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7 Apr 2022

According to Elite Business Magazine, 74% of brands could disappear and we’d never notice. Every day, we interact with thousands of brands, but do we remember them? What brand of bread did you last buy? What brand of butter is in your fridge? What dishwashing liquid is under your sink? There will always be brands that rise to the top Apple, Nike, Tesla, and Qantas - the obvious suspects.

A great brand and a great brand experience can be very powerful. The explosion of e-commerce and all the talk about funnels frustrates me. The definition is simple “A liquid enters a funnel at the top and comes out the bottom”. But consumer behaviour isn’t linear. Some will have bought your competitor’s product, others won’t have a clue who you are or what you stand for. And what many fail to remember is that research shows that less than 5% of people are ready to buy what you’re selling right at the specific moment they see your brand or its message. 

So, when you think about a brand experience and your relationship with your consumers be holistic and think about “the entire journey”.  It's not just a single point of entry or conversion – particularly for e-commerce. Open up the journey, it will unlock more opportunities than a cluster of isolated points in the commerce ‘journey’.

Think about that when you develop your strategy. There’s no point delivering messages if the audience isn’t ready to purchase, if you’re simply measuring conversion as your yardstick sadly you’re missing the point.  [Don’t get me started on wastage of digital spend] - I’ll pick this up in another blog. At FEENEY, we look at key stages and each stage should be viewed as its own opportunity to:

  • Present the value of your brand

  • Attract new customers

  • Retain the loyalists in your tribe

#1 Targeting

Perhaps the hardest to master - why? Well, it’s about the data and a good dose of research. At this stage, there is no messaging, no need for creativity, and no tone of voice. This is purely about identifying who your audience is, and where the gaps exist. The targeting phase is all about making sure you’re talking to the right customers right when your brand message will have the biggest impact and offer the most authentic value to them.

#2 Acquisition

This is where the magic of great creativity happens. It’s where the power of advertising delivers its value. This is where we have the opportunity to make an audience laugh to make them cry to get their attention. It is about brand connection. It’s about bringing people into your brand and the experience they’ll have and is key to building the connection.

#3 Conversion

Conversion is the utopia of commerce. We have a directly controlled opportunity to bring it home when our customers actually want it. The rapid growth of social commerce and the ability to sell on Instagram and Facebook have become a primary point of sale, adding to our core channels, and our own website. In more mature online markets like China, we’re seeing live shopping taking the “customer journey” from the acquisition stage into the conversion stage in almost one fluid movement and the brand is right at the centre.

#4 Servicing and Fulfilment

This phase can get a little lost in our conversations and marketers need to be careful not to overlook this stage. Supply chain and service is where all of the unrealised value is going to be in e-commerce for the next decade. And we’ve certainly seen that over the last two years, and still, we’re having some massive supply chain issues that almost every brand and retailer are facing.

So creating memorable brand experiences and building brand equity, in this phase at least, is relatively uncharted territory. Sure, we have certain expectations from a supply chain perspective as customers – we expect something to arrive when it was promised to arrive – but packaging as an element of brand experience and the delivery of the package is an area with very little innovation to date. One example that stands out for me is where you can choose sustainable packaging or gift packaging.  Glade introduced air puff packaging which was scented so, when it was popped customers got a whiff of the scent, turning the protective packaging into a memorable experience.

#5 Loyalty and Retention

To us, the most important phase. So much so that I believe marketing teams should split effort 50/50 between retention and recruitment. Think about your effort: is it more heavily geared to new sales or equally between sales and retention? What began with points programs, especially for hotels and airlines, has grown into so much more. While points and cashback types of incentives are still effective forms of loyalty, the delivery of a great branded experience and exclusive content continues to grow in terms of value with customers. This allows brands to deliver new types of value that points and discounts couldn’t before.

In closing - the commerce journey is not linear, it’s multi-faceted so consider every stage because each one offers your brand layers of opportunity where you can unlock value and drive meaningful connections with existing, potential and the yet to meet customers along the way.

My opinion only, and I welcome yours, so leave a comment!


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