In a new book on marketing from Facebook’s EMEA Client Council, Chief Customer Officer Sylvia Mulinge discusses Safaricom’s approach to creating brand experiences. Here, she explains why they matter and offers practical advice on how to craft them.
To read Mulinge’s chapter in full, plus contributions from 21 other top marketers, download your free copy of Build Brilliant Brands.
Why do you think brand experience is so important?
The individual customer experience is critical for retention, whether that’s through their everyday encounters with different products and services or their conversations with a brand online.
In service categories in particular, if you repeatedly fail to meet customers’ everyday expectations, they’ll quickly look to move elsewhere, and comparison sites make this easier than ever before.
To create true differentiation and generate loyalty, marketers need to create brand experiences that also clearly link to a purpose.
What are your top three tips for crafting experiences?
1. Approach customer experience through the lens of a brand. This allows you to link experiences directly to your brand purpose. To stand out in a category and ensure that you don’t end up being generic, you need to start with what you stand for.
Experience fuelled by purpose will be authentic, and authenticity gives you a better chance at building lasting relationships with your customers. This in turn helps you achieve deeper brand loyalty and greater customer satisfaction.
Find the intersection between your brand purpose and your customer insight and then build your experience from there. At Safaricom, the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya, we aim to ensure that our unique brand purpose of “Everything we do, we do for you” ties into every experience that consumers have with the brand.
Ask yourself about the experience the customer is having
2. Be the custodian of customer insights. Once you have your insights and data, you can leverage that to build distinct experiences that are memorable and deliver on your brand purpose.
Remember that every touchpoint is an opportunity for you to create something memorable for your customer. So, from the point of discovery to when they make a purchase, ask yourself about the experience the customer is having.
Deconstruct the customer journey, make a decision about how each touchpoint will play out and then reconstruct it so that each point in that journey counts.
3. Put empathy at the heart of everything you do.
Empathy allows you to understand the customer’s context and bring them into the room. You must then link back to your brand purpose, asking how is this relevant to us as a company?