Your Rebranded Customer Experience
#Rebranding requires a new customer brand experience. Our new Forbes story outlines how a #rebrand allows you the opportunity to reintroduce your company and actively reshape the customer decision path. This story originally appeared on Forbes.com.
It's great if customers see your rebranding, but do they feel it?
Rebranding is an exciting time to stand up an entirely new brand for your organization, one that more convincingly and energetically conveys your key differentiators. Branding is about differentiating yourself from competitors and helping customers to make purchase decisions quicker. Brands that create an emotional connection with customers stand out and win more market share.
While considerable attention is invested in the upfront rebranding process—creating a new brand promise, brand name, logo and visual identity—where the rubber really meets the road is in redesigning your customer brand experience. It is here that too many rebranding organizations don't invest the appropriate time and execution energy to ensure their future success.
Rebranding requires a new customer brand experience and allows you the opportunity to reintroduce your company and actively reshape the customer decision path.
Why CX And Why Now?
In its recent report "What is CX?" consulting firm McKinsey states that customer experience (CX) encapsulates everything your business does to put customers first, effectively managing their experience journey so that it serves their needs. Your CX is essentially as important (or more) as the products or services your brand offers. As the report states: "In a digital world, where customers review and share their experiences with a company in public forums, it has become vital for companies to connect with customers across their journeys at an emotional level. Not only is customer experience the right thing to do for customers but it also results in 3x returns to shareholders."
A good customer brand experience ensures your new brand is woven through every customer touchpoint, reinforcing your "new you" and reinforcing your key differentiators. This entails awareness-building advertising and marketing communications that support your sales funnel, the digital interface on both website and social, packaging, in-store and in-person encounters, customer service call center approach, employee attitudes, and how you handle issues when you underdeliver on their expectations.
Be A Brand Promise Keeper
A truly defined and orchestrated customer brand experience aligns with and delivers your company's purpose and brand promise across multiple impressionable moments.
According to a Gallup report: "A brand promise represents everything a company stands for — or does not stand for. It is the unique statement of what the company offers, what separates it from its rivals and what makes it worthy of customers' consideration." For example, Coca-Cola's brand promise highlights the experience of enjoying their products "to refresh the world … to inspire moments of optimism and uplift … to create value and make a difference.”
Your brand promise is responsible for bringing your brand to life. And never is that more important than when you are reinventing your brand and creating new expectations with customers.
Chart Your New Route
Pulling all the pieces together is accomplished through a customer brand experience journey map. The journey mapping exercise is the end-to-end depiction of the individual brand touchpoints from the customer’s perspective, which make up their experience with your brand over time. It breaks down that journey from a prospective customer first learning about your service/product, through the first of many purchases, and on to serving as an advocate for your brand.
As part of the rebranding process, it is important to have a clear handle on what your current experience map entails so that you can design an entirely new brand journey from the ground up to refreshingly reflect your new brand. It is your chance to identify the missing pieces in that journey, the needed processes, collaboration, resources and technology required to make the new brand experience happen.
If you have the time and energy, there are many resources online to facilitate mapping out your customers' journey, just be sure to include representatives from across all internal departments so that you have a full view. Better yet, use an external CX mapping or rebranding expert who can be objective and challenge participants' input.
We recently rebranded an organization that had long been known as an installer of window shades for commercial buildings. As part of the rebrand, the company was strategically enhancing its service offerings to advise building owners on how the selection of window glass and shades could dramatically improve occupant comfort as well as building performance, starting with energy cost savings. This requires an entirely new approach to customers and prospects, moving from an order taker to a value-added consultant. Disrupting the market like this requires that every step of the customer experience is reevaluated and upgraded to live up to a new brand promise of optimizing building environments.
A Cohesive Team
One of the greatest benefits of designing a new rebranded customer experience is that it forces collaboration from different sectors of the organization perhaps not accustomed to working together. We have found with many rebranding clients it is the first time demanding full integration of the organization, requiring more cross-functional collaboration than ever before.
Based on research we conducted in 2015 on recently rebranded organizations, we found that the two greatest rebranding challenges faced were engaging the necessary departments internally and creating a culture to support the brand promise. Designing a new customer brand experience together is how rebranding can help transform an organization.
So, while the shiny object of rebranding is often the name and visual look for the launch, remember that they’re only relevant when the road has been paved for the ideal customer brand experience.