Talk and workshop at SAP startup incubator, Bangalore
We are seeing an increasing shift of customers choosing products and services based on the quality of experiences they offer. The market is in a shift where the users buy a story/an experience vis-a vis a product in its individuality. These experiences are defined by the various touch points with the brand. Obviously, it gives an opportunity to pre-think and orchestra these touch points to make the user feel in a certain way.
Understanding what goes in these touch-points, helps to understand the customer needs much better, the associated behaviours and underlying motivations. Once we know this, it becomes easier to mould them to think and make the users feel in a certain way.
A recent example in the market brings this shift in lime light, the shift of customers from Golds Gym to Cult fitness. Cult understood that in order to break the fitness business in the market they will have to reinvent the customer journey. They got back to the basics and understood the current needs of the customers, with insights ranging from being flexible on time to flexible workouts and more approachable fitness centres they came up with the disruptive customer experience and changed the market.
Once we have the key insights, building on them becomes easier. We can then channelize the efforts to innovate for different touch-points. Each touch point can then be mapped on to 2/2 quadrant to get further insights on what the user is seeing, thinking, feeling and talking at that particular point. This empathy mapping of each instance in the customer journey could give various solutions that can be developed into actual products/services. This helps enhance the customer journey and come up with new and innovative solutions, business opportunities.
This exercise can be done with all the 4 stages to get to a MVP. The learnings from each stage of this empathy map enhances the next stage in the prototyping fidelity. Wrapping these learnings becomes a better story for investors while giving all the insights about the product experience.
The sum of this story is nothing but the brand experience that the product service wants to emote. If we were to equate this, the brand experience is more than the sum of its individual parts and touch points. It is only when all these touch points are well thought off and crafted that the product or service emotes a good overall brand experience.
Once the entire customer journey and the experience is pre-thought and customized to suit the product, it becomes a unique and own-able brand experience.
Oscar Wilde, said the same thing in a short statement “Be yourself, everyone is already taken”.
Sometimes brands do not see the value or miss out on investing in the experience building right from the idea stage and that’s when they end up in a mayhem of marketing wars and then the price becomes the sole decision maker and the low-cost service/product is the only winner.
Therefore, it becomes immensely important for white board start-ups to craft out their customer journeys along with their product to achieve better, more realistic and unique brand experiences.