Companies tend to separate marketing (traditional brand owners) and operations (traditional customer experience owners). The way forward is to leverage the power of the brand to reinforce decision-making and habit formation by developing brand experience. The only way to do this is to truly put the customer at the heart of the business and optimise their brand experience throughout.
How do we come to act as we do?
The term ‘decision-making’ suggests we are making millions of conscious decisions every day to guide the millions of actions we take. Largely we are not doing that consciously. As Behavioural Economics tells us, we tend to favour behaviours that are easy and/or feel good. Brands contribute to and reassure us of on both counts, making the brand a powerful tool in directing customer action.
What is a brand anyway?
Our minds are wired to see patterns – similarity and difference. Byron Sharp tells us of the power of differentiation in brand decision creation. Psychologists tell us of the primal power of emotion and sensory input to form the basis of memory and meaning.
When put together it seems that, rather than being a marketing tool, or in fact anything to do with marketing at all, the brain is naturally forming ‘brands’ of our experience and expectations for us to use – it’s part of how we naturally make decisions efficiently. Brands are in essence concepts. For the purposes of how you behave, your friend is a brand, your home is a brand, and the morning commute is a brand.
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Sara Garcia, principal, Blaze Research