The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Just Show You Give A Damn …

I hear so much about brand experience these days.

How the focus is to ‘remove the friction of purchase for the customer’.

That they genuinely believe this means they’re being valuable to their audiences.

And while that is rather misguided – given it is done to ultimately be in their own interests – if brands genuinely want to do right by their customers, then all they have to do is something their customers find valuable.

I’ve written a ton about this over the years.

From Timpson dry-cleaning suits/dresses for free if you have a job interview to the Co-op ensuring their food delivery staff make time to talk to lonely householders and almost everything in-between … but nothing made an impact on me like the experience I had with Texas Instruments.

Brand experience isn’t something you simply outsource to an ecosystem.

Sure, that can help improve overall efficiency or engagement … but in terms of offering an experience that helps people actually connect to the brand, then the brand has to do something that actually connects to the customer.

Something personal.

Something valuable. [To the customer, not just to themselves]

Something that demonstrates going out of normal practice.

Something like this.

Now I know what you’re thinking.

“But brands can’t do this sort of thing on an ongoing basis”.

And you’re probably right.

This sort of thing costs money.

But there’s two sides to this.

1. As H&M have shown with their free suit hire campaign, the return of acts like this can be significant both in terms of driving affinity and awareness.

2. If everything you do is based on the perceived ‘value exchange’ you’re making between brand and customer [which is always bollocks, because brands always over-estimate how much their actions are worth in the eyes of the people they’re dealing with] then you don’t really care about your audience, you only care up to a set amount of money and/or time.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate there are many aspects brands need to manage to keep their business going. But like companies who claim their staff are their greatest asset before treating them like shit, brands better know that they can’t say they care about their customers when they evaluate them purely by a financial transactional value.

It doesn’t mean you have to go crazy, but it does mean you have to actually give a shit about what they value not just what you want them to value.

Which is why I love the Marvel example so much.

Because they did it.

More than that, they did it and didn’t make a huge song and dance out of it.

No wonder they’re the home of the superhero.

13 Comments so far
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Well said Robert. Too many organisations have confused usability with experience.

Comment by George

Oh that’s a great way to describe the problem. Damn you. I’m definitely stealing it. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

That is an excellent way to describe the problem.

Comment by Lee Hill

Removing friction is just table stakes.

Comment by John

Exactly. And if companies have products and services that are creating friction, then you have to ask the standards and decisions of the people authorising it, making it and approving it.

Comment by Rob

the fucking irony is the best way to remove friction is to remove the endless layers of mediocre managers who create bollocks to justify their pointless existence.

Comment by andy@cynic

Unlike Disney to give anything away for free.
I hope you don’t post something in a few months about how his parents had to sell their house for copyright infringement.

Comment by Bazza

But your point is a surprisingly good one.

Comment by Bazza


Comment by andy@cynic

disney are fucking monsters and parasites.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well said Robert. I find the meteoric rise of experience very amusing. It is not a new discipline, it is just a new way for consultancies to make money. Back in my earliest days, it was just an integral part of how brands were managed. Rarely outsourced to a 3rd party and absolutely never referred to as experience.

Comment by Lee Hill

being professional is so fucking old hat.

Comment by andy@cynic

You should know. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

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