Brands are changing. They are now about shared behaviours, shared usefulness. Customer experience is everything in a world of connected users.
We were all once taught about brand identity and the importance of communicating that. But brands are changing now and the “identity” is less relevant than the experience of it.
Wolff Olins, in a stimulating webinar in August, suggested that brands are now about shared behaviours, shared usefulness. That means brands cannot just broadcast; they must enter into real conversations with users. Customer experience is all. In a new world of connected users, all of whom are savvy with social media, the way in which a brand is experienced, makes the brand what it is. The process of choosing and buying is all part of that too. So the behaviours of staff and the internal culture are key to achieving a loved brand. Therefore good user experiences, repeated and consistent, create a valuable brand in the user’s mind.
For communicators that means wonderful user stories are vital. Forget command and control, advises Wolff Olins, just enter the conversation.
What can brands do, then, in this new user-centric world? They can make sure what they say matches what they do. They can connect with users’ lives in a better way: listening to their aspirations for the future and what conveniences they need now. The key word here is: agile, meaning they should be prepared to respond and change very fast.