Is brand experience important to consumers?

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It can be difficult to convince executives of the importance of brand experience, given that it is a relatively hard thing to quantify or calculate a clear return on investment for, which places marketers in a difficult position.

However, consumers are increasingly influenced by this type of marketing, which can shape how they look at a particular company or service.

This, in turn, can mean they recommend it to their friends – which can be crucial in an age when advertising is increasingly treated with caution by well-informed shoppers.

Brand experience doesn’t necessarily need to involve dramatic PR stunts or friendly shop assistants. It also incorporates contact points such as calls and emails, which is where CRM comes in.

Personalising your approach towards customers can have a big impact on how they view your service or product, helping develop your reputation within a particular sector or consumer segment.

John Viccars, senior strategist with RPM, recently argued that the scepticism toward the benefits of brand experience needs to be addressed.

“I think brand experience is still daunting because many marketers think in terms of immediate reach. Based on my X budget, I can ‘push’ a message to Y amount of people,” he explained, writing in the Guardian.

He urged industry experts to consider the potential benefits of ‘consumer influence’, which can allow a message or positive experience to spread exponentially without any further investment from the marketer.

“According to studies by McKinsey, experiential brand experience is the most powerful form of word of mouth, driving activity accounting for 50 to 80 percent in any given product category.

“Brand experience is inherently social, it’s built on ideas that people want to spend time with and that people want to share,” he added.

For firms that want to embrace this element of marketing, investing in a CRM programme could be wise – but they need to do it the right way.