Today we hear a lot of terms like customer quotient, customer experience, brand recall etc. What does this really mean? After all, at one point in our lives we are also consumers at one stage. How can we relate to this?
A decade ago, there was not much thrust or focus on context sensitive marketing as it is today. Humans are wired for experiences. Experiences shape our thoughts and memories and give us the route to what we call brand stickiness or brand recollect. It's our experiences with a brand -the good and the bad that creates that final impact. The industry as such didn't have the necessary insight or roadmap to getting more out of customer interactions till a decade ago, as support systems were still in the making and most experiences were reactive. If someone wanted a product or a service, they would be the first to go out and look for it, so these kind of experiences were outside the confines of a home or a personal space.
Today all that has changed. The tables turned. It's the customer who calls the shots. With the Internet, ecommerce and Social Media platforms booming today, with so many new tools and technologies to gauge customer preferences and trends; we have analytical tools that precisely tell us where our customer base is going and heading. Not only that, this technological leap has also empowered customers to go where he or she has not gone before. The power of knowledge comes as a great enabler, it's a great liberator. Today's customer is 200% sure of what he wants, how he wants, why he wants and how he wants. Where did this knowledge and confidence come from? New technologies, analytics, powerful algorithms all have created a new and improved customer 2.0 where the customer creates the demand and zeros in on products or services that match the requirements.
All these technological marvels have only strengthened the bond between the customer and his brand. New age consumers are brand conscious more than anyone around, thanks to the plethora of social channels, feedback forms, surveys, reviews, context based marketing that's commonplace today. This only increases the brand stickiness of the customer to his loyal brand, and we all know that your customer didn't become your customer overnight. He/she would have read countless forums, seen product demos, read literature, spoken to fellow customers who have bought and used the product, went for a demo before finally turning in. Across all these stages, the customer is having a first-hand account of brand loyalty. That’s brand equity. And, when devices are able to proactively, intelligently guide you to solutions, your relationship with the brand strengthens even more and you begin to vouch for that brand wherever you are. No wonder that the very mention of certain powerful brands change us completely. It’s not so much with the product or the service that matters, but the overall experience that leaves a mark.
It's all because each of those brands attacked one pain point consumers had and created a unique solution that alleviated them of that problem forever. Long live brand equity!