NB:Â This is a guest article by Arthur Moan, managing director ofÂ UserZoom UK.
If the creation of brand loyalty is the sine qua non of all marketing, then the way that companies define both themselves and those who purchase their products is no less of a priority.
Awareness is all.
From the moment that the logo is seen or a slogan is heard on any modern day media platform, a form of communication, or as some experts say, “interaction” is taking place between the actors on the side of supply and those on the side of demand.
If the former understands the latter as comprehensively as possible then the chances of this interaction being satisfactory, to the extent that it will be repeated, are greatly increased.
In that case, it is not just the needs of the target market but the attitude towards and perception of the target market that are at a premium. Lately, a shift has been taking place with regard to the language and mechanics of strategic thinking in this field.
Shift of emphasis
We are moving from the User Experience to the Customer Experience. The change is not insignificant. It is not so much a case of “the customer is always right” as it is the customer has a right to be unpredictable and constantly evolving.
To a certain extent, the development is down to the large amount of new companies that are launched from one year to the next. Any startup has to have a clear, cogent business plan to survive in a very competitive environment and the idea of making products as human as possible pays dividends.
The brands that have proved their longevity are the ones that realised early that what they were selling had to have a substantial psychological and emotional currency. For example, American Express astutely offered a member experience.
Given the fact that marketing departments seek to gauge an experience rather than a purchase, it is important that all of the surrounding or connected elements of that experience are factored into any effective strategy. Which in this day and age means quality on all touch-points â€“ adverts, incidental recommendations or references.
Because customers are inundated with choice, businesses must strive to achieve an identifiable tone of voice and consistent use of messaging to ensure that they are distinguishable in the marketplace.
“Consistency of messaging” is all the more crucial because of the advent of the digital domain and the enormous range of possibilities that it has opened up.
Joined up thinking
There must now be absolute coherence between the online and offline activities of any brand.
With more and more people tweeting both positively and negatively on their engagement with a product or service, any serious contender in the market place should conceive of the customer experience in the most holistic manner possible.
Brands are now so prevalent and consumer choice is so great that a marketing strategist must be proactive. Basically, you must go to the customer and not just expect the customer to come to you.
It is ironic to think that the word customer, which several years ago appeared anachronistic and hackneyed, has swung back into consciousness, but marketing only serves an effective purpose if it captures the zeitgeist.
In a world where countless products and services run on the energy of new media, the zeitgeist simply does not stand still.
NB: This is a guest article by Arthur Moan, managing director of UserZoom UK.
NB2: Happy customer image via Shutterstock.