Consumers and shoppers don’t just want to buy products, services or brands anymore. The truth is they want fulfilling and uplifting experiences that make them feel good and support their buying decisions.
Why? Because our lives are immensely busy; bombarded with information and choices in a shareable world. We want reasons to feel good about our decisions, to be invited in and to be involved in a world beyond ours.
So for brands and their marketing effort this means they cannot just deliver sales incentives. There’s more to it than simply communicating the benefits of a product or service and building strong emotional bonds with consumers. Brands have to think about the entire consumer experience.
Put simply, experiences drive behaviour and all experiences need designing. But how do brands put this into practice?
It’s a case of stepping back and reviewing each and every touch point that exists within the consumer experience and from there, delivering relevant and effective brand activation. Design is in an ideal position to help brands achieve this. Why? When people think about design they probably immediately think of the packaging. The box the product came home in, the brand’s logo and the colour and font used. But, it’s so much more than this.
By leveraging ‘Design Thinking’ our industry has learnt to unlock problems and turn them into solution-based executions that in turn, create a memorable and positive brand experience.
Through visual and verbal articulation we flex and extend brand activation to deliver consistency and clarity, but more importantly rich and engaging interactions. This directly drives behaviour and encourages action.
The service industry has long grasped this opportunity. At Elmwood our design projects in this environment now stretch from developing and delivering company vision and values, to the customer services helpline script that drives customer satisfaction, to how an App looks and functions. The App function is the activation point to purchase or contract renewal, but everything before that adds to the experience.
Our retail clients have also embraced this way of ‘Design Thinking’ to drive sales and loyalty. From physical in store environment to help shoppers navigate, to online interactions that cement relevant brand experiences – whether that’s the quality reassurance of John Lewis or the seamless ease of purchase and delivery through Amazon. These all need to be designed.
More recently our consumer goods clients have linked up internal company values, through their brand articulation and all the way to how the physical product reinforces these values and attitudes across all their brand experiences.
Whoever the brand, whatever the product or service there is a clear and compelling common denominator, said at the beginning of this piece: Experiences drive behaviour and all experiences need designing.
Written by Jon White