Consumer experience is a very important part of your brand and is often when you can easily differentiate yourself from other brands. With the right competitive differentiation you can either win the heart of your customers or not. This article describes the main features of consumer experience and how your packaging can help with your consumer experience
The first thing to keep in mind is the channels with which you reach and are in contact with your consumers. All of these channels are as important as the other, none more than another. This is crucial and is often overlooked, as we have all experienced with call centers some channels are more refined than others for some companies. The in store location has warm customer service, but when you call the call center for help they are short, rude, and not understanding. This reflects badly for the brand with which you are dealing with. Email contact is also another important channel in which many potential and existing customers are trying to get information, updates, and more details about a specific offering.
Furthermore, most consumers visit the company’s website, so this channel is also important while trying to improve consumer experience. Making the website ergonomic and intuitive to use, reduces frustration and enables users to find all the information they are seeking. This touches upon the next aspect of consumer experience which is ease.
The ease at which you get information is a great example of this aspect of consumer experience. We are frustrated when something is difficult, but happy when something is easy! Improving every channel to make it easy for the consumers to get what they want is a guaranteed way of improving your brand’s perceived value. In other words, the ease yields satisfied customers!
Most of the time, satisfaction comes from meeting one’s needs. In rare instances it can be something that is oddly satisfying, such as Apple’s patented packaging (link to other blog). Or it can be as simple as satisfying one’s needs, like call centres, or email response can satisfy the need for more information.
There are multiple ways in which needs can be addressed:
- Helpful without asking, you can preemptively address people’s concerns, such as car warranty call backs.
- You can provide solutions when someone reaches out.
- The best thing you can do is to satisfy a need that the consumer did not even know they had.
- Accomplish your brand’s promise (Link to other blog post “what is marketing). Namely, you satisfy the promise you made during your marketing campaign; whether that is saving your client’s time, money, and or effort.
Effectiveness refers to the degree of your satisfaction or ease. These aspects add a dimensional component to each of the previous aspects. In other words, instead of being ‘either or’ scenario, satisfied or not. Effectiveness allows room for error. For example, if you are not satisfied nor dissatisfied, then you would be in a neutral position in terms of effectiveness. In other words, you can be somewhat effective in terms of ease or satisfaction
This aspect of consumer experience is fairly self-explanatory. All emotions that are attached during the journey of interacting with your brand are reflective of the consumer experience. More specifically, if the consumers feel happy when they enter your store and laugh at a pun written on the wall, those emotions strengthen a positive consumer experience and create a sense of positivity that is attached with your brand and every time a consumer thinks of your brand
Expectations are tough to break, but easy to create. When we see an advertisement our expectations are created and set. If the company doesn’t meet or go above or beyond your expectations, you are disappointed, and these emotions are tied to the brand. Every time you hear that brand’s name you think of the time they did not meet your expectations and thus do not believe in their offering anymore.
Trust is an important component of a brand and within consumer experience trust can be built from meeting or exceeding expectations. Trust is lost if you do not meet expectations. There’s the age-old saying “underpromise, over deliver!” which encapsulates the importance of setting expectations accordingly. If you create too high of expectations then you are surely going to disappoint some people, and the risk is not worth the reward. Setting expectations is a fine line but an important one that needs to be balanced.
Tangibility is crucial; touch is one of the most impactful senses. A touch can convey feelings that cannot be put into words. Packaging is a great way to come into contact with your customers, a rough paper can bring a rustic feel to your brand, while a soft textured box raises a sense of professionalism and clean cut to your brand. In other words, use your packaging to reinforce your brand, by creatively utilizing packaging features to convey it.
Other senses are also important in terms of tangibility, the feel and smell of a room can make or break your brand. If it smells like rotten food, then you are surely not going to sell any of your product, but if the room smells like fresh cinnamon buns then you are more likely to sell more of anything because people want to be there and are happy to be there. Customizing your boxes is an easy way of increasing the effectiveness of tangibility.