Introducing the third in our blog series of eleven innovation and branding precepts for 2011.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
Even unique products have the potential to be replicated, and increasingly brands are realising that a key area to differentiate and innovate is around service and customer experience. This is particularly relevant for brands selling services or abstract products, but it is also increasingly important for product brands as well – as we’ve seen for global icons like Apple and Nike.
As the UK’s first new retail bank in over a century, Metro Bank has had to offer something very different. Focused primarily on the customer experience, including having retail-based opening hours, relaxed branch layouts, and even treats for customers’ dogs, MetroBank has set its sights on turning the entrenched lack of consumer trust in banks into loyalty for their new generation of bank.
This high-end butcher in one of Sydney’s richest suburbs has taken the standard consumer butchery experience to a whole new level. In a city where high quality meat is the norm, Victor Churchill has realised that it needed to find another way to differentiate. Starting with the amazing fashion-store interior design and product wrapping, through the impeccable service from knowledgeable and experienced staff, to the butchery masterclasses that sell-out almost immediately, this really is a stand-out customer experience in a retail category not known for its innovation.
Everyone knows Apple makes beautifully designed, easy-to-use products, and that for its fans the brand is bordering on cult status. Having mastered the art of producing market-shifting technology offers, the wonder-brand has now focused their attention on their retail presence. Taking their already-high customer engagement to the next level, Apple retail stores include training zones with workshop offerings for every level and segment of user (much of it free), highly knowledgeable staff who know the products and services inside out, and are equipped with the very latest point-of-sale technology – all focused on enhancing the customer’s experience. And of course, being Apple, the stores are beautifully designed and easy to navigate.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT…
How could you differentiate yourself from your competitors on customer experience or service? What are the ‘pain points’ for your customers that you could turn around to surprise and delight them? How should or could your brand manifest itself in a retail or service environment?
If you can’t wait for the next blog in the series, or you missed the last one, all eleven precepts can be viewed here.