What brands need to think about if they want to gain customer loyalty.

You need to paint more of a holistic picture. While customer service is extremely important to consumers, brands need to consider so much more to create satisfied return customers that will advocate for their brand. They need to think about the image their brand presence on all fronts and every sense. They have to look to meet even the unseen needs of current and prospective customers to cultivate brand loyalty in this super-fast, super-distracting technological world where we live.

The Rufus Leonard creative agency in Britain has created a rubric that identifies the five facets of brand experience to help companies create a more holistic experience for their customers. This first is ‘think’- which is a brand’s ability to effectively communicate its purpose. Then ‘sense’-  how a brand immerses the consumer in its brand by connecting to his five senses. After is ‘feel’- which has to do with creating an emotional impact. Next, comes ‘do’- how the brand helps customers do what they need to do and problem-solves for them. Lastly, ‘connect’- creating a sense of belonging for consumers.

They then surveyed UK adults about their perception of several brands, ranging from communications companies to airlines. The results showed that to have a successful “brand experience”, and not just good customer service, companies need to pull all five of these elements together to create a total experience and a deep, valued connection with consumers.

That emotional connection between a customer and a brand is what defines the brand experience, and it is what allows him or her to believe in a company’s value. According to the Harvard Business Review, ‘What reduced satisfaction was something few companies manage – cumulative experiences across multiple touchpoints and in multiple channels over time.’ This means that by not paying attention to the various aspects of the customer’s experience with the brand, the customer loses interest or appreciation for the brand, and therefore will no longer (or will never) advocate for a brand that does not meet their needs.

While customer service (customer experience) is and always will be an extremely important aspect of winning and keeping new business, companies need to begin to address the more complete brand experience (all facets of a consumer’s interaction with the brand) to create and grow an emotional link with the company, especially in this hyper-connective digital age.