By Anup Sukumar, Sr. Manager – Business Development
Today, “brand” is defined many ways—it could be a corporation, product, service, or person. Brand management is the process of recognizing the core value of a particular brand and communicating it to targeted customers, and it is a staple of the market. Brand management includes analysis and planning on how that brand is perceived in the market—from tangibles such as product look, feel, and price, to intangible elements like consumer experience and relationship. And what’s absolutely essential to good brand management? Developing a good relationship with the target consumer market.
Brand Uniqueness and Prevalence
Modern customers are idealistic in their desire to invest in a culture rather than merely purchase merchandise or a service. In this market, the most successful brands build brand loyalty and create a positive brand distinction, taking unique steps and making efforts to set themselves apart from their competitors.
For a brand to establish itself, it should aim for uniqueness and prevalence. Unique, so that customers don’t associate your brand’s properties with those of your competitor. Prevalent, so that the majority of customers strongly associate your brand to your specific fundamentals like product/service features and benefits.
Uniqueness and prevalence together help establish brand distinctiveness. Distinctive brands, in turn, are thought of more often and are able to achieve greater market share. Ultimately, then, such positioning can help brands grow the customer base. Also, to sustain distinctiveness and maintain strong brand association, there needs to be consistency in the differentiation. The most iconic brands in the world are unparalleled due to unswerving and perpetual use of their distinctive brand features over many years. And this leads to deep brand penetration and retention in customers’ minds. Features like great quality, great customer care, empathy, pride in ownership/use—these all amount to customer delight. As such, brand growth is born out of a commitment to these features.
New Channel Proliferation
Any conversation about brand distinctiveness needs to also address customer experience (CX), which can define a company and make or break its fortune. Innumerable communication channels present marketers with a fragmented landscape, along with heightened customer expectations and diminishing brand loyalty. Gone are the days when companies used voice channels alone when trying to reach their audiences. The consumer diet changed, from linear to complex and fragmented, and more careful attention and understanding is required of brands to identify ways to drive sales, build loyalty, and retain customers. In fact, the modern customer demands effortless, do-it-yourself, “over-the-counter” resolution through self-service. Time has now arrived to intelligently integrate people at key moments of truth, and leverage analytics and automation to optimize CX. This is also the fastest way to control costs and balance the needs of a consumer business to move beyond the traditional voice contact center approaches.
So where does this leave companies in a world where CX is a priority to maintain distinction? The only way to go about it is by prioritizing this CX focus, experimenting with new ways to tailor marketing by channel and identifying how to maintain a consistent customer experience across channels.
Imperative for Today’s Businesses: Optimized CX
Today’s companies need to identify, learn, and gain maturity in understanding the unique characteristics of each channel based on medium and demographics. They need to deliver state-of-the-art services to help them communicate with customers to understand their requirements, problems, complaints, and aspirations. Every new channel creates additional audiences, and companies are forced to maintain standardization in providing responses and staying truthful to their brand essence, thus giving rise to the concept of omni-channel service which unifies consumer experience across all channels. As new channels emerge, there is a required research and development process that must take place to determine the value that channel can deliver.
With all the effort put into brand distinction, it helps to lean on the experts to ensure the loop is closed. BPOs are skilled and experienced as brand ambassadors that can, one interaction at a time, deliver consistent performance to exceed customer demands, through new initiatives and programs, across all channels. These experts can help today’s brands leverage multiple channels properly and consistently dedicate the 24×7 resources needed to do so. By placing a premium on customer experience, brands can rise above the fray in the crowded landscape.