In our latest series of blog posts, we’ve been looking at different elements of brand identity and brand strategy. This post gives you eight actions and takeaways you can use to enhance your brand touchpoints – also known as customer touchpoints – and improve your customer experience.
What are brand touchpoints?
Any experience you have with a brand – any time you see it, hear or read about it, watch it, order from it, etc. – is a brand touchpoint. These individual interactions combine to build the relationship you have with a brand, which means that all these touchpoints must be consistently recognizable as being from the same brand. Brand touchpoints include:
- Social media
- Order confirmations
- In-box content
- Customer services
- Print ads
- Word of mouth
- On-hold messages
- And so on…
In order to enhance the brand experience for your customers, you need to know what each of these touchpoints are and how to improve them. Since each touchpoint has the power to engage your customers, they need to be effective, consistently on-brand, and give them something they want.
Why is getting brand touchpoints right so important?
Brand touchpoints have the potential to keep your customers coming back. All interactions should grow and enrich the relationship your customers have with your brand, compounding to help build your brand and your business.
Ultimately, utilizing all your brand touchpoints to their full extent will help you attract and retain customers and set you apart from your competitors.
There’s a positive ROI too – presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Of course, there is the potential for any touchpoint to have a negative effect, damaging brand trust and integrity. That’s why they should be well-planned, well-executed, tested, and checked over time.
4 things every brand touchpoint should do
No matter where your customer may come across your brand, which channel it’s in or when they have this interaction, there are four things that every brand touchpoint should do:
- Clearly and consistently portray your brand
- Enable your customers to identify you from your competitors
- Engage your customers
- Inspire them into action
8 ways to improve your brand touchpoints
So, how do you do this? These are our top eight ways to create engaging brand touchpoints that will help your business thrive:
- Identify your existing touchpoints
By identifying all your existing touchpoints, you’ll be able to compare them to each other and check that they all include the three elements above. You’ll also be able to identify where you have gaps – where you should be interacting with customers but there aren’t any touchpoints in place yet.
You’ll need to think about touchpoints across your business. Of course, many of them will come under marketing, but think about how your sales, customer services and accounts teams interact with your customers, what happens when your customer receives an order or wants to return it, and even how your customers are speaking to each other about your brand (having an effective word of mouth strategy will support this particular touchpoint).
- Analyze your existing touchpoints
When you have a list of all your existing touchpoints, consider these questions:
- What impression does this touchpoint create?
- Is it part of our brand strategy?
- Is it consistent with our brand identity?
- How does it compare with our competitors?
- Is it engaging to new customers?
- Will customers be inspired to take action?
Determine who within your business “owns” each touchpoint and how they manage it. Could it be optimized or improved in any way? You may need to do some internal education so everyone in your organization is on the same page.
- Find out what your customers think
First, try putting yourself in your customers’ shoes – think about each touchpoint as they would think. Second, ask your customers what they think. You could do this through online surveys, focus groups, phone calls, and also by analyzing data from your CRM system.
It’s important to know how a “real” customer interacts at each existing touchpoint, what they expect from your brand, and what they feel is missing. That way when you enhance or create new touchpoints, you’ll be able to give your customers a better experience by delivering them what they want and need. Additionally, it’s important to have your customers at the fore when you’re creating a touchpoint plan.
- Learn from your competitors (and other brands)
Doing a little analysis on what your competitors do and how successful they are at each brand touchpoint is a great way to find how to do (or not to do) it.
If one of your competitors uses brand touchpoints really well, look at how they’re doing it and why it works. You shouldn’t copy them, of course, but you can take what they’re doing and make it your own – and of course it needs to fit in with your brand identity.
You can also look at other brands outside your industry and take learnings from them. Think about the brands you personally interact with or have experience of and how they do it. You could also take inspiration from big brands like Nike and Starbucks.
- Improve your existing brand touchpoints
So now you have lots of information and ideas about how to improve your brand touchpoints, the time has come to take that step. There are a few things you can do:
- Align all your touchpoints so that they are consistent with each other and with your brand identity
- Make them engaging and inspiring
- Include a clear call to action so that your customer or prospective customer knows what to do
- Ensure they all clearly play their part in your brand strategy
This isn’t, however, a step you can take and then move on, never to look back. With advances in technology happening all the time, your brand touchpoints will inevitably have to change and evolve. Make sure you stay on top of these changes and updates your touchpoints as it becomes necessary. This will mean that you’re consistently creating a positive experience for your customers and meeting their expectations of what your brand should deliver.
- Create new brand touchpoints
Once you’ve identified your existing brand touchpoints, learned from your competitors and discovered what your customers want and need, you’ll likely have some new touchpoints you’ll need to create.
Make sure that these new touchpoints are consistent with existing ones you’ve already updated, and that they meet the four requirements of all brand touchpoints: they clearly portray your brand, they are easily identifiable from your competitors, they are engaging, and they inspire action.
- Make sure all your touchpoints are user-friendly
This is definitely a requirement or characteristic that every touchpoint should possess, and it’s so important that we’ve pulled it out individually from all the other requirements.
This not only applies to digital touchpoints – although in this day and age they are critical – but also to print, audio, outdoor, events, etc. Your customers should be able to instantly understand what’s going on when they interact with your brand, almost without thinking about it. That means you need to make it really easy for them to do just that. Your touchpoints should be simple, attractive, convenient, and easy to understand, otherwise your customers will simply move on.
- Concise, relevant copy
- User-friendly apps
- A website that’s easy to navigate
- A recognizable logo and brand identity
- Informative, educational content
- Clear calls to action
- And lots more!
- Create a plan – and measure results
As we’ve mentioned, enhancing your brand touchpoints isn’t a one-off task. You should create a plan to help you update your touchpoints on an ongoing basis and ensure that they are all consistent with each other and with your brand identity.
List out all your touchpoints and who is responsible for each one. Review them periodically, taking into account changes in your industry landscape, product offering, and technology. Set metrics around each touchpoint that you can use to measure their success and make any relevant tweaks.
Enhancing the brand experience at every customer touchpoint can help to solidify your relationships with your customers, generate loyalty, and set you apart from your competitors.
Check out our branding resource for more content on all aspects of branding, or call us if you’d like to chat through how LimeLight Marketing can help your brand.