“Customer Experience is the next competitive battleground” Jerry Gregoire, former CIO of Dell Scott Galloway, Clinical Professor of Marketing at NYU, announced in a recent lecture entitled Death of the Industrial Advertising Complex: “The sun has passed mid-day on brand.” What he means is that today, the competitive battleground is no longer about being the familiar brand. Being known isn’t enough to reach buying customers anymore and brands need new ways to differentiate themselves – through the next competitive battleground.
Building brand loyalty
In his lecture, Prof. Galloway points out how past brands selling average products ranging from beer to phone services used traditional advertising to build positive associations between their products and potential customers. In the world of advertising, beer made you more patriotic and a phone service lent you a sense of home and belonging. Brands were masters at building loyalty around associations created through ads; but this traditional model is rapidly declining.
Today’s consumers have to be wiser than ever before because they’ve never had more choice. Whether you’re choosing a beer to take to a weekend barbecue or choosing a wireless data plan, the complexity of choices requires a high level of consumer education.
Digital customer experience tools
But while brand loyalty is declining – digital engagement with brands is up and in greater demand than ever. These days, your brand’s competitive edge is reliant on its fluency across digital channels. Online reviews, social media Friend recommendations, comparison apps and omni-channel communication all carry more weight than traditional advertising.
Employ digital tools to help your brand win customer experience
Employing digital tools means pre-sale recommendations, comparison tools, getting Likes on social media and obtaining online product reviews. Together all of these pre-sale digital tools will impact about 90% of consumers before making a purchase decision. Brands also need to open communication over all the digital channels your customers are using in their day-to-day lives.
Whether you’re choosing a beer or a wireless data plan, the complexity of choices requires a high level of consumer education.
Being open for communication to potential and existing customers means looking outside traditional phone lines and email. Many brands offer web-chat during regular hours, but customers are starting to demand channels like SMS text and digital messaging apps like Facebook Messenger.
Why the demand? Today’s customers don’t want to wait for a response in real-time. They want to communicate with businesses the same way they communicate with friends and family. These days that means any number of digital messaging apps, including text, chat, Messenger or social media. Customers demand the freedom to send a message from anywhere and put away their phone until a response arrives.
Digital communications are lower cost for brands than phone. Meanwhile, the brand that is there, ready to speak the digital dialect of the individual consumer wins a leg-up on a competitor that is not ready to do so. Being there for the consumer with the product at the right moment is the trump card in today’s brand awareness.
Your customers are more educated than ever and have armed themselves with an array of digital tools. It’s critical for brands to employ the same due diligence by embracing the digital channels that will empower you to win the next competitive battleground.