The consumer will interact with your brand in three stages, pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase. The consumer mindset is going to be different at each stage - which means that your touch-points are speaking to a consumer who has a different frame of reference depending where they are in their journey. In this movie we explore how touch-points influence a buyers decision and their perception of your brand.
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- Every time a consumer interacts with your brand, it's considered a touchpoint. And every touchpoint influences a consumer's decision in one way or another. But let's go a level deeper and talk through how and when this influence happens. The consumer will interact with your brand in three stages; prepurchase, purchase, and postpurchase. The consumer mindset is going to be different at each stage, which means that your touchpoints are speaking to a consumer who has a different frame of reference depending on where they are in their journey.
The prepurchase stage is one of the most important stages in this decision making process. It's where the consumer identifies that they want or need your product or service. These touchpoints are extremely important because they're either guiding the consumer to become educated about your product, or they're supplying the consumer with information about the product as they actively search for it. These touchpoints can come through advertising, social media, Google searches, word of mouth, and so on. The touchpoints that are available at this stage must work to increase brand appeal.
You're working to capture the attention of the consumer and get them to believe in your brand as quickly as possible. Make sure that the channels in which your audience can interact with your brand are readily accessible and that your positioned to stand out. As we move to the purchase stage of the decision, the touchpoints become more direct. It's here that consumers begin the process of evaluation and comparison. So you'll work to focus on those points of parody and reinforce your differentiation in the market. You're working to deep in that brand affiliation.
Moving the consumer to make the decision to buy. Now, these touchpoints can exist through the layout of your physical or online store, the sales team and staff, the atmosphere in which the sale is going to happen, and so on. To reduce the chance of having the consumer stop short of making a purchase, it's important that you remove any distractions. Don't introduce alternative ideas into the mind of the consumer or give them any reason to doubt. Use this period to reinforce the positive benefits of the choice that the consumer has made.
And, finally we move into the postpurchase stage of the decision making process. At this point, we're all about retention. These touchpoints come in the form of surveys, warranties, customer support, loyalty programs, and even how you bill your customers and collect payments. This part is the most controllable touchpoint and it provides the best opportunity to turn your consumer into a brand advocate, which accelerates your growth through word of mouth referrals. Your brand needs to be available and accessible to retain trust.
If a customer thinks that you took advantage of them to make a quick buck, the positive brand association will diminish instantly. Now, we can go another layer deeper. Within these stages are several categories that your touchpoints exist in. Brand created, intrinsic, and customer initiated touchpoints. The brand created touchpoints are the most obvious. This is anything you've developed on behalf of the brand. It includes advertising, promotions, social media, word of mouth, in-store displays, and so on. These are you most controllable touchpoints.
Intrinsic touchpoints happen naturally when a customer's in the act of purchasing. This involves timely customer service, reinforcing messages, clear checkout experiences, and communication with the staff. And finally your customer initiated touchpoints are influenced when a customer is motivated to share their experience. It's important that you understand the stages and categories of brand touchpoints. This allows you to frame the messaging properly throughout the entire customer journey. And it gives you a better understanding of how you can influence each category.
Explore best practices for researching, developing, visualizing, and managing your brand, and learn about incorporating your brand throughout various customer touchpoints and keeping tabs on your brand as your company grows.
- Components of branding
- Creating a brand strategy
- Conducting a brand audit
- Crafting your vision statement and selling position
- Evaluating brand visuals, colors, and language
- Enhancing brand touchpoints
- Measuring brand loyalty and equity