate Customer Journey—How to bring excellence to every touchpoint
A lot of business owners get so excited about the setup stage of their business, that this *crucial* part of their brand development is often forgotten, leaving an opening for competitors to scoop up their clientele. What I'm talking about is where the real journey of your brand begins: the brand experience.
In this video, we’ll go over how to create strategically crafted, on-brand touchpoints that will create strong customer loyalty, serving as a source of brand and business strength.
I created this FREE workbook *THE BRAND EXPERIENCE: Mastering the customer journey to win a loyal audience* to help you infuse each touchpoint of your customer's journey with elements of your internal and external brand, as well as map out the entire journey from before, during and post-purchase:
Once you go through this video and exercise, you’ll have all the tools to create a winning customer journey that converts your ideal clients into loyal brand fanatics.
BRAND BOOTCAMP SERIES:
✨Video #1: How to grow your business in 2021
If you're wondering how brands like Apple, Spotify, Tesla, and Tony Robbins have all won such massive customer loyalty, full of brand fanatics who will wait in line for hours, sometimes even days for their latest product to come out, or for tickets to go on sale, and you want to create that same level of devotion for your own brand? Well, you've come to the right video. If you've followed along this far in the brand bootcamp series, you know by now that your brand is so much more than just your logo. What I'm going to talk to you about today is where the real journey of your brand begins. Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." And while this may feel a little bit disjointed from modern day advertising and creating a brand, it could not be further from the truth.
What I'm talking about is the brand experience, which is made up of every single encounter a person has with your brand. We refer to these as touchpoints, and they could be your advertising, your social media, your website, your emails, your receipts, your packaging, your in-store location, or even your customer service and return policies. The list goes on. Each of these interactions, no matter how small, play a role in either amplifying or eroding the perception of your business. They're an opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition, and let your ideal clients know "why you". It's a crucial part in building and strengthening the relationship between your clients and your brand. Any time a customer encounters an off-brand or a mishandled experience, your customer loyalty is put at risk and bad word of mouth is almost a guarantee.
I'm sure you can recall a time where you were on the receiving end of a pretty mishandled customer experience and you went on to vent to your friends about it. We've all been there. This moment of friction challenges your customer's loyalty, leaving an opening for your competitors to scoop up your clientele. On the other hand, strategically crafted on-brand touchpoints will create strong customer loyalty, serving as a source of brand and business strength. All right, so get this: on average, companies that have leading brand experiences outperform their competition by more than six times a year. If you follow along with what I'm about to show you, you'll be crystal clear on all the touchpoints you need to consider to win yourself a loyal audience that will empower you to run a successful and a profitable business. But before we get to that, if you are in the market for more design hacks that will make your marketing look awesome and help grow your business, hit the subscribe and notify button, so you never miss a beat.
I'm Lesley, co-founder of Brand Therapy Sessions, and I'm super excited to welcome you to the sixth video of our brand bootcamp series. If you haven't been following along, you've got to check this out. If you're thinking of starting a business, recently launched, or are trying to grow an existing business, this is an awesome series if I do say so myself. We've put a ton of energy and resources into developing this for you, and as a fellow entrepreneur, I can assure you, this is definitely worth your time. If you want to win the loyalty and devotion of your clients, you need to experience your brand as if you were them. This allows you to determine all of the ways that you can make your customer's experience with your product and your services stronger, meaning more enjoyable, more human, more memorable, and more effective.
And you can do this by creating a detailed map of your customer's journey. And this will consider every single touchpoint along the way, from before, during, and after a customer makes a purchase from you. As you go over each point, try to think of ways to differentiate your brand beyond the typical objective to "surprise and delight your customers". This is an opportunity to check in with your internal brand. So your purpose, your mission, your values, and your brand's personality. How can you inject each touchpoint with your unique DNA? And this doesn't necessarily mean investing more money. Oftentimes, this can actually save you dollars in your customer service and your advertising budgets because happy customers not only make repeat purchases from you, but they're also happy to refer you to their friends and their extended network. Word of mouth and referrals are so powerful.
I went ahead and created a free workbook for you to help make this super simple. If you follow along, your brand interactions are going to get a lot better. And it's just by doing a simple workbook, it'll take you 20 minutes to do versus trying to figure this out all on your own. You can download this free guide in the description below. With that in mind, I'm curious. Comment below and let me know. As a customer, which brand has provided you with the most on-brand and memorable customer experience? I don't know about you, but one of the first brands that comes to mind for me is definitely Apple. And for the sake of this video, I'm going to use their customer journey as a case study to show you not only how meticulously Apple has curated each touchpoint to be on-brand and completely enjoyable for each of their customers, but also how they've woven in their internal brand every step of the way.
Apple's commitment to delivering great, innovative products that are intuitive, easy use and beautifully designed extends far beyond just a product. They've completely kept this principle throughout every single step of the journey, which is what makes the entire experience great. Their brand idea was to make technology so simple that everyone can be a part of the future. And that is so deeply ingrained in their brand experience that we barely even notice it. We don't really hear them say it, but subconsciously, we understand it, and we go to Apple for that very reason. Here are some examples of how Apple customizes their touch points. First, their marketing. From day one, Apple has put you, their customer, as the hero at the center of all their marketing. Their ads inspire you to think different or see yourself as a creative, an inventor, and an innovator who thinks beyond the status quo and will play a part in building our future. The aesthetic is always super clean, minimal and design forward. The narrative is human, simple, and inclusive, just like their products.
Following the marketing, the next touch point of the customer journey is the Apple store. Everyone knows where the Apple store is in their area. Always conveniently located at the center of the action, making it easier for people to get to, and interact with their brand and products. They all have a consistent look and feel of a big, bright, clean, minimalistic, and beautifully merchandised hub for innovation. Apple recognizes that at this point in their customer's journey, you're here to learn about and interact with a product you're about to buy. To make this a smooth experience, there are hundreds of demo units that are easily accessible. No need to wait in line for an employee to attend to you, or bring something over, or unlock it with a key, making this really painless and not at all intimidating for everyone to have a chance to explore their technology.
They also have a ton of employees on the floor at all times, making it easier for you to get your questions answered or make a purchase. They were one of the first stores to have a portable payment device, so the stores isn't just one massive lineup inside. They also offer in-store classes and guest speakers, so customers of all tech abilities and curiosity can level up and be a part of the future. Another familiar touch point is their website. The moment you land on Apple.com, you're presented with beautiful and inspiring product photography that is clean, minimal, futuristic, and cutting edge. They've honed in on this stage of their customer's journey and also identified the customer's need at this moment. They're here because they're curious about a product. Apple realizes that now is the time to provide the customer with all the information they would need in order to make a purchase or customize a product in the simplest way possible.
Again, going back to their brand values, they've taken something that is complicated and often overwhelming for customers, and recontextualized it into an organized, human and minimal experience. All of the pages are beautifully designed with the user in mind, speaking to them directly to simulate that one-to-one experience, similar to their marketing. And even though you aren't in the physical store with direct access to the employees, in case you have any questions, you can still get that same level of care by accessing their customer chat or their call center. They've done a great job of bringing their in-store experience online. And now that the customer has seen their marketing, and has been to the store or online to make a purchase, Apple doesn't just hand them a box and a receipt saying come again soon. Now is one of the most memorable touch points that Apple has always been a leader in: the packaging.
As a designer, I could geek out and talk about this for hours, but I will spare you the rest of your day. Simply put, Apple recognizes that this is the moment you've been waiting for. You're finally about to have your new tech in your hands, and Apple makes a point of curating a really special brand experience. Every single element, from the box, the little tabs of paper that introduce you to your product as you unwrap it, the customized inserts that fit your Mac book or iPhone perfectly into the box so they are beautifully presented to you as you unveil it, with instructions and cords neatly tucked away. These are all Apple's way of not only being there with you, top of mind during this really exciting moment, but also a way of maintaining their brand. Human, minimalistic, beautifully designed, and innovative. After the customer has experienced the packaging, the next touchpoint is the actual product.
The moment you turn on the device, Apple welcomes you and quickly customizes the product to all of your preferences. The item is sleek, minimal, ergonomic, user-friendly, and always a leader in product design, setting trends for ages. They also make sure that every single item is consistent with the next, giving you a beautiful set of technological devices that all work and appear in perfect harmony with one another. They make sure to continue updating and improving their products with each generation to make it more accessible, environmentally friendly, and future forward for everyone. And now that you have the device rearing and ready to go, they've extended the customer journey even further than their products with the iTunes and Apple store. Yes, they created a platform for you to download every single tool and piece of entertainment you'd ever need while using their devices. It's brilliant.
And after you have your products, apps, and everything in between, they continue to nurture the relationship and customer journey by providing you with really innovative and inspiring mixes of user generated content and imagery on their social media platforms, and in their conferences. Again, reinforcing you, their customer, as top of mind for them, and someone who they believe to be in the center of their universe. This will keep you inspired, engaged, and informed until they announced the launch of their next product.
All right, now that you have a solid understanding of the customer journey and how to deliver a winning brand experience, it's time to maximize your client's perception of your brand. If you haven't already, go and download the free workbook that I created for you, the link is below this video. And that brings us to the end of video six of the Brand Bootcamp. And if you liked this video, please hit the subscribe and thumbs up button. Thanks for watching!