Your brand tells your customers: "This is the unique thing we do that nobody else does." It sets you apart and, in the customer's mind, expresses why you're the best at what you do (the only one that does what you do).
Your brand and the experience you offer your customers are intimately related. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but the brand sets the tone for the overall experience. It's instrumental in setting expectations, which is a key part of the experience. The actual experience should live up to the expectations set by the brand.
Let's take the example of a restaurant. Let's say that its website makes it look wonderful and it has rave reviews on online review sites. Everything about the brand sets the expectation for the customer that they're going to have a great dining experience.
But if the actual dinner is a train wreck and the restaurant isn't anything like it was represented to be, you've created a terrible customer experience. The brand sets the tone and makes the promise, but the experience has to deliver.
How Do You Know If Your Brand and Experience Are Consistent?
Unfortunately, it's not always easy to tell whether or not you're delivering a branded customer experience. The best way to find out is to rely on feedback from your customers. They'll let you know if you're not delivering on your promises.
Here are a few things you can do to help ensure that you're living up to your brand image:
Make sure that all employees and management understand the brand well and how to communicate it. In other words, make customer expectations clear. Create protocols to ensure that your employees are providing the right customer service.
In your research, try to find out what your customers feel about your brand. By taking a hard look at how your customers feel about your brand, you can more easily see which areas are your natural strengths; in other words, the areas where you're delivering a branded customer experience.
With your brand in mind, brainstorm a list of every touch point you have with customers and make an honest assessment of whether or not you're conveying your brand at each point.
Monitoring your brand and customer experience is ongoing, so make it a regular part of your routine. Keep gathering and analyzing feedback so that you can refine.
About The Author
Pat Simes is a Business Strategist, blogger and Founder of Innovative Business Solutions and Innovate Academy. She currently resides in the Midwest and is committed to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs to transform their vision to reality.