26 Jan How can reducing friction improve your brand performance?
It can be said that all points of friction are a potential point of failure, but understanding where, when, and why friction occurs in how you interact with your customers will help you avoid putting up unnecessary barriers that could potentially see them getting frustrated and going elsewhere.
The power of a brand today is determined by its consumers, not executive decision makers. The ‘processing fluency’ of a customer is influenced by how easily they understand a service or perceive the product presented to them. If there is too much friction preventing them from using or buying what you have to offer, then it’s time to review and evaluate a course of action that will help generate more positive leads and sales.
Examples of brand friction:
Your brand identity
How is your brand perceived in your target market compared to your competitors? Do your customers clearly understand who you are and what you offer? Are you communicating your service or product effectively, both visually and verbally?
Your brand identity is instrumental in making the right impression when you first engage with your target audience. If you don’t look the part, or you find the way you present and promote your products and services is not generating the expected leads or sales, there is some form of friction in how potential customers see or feel about your brand that needs to be resolved.
Understanding your customer
What defining factors does your product or service offer that make it a great choice, and is this clear to the consumer? How effectively is what you offer being received by those who try it? Are you sure your product or service provides what your target audience wants?
Understanding your customer is essential to targeting them effectively. You must always be aware of how well your products and services are received by those consuming them, how they compare with your rivals, and make any necessary adjustments that arise from any friction or weaknesses preventing customers from giving you their money.
Is the tactical approach to your marketing strategy achieving its objectives? Are your communication methods correctly positioned for your target audience? Have you clearly communicated the benefits your products or services offer over rivals?
Brand exposure is a key factor for success, particularly for new products and services, so it’s important to present your potential customers with a product or service in the most effective way possible.
There are many ways to promote what you have to offer, and due diligence in understanding how your customers need to be addressed and where to communicate and promote your products and services is essential to avoid wasting time and money on promotional material that either isn’t reaching or immediately engaging them.
The sales process
How easy is it for your customer to buy your product or service? Are you sure there are no unnecessary obstacles or hoops they need to jump through before handing over their money? Are you clearly providing all the information they need and assuring them they are making the right choice?
Now you’ve got the customer in the door (or on your website), it’s time to make that sale. Make sure this process is not only effortless, but a satisfying experience – potentially leading to further sales and recommendations. Whether you are dealing with customers face-to-face, or selling virtually via your website, it’s imperative you continue to operate with the integrity that brought them to you in the first place, as any negative experiences at this point – particularly when selling online, where the user experience has to be pre-setup to work without direct communication – will likely see things start to fall apart.
Aftersales and support
Is your brand receiving lots of positive feedback and reviews from your customers? Are you keeping in touch with your customers with advice or offers that may interest them? Are your customers able to easily contact you for advice or support on the items purchased?
As mentioned earlier, your brand’s success is determined by customer satisfaction. In a world where opinions and experiences are often publicly shared on review websites and social media, it’s important to continue to offer effective advice and support, even after purchase. A customer should be able to reach out to you easily and they will expect you to respond quickly and professionally, so keeping a daily eye on your social media comments and providing a simple online process to deal with support queries should ensure your brand continues to build a positive reputation.
How to reduce brand friction?
In terms of managing your brand, it is highly advisable you seek professional expertise on the design, development and marketing of your brand assets. A marketing professional will have the knowledge to advise how to make your brand a success – from creating an effective brand identity that fits closely with your ambitions, to developing successful marketing and design strategies to promote your brand. They can also help develop and manage your digital assets, such as your website or online shop and social media channels.
Here at RONIN, we have been helping establish successful brands for over 20 years, and we have the experience and know-how to address points of brand friction, with dedicated design and marketing professionals who are committed to making your business a success – get in touch with us today.