Brands have always succeeded in luring customers. Iconic designs helped people differentiate one brand from another and logos had defined brands. Brands acted out in the past in order to make people know what they stood for, but today the customers decide as to what the brands stand for through their experience with different brands. In fact, customer experience is being considered as a key metric when it comes to measuring brand success. Brands that are able to provide compelling experiences to users are the ones that build long-lasting relationships.
The brand concept has evolved and it goes beyond how a website performs or even the marketing strategy. In today’s context, a brand represents the customers’ interaction with the company. The way a company presents the brand, markets, and what kind of experience the company provides to the consumers on their website are all important aspects that go into determining user experience. Even the colours used in the logo and the number of broken links on the website have an impact on user experience.
All these point to the fact that user experience is evolving and brands have to make use of technology to tweak customers’ experiences with them. More than anything else, brands must focus on promoting experiences that consumers love so that they feel like coming back over and over again. E-commerce giant Amazon managed to do that through their ground-breaking prime membership program. It is all about compelling user experiences.
According to experts, the most important factor that will influence consumers’ choice of companies for doing business will be the overall user experience. This one factor will even outpace product and price aspects by 2020. And, the kind of experience that your customers have on your website will determine whether they will still buy and remain your customer. This means that user experience will have a big impact on the brand image in the future.
How Does User Experience Impact Brand Image
Whenever a user interacts with a brand, it presents the business owner with an opportunity to enhance their brand image. It really does not matter whether the interaction is a virtual interaction made possible by digital technologies or a face-to-face one; it all boils down to the positive user experience which will strengthen his/her bonding with the brand. This is to say that user experience can have a big impact on word-of-mouth publicity, which by far is the most reliable way to familiarize brands with potential customers. A user that has a positive experience with a brand will never hesitate to recommend the products and services of the brand to his/her near and dear ones.
Secondly, there is a relationship between user experience and the perception of a brand in general. The experience that the users have on a company’s website, or when they use an app, definitely impacts the perception of the target market about the band’s products and services. Actually, it is virtually not possible to separate the user experience and brand perception. User experience should not be limited to layouts and graphics. The visual appeal is important, but it is the stuff that is available beneath the surface which has the potential to create the best and the most long-lasting impact on users. It is nothing but the functionality of the website or app.
Finally, the user experience and SEO also share a relationship. This is because Google has always emphasized user experience. What will happen if Google consistently presents low-quality sites for users? Users will naturally start looking for other search engines. That is why Google has included user experience as one of the criteria in its search algorithms. Therefore, brands should pay close attention to SEO in order to provide a better user experience.
User Experience Redefined In Digital Age
Hopefully, it is clear by now that branding is not limited to the logo and website any longer. It has more to do with tone, visuals, and behaviours. Customers enjoy great user experience consistently and develop a brand affinity when these three elements truly represent the core message of the brand. In today’s world, digital presence is essential for brands as it enables and presents many opportunities for customers to interact with them.
The concept can be understood better when explained by way of an example. Uber succeeded in providing unique customer experiences. The company created a turnaround in user experience by leveraging the power of the digital technology. The traditional taxi services posed a lot of challenges to customers. Uber developed a business model focusing on customers and experiences. This shows that brands that can establish meaningful interactions with customers are right on track to beat the competition. Actually, providing a personalized customer experience is the key to beating the competition.
Sephora’s chatbot enabled users to ask for beauty tips and indicate their preferences by way of a quiz. Customers and prospective buyers were given product suggestions based on their preferences and conversations. This personalized engagement helped the company create a positive feeling and attract more customers.
How Can You Improve User Experience
Average users, accustomed to specific layouts and functions on websites will look for markers in order to orient themselves when they visit your website. Certain things are vital and basic to any site. These should not be removed or relocated to an obscure place. This can negatively impact the user experience. Locate the navigation bar in a place so that it can easily be spotted. Further, it should be there at the same location on all pages.
People do associate the logo with your brand. However, it also serves another purpose with respect to user experience. On a website, when you want to quickly get back to the homepage you will click on the logo. In addition to representing your brand’s colours and image, the logo also doubles up as your site’s anchor. Therefore, make sure that your logo is linked to the homepage of your site.
It may not be practically possible to have a website with zero errors. However, you must certainly strive to achieve that. Suppose that you are visiting a website as a user to know about or buy a product. How will you feel if the site returns a 404 error? You click frantically on the navigation bar, but nothing happens. You transfer the product to the shopping cart, but you continue to get error messages when you try to place the order. Such experiences will frustrate buyers and impact your brand’s image.
Social Media Integration
Today’s consumers look forward to you and brand engaging with them as frequently as possible. Social media provide a platform for engaging in meaningful conversations with your customers. There are several ways in which you can engage with them on social media. You can share content, answer questions, handle complaints, and respond to mentions about you or your brand. This will not only ensure a better user experience but also reflect a positive image of your brand.
Studies show that out of the three minutes spent on the Internet, two minutes is through a mobile device. The number of smartphone users has increased by leaps and bounds. If your website is not optimized for smart devices, then you will not be able to provide any kind of user experience to a large number of users. They may not run to their laptop in order just access your site. They will find a competitor that offers a mobile-friendly site. This way you could lose business to competition.
To summarize, it is very important to keep user experience in mind when going for online branding. You should also keep an eye on your site analytics, conduct polls, and do A/B testing to clearly ascertain as to what is working alright for you and what is not. Take a look at your brand from a consumer’s standpoint and determine what you can do to improve the user experience. Addressing these issues in the appropriate manner will strengthen customers’ experience of your brand.