Think about all of the different ways that your brand interacts with and makes an impression on your customers, your employees, and all of your critical partners and stakeholders that help to bring your brand to life. Your brand might touch these consumers on a daily basis.
With each interaction you are given the opportunity to give your customer a great experience — building stronger brand equity, or give them a poor experience —damaging your brand in that customer’s eye.
By consistently reinforcing and strengthening what your brand stands for at each of these moments (we call them touchpoints), you drive customer satisfaction. With a high degree of customer satisfaction, your brand will tend to experience:
• Superior customer loyalty
• Increased word-of-mouth referrals
• The ability to charge premium prices
• A higher degree of consumer forgiveness
All leading to…
So what is a brand touchpoint? Every action, tactic and strategy your brand has with customers or stakeholders, whether it is through advertising, a merchandising display or a customer service call, is a brand touchpoint.
In our experience, every brand has at least 30 and sometimes up to 100 brand touchpoints on a daily basis. In general, touchpoints fall into three distinct customer experience segments: pre-purchase experience, purchase experience and post-purchase experience. Some examples of pre-purchases touchpoints are advertisements, direct mailings, free standing inserts or rack cards, website, e-newsletters, and even your storefront.
The goals of these pre-purchase touch points are to cross sell to current customers, attract new customers, build brand awareness, shape brand perceptions and expectations and drive brand relevance through linking certain benefits to brands (like green products).
The purchase experience touchpoints are geared towards moving customers who are only considering your brand to actually purchasing it. Some examples of purchase touchpoints are packaging, POP displays, in-store sampling, and even customer service representatives.
The goals of these purchase touch points are to instill buying confidence through maximizing value or quality, assuring warranties and mitigating buyers remorse worry, building or strengthening customer relationships and retention.
The post-purchase experience touchpoints are all the interactions that are leveraged after the sale to help maximize the total brand experience. The usage or consumption of the product is experienced at this stage as well.
Typical post-purchase experience touchpoints include product and package performance, customer service, customer satisfaction surveys, loyalty programs, loyalty coupons, e-newsletters, billing, follow up or reminders.
A goal for your brand should be to maximize each of these interactions by delivering on your brand promise consistently. By meeting or exceeding customer performance expectations and seeking new ways to delight your customers, you increase brand loyalty and advocacy.
Good customers will not only look to your brand for repeat and future purchases, but they also endorse and recommend your brand to others. And that is some seriously positive ROI.