Managing the brand experience is one of the most important branding tools to increase the competitiveness of a business. To improve this experience, one of the most powerful tools is the customer journey map. Aaron Rodriguez, an expert in business optimization, explains what this process is all about and how it improves the brand experience.
“The customer journey is a Design Thinking tool that makes it easy to reflect on a map each of the stages, interactions channels and all the elements that a customer goes through in their relationship with a brand,” Rodriguez explains. “It is, therefore, a key tool for understanding and improving the user experience.”
More and more companies are aware of the benefits of the customer journey in their business strategy. It is a methodology with a growing acceptance by all types of companies and institutions and is used in many business schools and in all types of professional services.
Generating a brand experience is essential to be able to compete in complex and variable markets. Based on this premise, it is also necessary to know the great benefits of the customer journey in your business strategy.
The concept of the customer journey is a design thinking term that describes the cycles of a customer’s interaction on some service, product, or brand. It can be described as the customer’s journey through their brand experience.
Design thinking makes it easy to understand all these interactions in a unified, visual, and operational diagram. The customer journey map is a very efficient design thinking methodology for the process of creation, analysis, improvement, and training.
With its different versions, such a tool helps to get as close as possible to the customer and to analyze how they think and what they want. In essence, understanding real needs and seeking to meet customer expectations is the best way to improve the customer experience.
This map measures and describes how they interact with the services or products they consume, how they discover them, how they use them, and how or how often they recommend them. It details each touchpoint and places them in the phase of that journey, whether it is discovery, consideration, decision, use, or display.
“Brand experience uses this type of work methods intensively because it is crucial to design products and services correctly so that they understand exactly the needs and feelings of the users,” Rodriguez details.
The key is to find empathy with customers, to understand how they feel throughout the buying process: welcomed, lost, frustrated, impatient, disoriented. It is important to use these research techniques that help to be in contact with users.
The customer journey approach is different when we think of user experience (UX) than when we think of branding. The customer journey, according to UX, has to do when the user is interacting with a brand platform. On the other hand, the customer journey from a branding perspective does not require this contact and refers to situations broader than a relational or transactional context.
In short, there is no UX apart from use or consumption, but there is branding apart from that. And that is precisely the strength that brand experience can bring to the user experience: it extends to many more contexts.
The customer journey should be used as a tool to design all the states that the user goes through and thus seek to improve their experience. Knowing the best customer experience means understanding the feelings that customers create with the brand and the product. Improving the brand experience means detecting areas for improvement and managing new opportunities to be relevant.
“A good user journey will allow us to observe the steps to be taken in the development of any service or product,” Rodriguez points out. “By carrying out this outline, we will be able to determine the satisfaction of the real needs of customers and align the brand experience we want to create.”
Behind this work, we find the market positioning, the corporate culture, the story we want to deploy, and the meanings with which we want to associate our brand because experience and meanings go hand in hand.
When a user experiences a link with the brand, it will remain engraved in him, and this sensation or experience can exist outside of purchase or use. This is what we call a brand experience.
For this reason, organizations must deploy their brand management in a large number of situations and opportunities. Customer perception is born from the sum of every action or experience (positive or negative), especially at the points of friction between what the brand says and what the brand delivers.