• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Differentiating brand touchpoints from pain points

Why it’s crucial to keep your brand consistent

No business ever sets out to do anything wrong. And yet, that’s the exact scenario in which many companies find themselves on a daily basis. Even though they want to do things right, they simply misfire sometimes. It can be due to bad products, poor ideas, lack of proper strategy, bad implementation or absence of necessary agency, among others things.

Good brand and marketing strategies and implementation of same can turn any business around. A very good way to start this is for the brand to work on its promises, with a view to affecting the expectation of its customers and influencing its own delivery. A brand sets expectations for the experiences its customers enjoy. For example, if a brand promises ‘simplicity’ then its customers will expect their experiences to reflect this promise.

Recently, I was at an industry event and whilst discussing with some people, over lunch, we covered different subjects including branding, especially customer service and experience. Infact, a couple of the gentlemen and ladies that were part of the discussion had different things to say, based on experiences, on how some brands come short when it comes to delivering on their brand promises. One of the ladies pointed out that with a number of brands in Nigeria, brand touchpoints are mostly pain points due to7890 the terrible experiences of customers.

What is a Brand Touchpoint?
The term brand touchpoint describes one single perception by a stakeholder – meaning customers, suppliers, partners, employees, and owners – of a brand. In other words, a brand touchpoint is simply the places a brand touches the customer. Touchpoints are the gates to perception of the brand performance and brand messages. They are what makes appreciation and added value of a brand possible in the first place.

A touchpoint occurs at any given time a potential consumer interacts with the brand in the marketplace. These different individual contact points, between people and the brand, are where the success of a company is decided – whether customers buy, buy repeatedly, recommend, or are willing to pay a price premium. For brands, it is important to ensure a consistent set of touchpoints that resonate with the core value, communication and personality of the brand. Each element should include similar look, feel as well as tone of voice so consumers resonate and recognise your brand when at varied touchpoints.

Very few brand touchpoints are singular or individual. Most are embedded between upstream and downstream brand touchpoints along the customer journey. The total experience of such a customer journey is defined by the weakest brand touchpoint. It follows that even the best brand strategy is of no use if it does not guarantee an uninterrupted, consistent customer journey through systematic brand touchpoint management. The implementation of the brand strategy can be facilitated at all brand touchpoints by applying simple brand rules.

Pain Points
Pain points are critical brand touchpoints a customer encounters along his or her customer journey. Every badly managed touchpoint that is not designed in keeping with the brand leaves the customer with a negative experience – so it is a pain point. If there are too many badly managed touchpoints along a customer journey, the overall customer experience turns negative.

For example, if the online ordering process of a product is too complicated or not smart phone compatible, the brand touchpoint “order process” becomes a pain point that negatively impacts the customer’s decision. The customer might turn away and go to a competitor – where the order process works with one click.

Read also: How Nigerian banks frustrate cash-strapped customers

Pain points exist not only in direct customer contact, but off stage as well: Buying decisions are often negatively impacted by negative reviews from other buyers posted on portals, or when a good friend does not recommend the brand. When a buying decision is negative, all pain points are essential. The building of a customer journey must therefore focus on identifying these pain points and optimizing them to become “gain points”.

Once all pain points are identified and checked against the brand rules, the first optimization ideas for better brand embedding can be generated. A positive customer experience only results when the brand, its core values, and its positioning can be experienced at all touchpoints. Such gain points create enthusiasm and turn customers into loyalists

Last line
It’s important for brands to identify which touchpoints give them maximum impact in terms of achieving certain set of goals. Constant monitoring and analysis goes a long way in ensuring an effective plan to maintain a strong brand story for brands and ensuring that touchpoints do not become pain points.