Brand Experience must surpass Perception.

We all find it difficult today to go anywhere without being hit with intrusive brand messaging. Wherever we happen to be, whatever we happen to be doing, we’re targeted by a proliferation of advertising messages.
They rain down on us from a multitude of sources – online pop-ups and banners, multichannel TV and radio, in press and magazines, through the mail, outdoor billboards, buses, texts, and so many more.

Some of us earn a living by making those pieces of brand communication as persuasive as we can, influencing customer perceptions of our client’s brand so that at point of purchase it will be their preferred choice – although our job is being made increasingly difficult as advances in technology continue to empower the consumer to make their own choices regarding what, when and how they are exposed to much of the media.

Difficult it may be, but it remains so very important that your customer should be made aware of your brand and should think well of it. Creative, persuasive and truthful brandbuilding communication through online and conventional media can still achieve this, not necessarily by shouting louder but by making your brand be noticed by being different, distinctive.

But because there’s so much shouting going on, even if you achieve advertising cut-through and succeed in getting your voice heard, will your brand be remembered at the point of purchase? The more messaging there is out there, the less chance there is of anyone remembering any. Research shows that today’s consumer is so over-stimulated with brand messaging that short term awareness is less likely to be retained in longer term memory. And of course, as brand perception fades so does the hope of the customer choosing your brand above the competition. All that media spend going to waste? Well, not quite. Brand owners should still invest in achieving advertising cut-through but it’s not enough on its own – the brand must follow-through so that customers’ actual experience of the brand surpasses their perception of it.

This might this be achieved in a variety of ways. By making your website easy to find and navigate through. By making your retail outlet attractive and comfortable so shopping becomes a more pleasurable experience for the customer. By ensuring your telephone is answered by people who genuinely want to help. By motivating your salespeople to recognise regular shoppers and make them feel loved. By rewarding repeat customers for their loyalty – surprising them by giving them something extra, for free. By encouraging and incentivising word of mouth recommendations. In short, by ensuring that the brand experience lives up to the brand promise, and more.

The combination of advertising cut-through and brand follow-through is the secret to creating a strong emotional bond between the brand and its consumer.

In today’s world of empowered consumers, neither can do it alone.

© andysellers

Building brands through strategic insight, creative concepts & direction, copywriting.
e: andysell@me.com   t: 07836 256465   Skype: andysellers

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