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Mapping your brand – why every touchpoint matters

Whenever we start a new branding project with clients we always begin with going back to the basics of what a brand actually is. It’s not your logo, it’s not a clever strapline and it’s not your product or service. It’s what people say, feel and think about your business.

If this is the case (which we think it is), then there is a lot more that goes into creating your brand than simply what goes in your brand guidelines.  It’s the culmination of every direct or indirect experience a customer has with your brand. In this post we’re discussing why it’s so important to have a full and complete view of all of these touchpoints, and how to go about getting it. 

 

Why is mapping your brand touchpoints so important?

To ensure a consistent brand experience:

Every touchpoint a customer has with your business is an opportunity for your brand to either be strengthened, or diluted. Imagine receiving an email from Apple which doesn’t include beautiful product photography? Or walking into an Apple store and not being able to play with the latest iphone? How would that affect your overall perception of Apple as a brand?

For lesser known brands, ensuring this consistent experience across every touchpoint is crucial for your brand to gain momentum with audiences and become recognised for a certain style or type of content. Take the time walk in your customers’ shoes and question every touchpoint you come across – does it look, feel and speak like your brand should?

 

To influence the buying decision:

Every point at which a customer interacts with your brand is an opportunity for you to influence their behaviour or buying decision. In order to create a comms strategy that takes advantage of these moments, however, you need to understand the customer thought process at that point in time. Without actually mapping that journey and thinking about the process a customer is going through, it will be extremely difficult to do this.

Consider the customer journey of a new car buyer for example. After taking a test drive, the customer is likely to be impressed by all the features of the product and how they felt when they were sat behind the wheel. But they are also likely to have concerns or challenges around making such a big purchase. Do they need to spend the extra money on the leather seats and sports package, for example?

Would it be better to follow this customer up a week later with a personalised quote detailing their deposit and monthly payment cost, to try and seal the deal? Or would some more inspirational content about driving a car with a sports package work better? Clearly, both touchpoints are necessary in order to make the sale, but the timing and content of the touchpoint is crucial in influencing the buying decision.

 

To spot opportunities for cross/up sell: 

By mapping a typical customer journey (and preferably, backing this up with data), you can start to see where you can add extra value to your customer’s experience. In turn, this can also provide a business case for offering new products or services to your customers which are linked to that touchpoint.

If I go into a coffee shop every morning and buy a latte, it’s likely I’ll be in the market for breakfast as well as coffee. If my coffee shop mapped this journey and thought about my potential need for breakfast, they would spot the opportunity to capitalise on the fact I’m in their shop, and send me a voucher for 50% off a bowl of porridge or a pastry to get me to try out their breakfast offering.

Investigate your typical customer journey and see if you can spot any patterns in customer behaviour or buying cycles which can help give you insight into their life or habits. Are there any other needs your customers may have when they interact with your brand? Can you take advantage of these opportunities by offering another product or service?   

 

Need help mapping your brand?

Many businesses we have come across at BGN start off in our process thinking they know their customer journey inside out.  But this is often not the case. It can really help to work with people outside of your business to complete your brand touchpoint map and spot the opportunities and challenges that we’ve discussed here. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, get in touch with Antonio.