A discipline that I consistently see organizations struggling with is in fully understanding the importance of touchpoints of their brand.
Yes they understand the basic idea of a touchpoint—that interactions with their brand is a touchpoint that influences the overall perception of their brand. And yes they know that it is to their advantage to integrate the touchpoints of their brand as much as possible.
The disconnects start to happen when we start to dig a little deeper into the organization and really start to identify all the ways in which consumers experience the brand. You then start to see areas where the brand experience doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as it should.
This typically happens because of lack of clarity in three areas:
- Identifying all the touchpoints of a brand—large and small.
- Understanding how consumers tend to move from one touchpoint to the next.
- Recognizing that all touch have an impact the brand experience.
While working with clients to help them continually improve and grow their brands, I’ve developed a framework to help them fully grasp the depth and complexity of the many ways that consumers experience their brand, and also help them improve this experience over time.
I call it the Touch Cycle. Here are the steps:
1. Choreograph Touches
Map out as many different paths that a consumer might take with your brand, from start to finish. Think about all the interactions that consumers have with your brand, large and small.
Don’t forget the small touches here. We have a tendency to let all the big things our brands do overshadow the small things that slowly chip away at our brands.
How do they fit together? How do consumers move from one step to the next?
Play out these scenerios in your head. Do they flow together well?
2. Listen and Watch
At each of these touchpoints listen and watch what consumers say and do. What are they telling you through their actions, or what they tell others?
Take note of any confusion or frustrations that consumers might have at a specific touchpoint.
3. Reinforce Behaviors
Support the positive reactions and actions happening around with the touchpoints of your brand. Strengthen those touchpoints by encouraging good behaviors.
For example, if someone refers a friend to your product or brand, at the very least thank them. Or better yet, reward them in some way.
This is especially important when it comes to your brands online touchpoints. When someone says something good about your brand, engage with them. Thank them and encourage them to continue being advocates for your brand.
4. Evaluate and Expand
Take a look back at all the work you’ve done in steps 1, 2, and 3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the touchpoints you identified in step 1. Determine what’s working and what’s not.
Are there touchpoints that we should eliminate? Are there areas what we should expand into and add new touchpoints to the brand experience?
It’s at this point that the cycle starts over and begins again. Obviously this is something that needs to be worked into a larger brand strategy, but I’ve found it to be a great tool to help organizations start to think of their brands in a more holistic way.
Thoughts? What say you?