What does brand experience management mean? How does it compare with brand management? What tools help and how can you measure it? We've got the answers.
Brand experience is how you take control of your most important asset and optimize it to spot new growth opportunities, attract new customers, and drive long-term loyalty and spend.
Strong brands attract customers, encourage them to spend more, and come back time and time again. It’s one of the most powerful growth levers any company has, yet it remains one of the hardest to get right.
To build lasting brands, companies need to constantly monitor and improve how their brands are perceived across the customer journey map. Managing and measuring brand experience helps increase sales volume, command higher prices, and create positive brand perceptions.
Best practices for measuring brand experience
Until target customers have experienced your product, believe your brand promise, and develop enough of a positive perception to buy (and rebuy), your brand won’t grow. With an average person receiving up to 10,000 brand messages a day, your messaging must stand out in order to make an impression in a crowded market.Because brand perception is essential to building up brand equity – the value premium a brand brings to a business – and its impact on sales and profits, it’s important to measure it regularly, track it over time, and identify how to improve it.
There are several ways to measure how customers respond to brand related stimuli and perceive your brand, including:
- Focus groups
- Social media monitoring
Brands are designing a sensory experience that not only builds lasting relationships, but impacts the bottom line.
Going old school: Brand focus groups
It’s a little turn-of-the-century, but it still works. Getting small groups of people together, either face to face or remotely means you hear the positives and negatives of your brand from those who use them and feel strongly enough to share their opinion. You’ll be able to gauge how customers feel and develop a genuine understanding of what works well and what doesn’t.
In more complex supply chains, online forums are especially useful. In a B2B2C chain, for example, a manufacturer may find it hard to reach their end user customer, as they deal directly only with the distributors or retailers. An online forum with customers fills in this knowledge gap, informing product development and strengthening the brand.
What’s on your mind? Brand perception surveys
Surveys help you understand who your customers are and what they think of your brand. They’re simple and painless to do, so customers with an opinion can respond to targeted questions and use open text to say what they’re thinking about.
They use reliable metrics to measure customer brand experience such as the NPS and CSAT to provide the data you need. You need to run brand perception surveys at least quarterly, although you can also tie them in with advertising campaign frequencies to track how these are contributing to your brand.
Social media monitoring: Telling it like it is
People don’t hold back on social media, so track mention of and reaction to your brand across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to analyze the performance of your social messaging.When you know what people are saying about your brand, you can respond rapidly and grow your social presence faster.
The best tools have a single hub dashboard that monitors a brand’s social presence and reveals real-time customer insights such as:
- Which social media platforms are growing your brand most (and least)
- The type of content that gets the most views
- The number of mentions and shout-outs of your brand, often in real time
- Reviews and comments
- Influencer reach
- Dwell time (how long someone spends looking at your brand)
- Which paid content performs best
Are likes on social media manipulating society and causing harm to users, or providing a connection?
Which tools can be used to measure customer brand experience?
With so many channels to manage and because of all the factors that impact the brand experience, measuring brand experience can be tough. Moreover, the tools marketers have relied on fall short.
Traditional tools used by marketers and advertisers simply track results without providing the data to explain why there’s been a drop in Net Promoter Scores. For example:
- Clickthrough rates might be down, but why aren’t people clicking on your ads?
- Why do customers who visit a retail store have a lower brand preference than those who buy online?
- Does the product or service meet customer expectations?
An effective brand experience program allows you to form intelligence on every data point that matters, from market trends to competitor analysis, brand awareness, and more.
By seeing all of your data over time, you’ll know where to focus your attention to grow your brand, confidently launch new campaigns, test your ads with the right customer segments, and understand what’s working (and what’s not) so you can optimize your campaign before it’s in market.
To monitor your brand, your market, and your competitors, marketers need a new arsenal of tools that enable:
- Brand experience management
- Brand positioning market research
- Brand tracking
- Competitor analysis
- Advertising testing
- Brand equity research
Clearly, the world of customer brand experience management has changed. Your brand is what consumer are telling each another. If your user experience is poor, it’s going to undermine your branding efforts.