Why having a good product or service isn’t all that matters
Have you ever noticed that people who love Apple really LOVE Apple?
It's a classic example of how customer experiences can make or break a brand. Even companies with the best products can suffer from a poor user experience, which can cause negative impacts on profitability and growth. So, it’s vital that businesses invest time and resources into experience design — creating products, services and environments that focus on creating easy, meaningful and memorable experiences for users. Focusing on good design can improve customer satisfaction, increase brand loyalty and drive growth.
Achieving good experience design
A thorough experience design process typically includes research, prototyping, testing, and iteration. Other steps may include defining the experience strategy, creating personas, mapping user journeys, and conducting user testing. The point is to put target users at the center of the design process to understand their needs, motivations, and behaviors. Once these things are understood, they can be used to design experiences that are tailored to their preferences. The result is holistic and personalized experiences that meet users’ needs and connect emotionally with them, leading to a stronger and more meaningful relationship with the brand. Service brands, especially those with premium service offerings, should pay great attention to experience design. People pay for first class seats on airlines because they want the best experience. And, in a competitive environment, the experience can help consumers to decide on one brand compared to another.
In experience design, a brand's values and personality should be integrated into every aspect of the user experience, from the products and services offered to the visual and messaging elements used in marketing and advertising, creating a consistent and coherent brand experience that reinforces the brand's identity and enhances users’ perception of the brand.
Co-creation and collaboration are important elements of experience design. Brands should work closely with users to co-design experiences that meet their specific needs and expectations. This not only leads to more personalized experiences, but also fosters a sense of community and a shared sense of ownership between the brand and the user.
Consumers spend more time and money when they have great experiences
Meaningful experiences can help to foster a more rewarding relationship between customers and brands through a number of methods:
Brands can use meaningful experiences to create emotional connections with their consumers that goes beyond the functional benefits of their products or services. These emotional connections can lead to increased brand loyalty and a stronger relationship between consumers and brands.
Efforts to meet the specific needs and preferences of the consumer can lead to increased satisfaction and a better overall experience. When consumers have a positive experience with a brand, they are more likely to return and make repeat purchases.
Consumers who have had a meaningful experience with a brand are more likely to share their positive experience with friends and family, leading to positive word-of-mouth and increased brand awareness.
Increased perceived value
Experiences that go beyond what is expected can increase the perceived value of the product or service. Consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that provide a unique and memorable experience.
Spotify gets it
Spotify is one brand that understands the user experience. From personalized and mood-based playlists to a seamless app, it’s clear that the brand recognizes the importance of thinking about customer needs to remain relevant in a competitive market. Spotify knows that music — and individual taste in it — is already deeply emotional and personal for many people. And Spotify builds on this existing connection through its “Wrapped” feature, which gives users a summary of their listening habits at the end of each year. It’s no surprise that the personalized and visually-appealing breakdowns flood social media when they become available. It’s just one example of a company that understands the importance of creating a connection with its users that’s more than just objective. And the extra thought and attention it puts into creating meaningful experiences pay off, keeping Spotify on the top as the world’s largest music streaming service.
Thinking about how to create meaningful experiences through experience design encourages a positive cycle of engagement and investment between consumers and brands. And good experience design has the potential to not only increase customer satisfaction and loyalty but more broadly, can lead to sustained business growth.