The Consumer Experience: Brands Overpromise and Under-Deliver

A brand strategy agency is imperative to building a brand that has its own identity and doesn’t fall into the stream of overpromising and under-delivering.

You don’t have to run a brand strategy agency to understand the importance of the customer experience. Creating a personal connection with audiences through meaningful experiences is the gold standard of modern marketing and its value is repeated ad nauseam.
Yet simply because we all pay lip service to this notion doesn’t mean we’re actually getting it accomplished. Many brands are still falling woefully short in terms of delivering a compelling cross-channel consumer experience.

So what’s the key to unlocking these sought after, but rarely realized, customer experiences?

Building a more human brand.

Taking your brand’s pulse

According to the most recent Forrester U.S. Customer Experience Index, there has been a minimal improvement in the overall quality of consumer experiences. Think about this: Though brands and their CMOs line up to testify to the necessity of great customer experiences, the actual customers are deeply unimpressed.

Clearly, something is fundamentally amiss. Put simply, brands are focusing far too much on product experience and much too little on the human experience. If you want to connect at a deeper level, you need to move beyond the way people interact with products in a narrow use case sense, and instead consider the full range of feelings, desires, hopes, aspirations, etc. that are connected with any product or service.

We certainly have the right tools at our disposal. Today’s digital technologies facilitate the kind of close engagement with audiences that would have been unthinkable just a decade or two ago.

A date with implementation

So how can these tools be deployed in service of more human-centric experiences? Consider the following:

We like to think we are rational creatures.

The truth, however, is that emotion guides us more often than not. A few years ago, leading neuroscientist Antonio Damaso made a pioneering discovery. Damaso studied subjects who had experienced serious damage to the part of the brain where emotions are generated. Everyone he studied had an unusual commonality — they struggled mightily with even the simplest decision-making. Brands need to understand the profound role emotion plays in how consumers respond to marketing messages and optimize accordingly.

The best ideas and intentions are often utterly lost in execution.

It’s one thing to conceptualize human experiences; it’s another thing entirely to deliver them effectively. Forward-thinking brand strategy agencies grasp the importance of digital tools in this process. According to Gartner, 63% of CMOs are expecting an increase in their innovation budget. If you want to deliver personalized experiences, you need to build the architecture to do so.

The consumer/brand relationship is being utterly transformed.

But not every brand is at the same place on the acceleration curve. The days of deploying one size fit all marketing, selling a product and periodically keeping in touch with consumers are long gone. Today, the most successful brands build communities; they encourage constant digital interaction and engagement; they facilitate a continuous relationship that integrates directly into a consumer’s lifestyle. These brands aren’t merely companies — they are, in many ways, an extension of the consumer themselves.

The takeaway

Digital technologies have created tectonic shifts in the ways brands sell and market their products and services. The best brand strategy agencies understand these changes and help position brands for maximum competitive advantage.

If your existing marketing approach needs to be upgraded with a more human-focused, digitally powered approach, please contact our brand specialists today.

How to Build Trust Through Community Bank Marketing

Leverage the unique opportunities of a small bank to drive effective community bank marketing strategies that will turn your small branch into big business.

Many agencies and marketers like to think that finance is a big mystery—an animal all its own with completely different rules. In some ways it is, but in most ways, it isn’t. Effective branding gains attention and keeps it; just like it does in every other industry. Community bank marketing is very similar to small business marketing, it just calls for a more sophisticated twist.
Here are 3 key concepts for building trust in small banks:

1. Get personal, to an extent

Small banks have the unique opportunity to build strong interpersonal relationships. To not just become a brand or company name, but to become Sammy, the helpful man at the front desk, who can help you get what you need. He knows your name and asks about your son’s baseball games.

Let empathy drive your services so that your consumers feel valued. Show them directly how your customer relations can brighten their day while your services exceed every expectation. Leveraging expertise and friendly service, you can turn your brand into a mentor for each and every customer.

Find an agency that understands the delicate differentiators’ in voice and branding to craft the perfect balance for your community. Drive real results with community bank marketing that cares just the right amount.

2. Leverage digital effectively

Digital is invaluable to community bank marketing because it’s a great way to establish one-on-one interaction and build strong relationships. Digital marketing for banks works a lot like digital marketing for anyone else but should be held to a higher standard. For example, a clothing company or salon should have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts; while banks should be on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, but never Instagram. It’s just too casual.

The right digital strategy in banking is all about finding your line of sophistication and building that ever-important trust. Use digital in conjunction with strong branding to build effective consumer relationships. Post community views and common local phrases to evoke nostalgia and build understanding. Using effective bank marketing strategies, your brand can become a community pillar.

Represent your brand as a member of the community and follow through. Post photos and short videos of the front office team to build a connection before a customer even sets foot through your doors. Show the management team doing community service and attending local events, embody your brand through human interaction. Demonstrate a neighborly connection to develop a real personality.

3. Embrace ever-evolving technology

Maneuverability is a great advantage that small banks have over large institutions. Every day enhanced technology is being developed in all aspects of every industry—including banking. Due to the security necessary throughout the banking process, it can take years to implement any one new process across an entire large bank. For a community bank, that same process can take just a few months.

Incorporate cutting edge technologies into your services to provide convenience as well as modernity for your customers. Leverage your agility and technological know-how in your brand’s bank marketing ideas. This will draw in young consumers looking for a better way to the bank as well as the older markets that simply enjoy the advantages offered by new technologies.

More than a novelty, technology can cut your company’s operational costs while allowing for more personal service. Incorporating a one-on-one, on-demand experience for consumers to interact with your brand without having to walk in. Utilize effective customer service in combination with technology to add value to your services. Remember, it’s nice to like your bankers but your bottom-line is built on trust, experience, and results.

The takeaway

Small banks have a lot more going for them than meets the eye. Make sure your brand’s target audience understands all that your company brings to the table through genuine connection built the right way, digital that effectively reaches consumers and furthers that connection, and unique offerings that only smaller institutions can accomplish.

It can be a lot to manage yourself. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an advertising agency that understands the demands, opportunities, and limitations that your company faces. When you’re ready to market your bank on the next level, get in touch with our community bank marketing professionals.

Advice on Social Media Stories from a Brand Positioning Agency

Social stories have only been available for a few years, but as a brand positioning agency, we quickly recognized their marketing potential. Today, our expert storytellers use social stories to put a relatable human face on the clients we work with. Humanizing an organization makes it much easier for potential customers to develop a strong relationship and affinity for their products and services.

Why stories sell

Behavior experts tell us that humans are wired for story. We have what’s been called a “story drive” that makes us hungry for information presented in this format. In fact, we know that storytelling was the primary way that our ancient ancestors communicated. You might say that cave paintings were the first Instagram!

Stories are just as important today. They are the best way to sell a product or service because we connect with them at a deeper level than we do simple information. This is extra important in a generation where our attention span has dropped below that of a goldfish (that’s a little embarrassing). People want to know at a glance what you are offering, and stories give them that information in a very quick, visual, and scannable way.

5 tips on using stories to connect with your audience

As a brand positioning agency, we’re sharing insider knowledge on leveraging social media stories:

1. Start slowly

Rather than diving headfirst into being storytellers across the social spectrum, you and your team should pick a platform and get a good feel for the medium. Instagram is a great place to start, in part because it has an excellent set of tools for creating social content.

2. Make the most of the tools available to you

Many companies get stuck using just the basic functionality on a platform. If you want to create engagement with your audience, it pays to learn about all the features a particular service has to offer so you can make your stories stand out.

3. Work up to using multiple platforms

Once you’re comfortable creating stories on one platform, start reworking and repurposing the content you create there in other places. Doing so saves you time and provides consistency for your audience.

4. Create stories that exhibit both passion and practicality

While a story that is simply entertaining will get some attention, one that also provides practical, usable information will be much more widely shared, and we can tell you just how much with our social media monitoring services.

5. Be human

The “story drive” we have makes us want to hear stories from other humans. Content that looks and sounds like it was produced by a robot won’t engage people and may turn them off. Utilizing content that is relatable and organic will draw more of a crowd.

How can our brand positioning agency help you get the most bang for your buck through the use of social media stories? The best place to start is to get in touch with our branding experts and tell us your tale.

Branding discussion: Developing a brand persona – Part I

People who love their brands have an emotional attachment to them that’s almost impossible to match.  Give an Apple enthusiast a Samsung Galaxy to play with, and watch him politely decline to try the $700 phone.  Whether it’s Target for reliability and quality, Neiman Marcus for luxury goods, or JetBlue for affordable airfare, people stick to brands when there’s trust and loyalty between the brand and the consumer.
But how can a marketer with a new product, service or feature create and instill brand loyalty and a brand persona into its users?  After all, the business owner is typically working in a competitive landscape – while the brand may offer a superior product, the business owner unfortunately still must rise above the noise to get potential customers to convert to loyalists.

Brand strategists have discovered that they can do this through creating a strong, unique brand persona.  By addressing a few key concerns, they can rise above others in the field to establish a strong brand presence, as well as a loyal customer base.

Tips from Our Florida Advertising Agency

Here are some tips from the pros at our Orlando marketing agency that business owners can try in order to help create a strong brand identity:

Know Your Audience: Truly understanding your audience is two-fold.  Data helps provide insights about your target demographic – perhaps they are female  smartphone owners, aged 25-35, who enjoy cooking.  But once you know your audience based on consumer insights, you might simply begin to develop gut instincts about them.  There’s a fine line between giving your consumers what they want based on your analytic data, and giving them features and services they love that they didn’t know they wanted.

Create an Ideal Customer:  If mom-to-be Hannah Jones, who lives at home with her husband in a middle class home in the suburbs is your ideal client, then perhaps you’re doing yourself a disservice by heavily marketing in urban areas.  Our Florida advertising agency warns against attracting customers that are not ideal, you may also damage your business by potentially causing dilution of the brand name. Take some tips from the brand Airwalk, which quickly fell downhill once it stopped making its line of specialty shoes aimed toward teenage skateboarders and available only at specialty stores, and accidentally began reaching the thrift consumer instead.

Know Your Product:  If you’ve developed a high-end service for luxury watch owners, then chances are that your brand voice doesn’t need to seem as though it’s wired on Mountain Dew.  Instead, look closely at the types of publications and blogs that cater to your ideal customer, and review them to learn about what’s popular with your demographic in the moment.  If your product doesn’t seem to be an appropriate fit with your target, then you may need to pivot your business or your strategy in order to keep in line with what your target needs.

Once you’ve addressed these items, you can then begin to create your own brand persona.  Part II of this article offers ways in which you can begin to develop a campaign around your target consumer.

Part II is coming tomorrow…

To learn more about our branding services, please contact BIGEYE today at 407-839-8599.