There’s so much competition in business today, and much goes into customers’ purchasing decisions. Your products or services must fill a need, solve a problem or make life just a little bit easier—all at a competitive priced. But if all tangible attributes are equal, how do customers make the choice to do business with you rather than your competition? For many, it comes down to the experience.

Consumers want a customer experience that is as personalized and relevant as possible, according to the findings of a study by digital market research firm Econsultancy, conducted in conjunction with software company Adobe.

In 2015 Digital Trends Briefing, 22 percent of survey respondents named customer experience as the single most exciting opportunity for 2015—ahead of content marketing, mobile, personalization and big data. Additionally, 78 percent of responding companies say they plan to use customer experience as the means to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Think about it like this: Do you remember your last purchase at the grocery store, mall or gas station? Chances are, the answer is no. Why? Because these are typically commodity purchases. Simple transactional interactions void of emotion.

On the other hand, you probably remember a special dinner at an elegant restaurant. White linens and candlelight. Leather-bound menus. An extensive wine list. Gourmet cuisine. White-glove service. All of these things combine to create a memorable experience.

This special dinner wasn’t a simple transaction. You can eat dinner anywhere. But for this occasion, emotions were involved. Maybe a birthday or anniversary. Perhaps a congratulatory celebration. Whatever the occasion, you took time to ask for recommendation from friends or read online reviews. You carefully considered the menu. Whether you realized it or not, you were looking for an experience.

And you’re not the only one looking for experiences. So are you customers when they do business with you. But what exactly is “customer experience?” Leesa Wytock, head of digital in global brand experience agency Jack Morton’s New York office, describes it like this:

“User experience thinking should really be the way you think about the whole experience—because today, experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with your brand, online and offline. What user experience thinking means in practice is an overarching ethos of building experience around human needs and behaviors that can influence action. It impacts design, it influences how we creatively use technology and it’s defining for how great brands build customer interaction and even develop products.”

There are many ways to create an experience both online and in person. What should be your focus? The Econsultancy survey asked respondents what they considered the “primary area of focus for improving the customer experience.” Personalization was the top concern, with 33 percent saying that they would improve the customer experience by making it personalized and relevant.

So what’s one easy way you can boost interactions with your brand to create a memorable, personal experience? Incorporate promotional products.

Holding a sales meeting? Promotional products can enhance the theme and boost excitement. Exhibiting at a tradeshow? Promotional products can entice attendees to stop by—and listen to what you have to say. Trying to get prospective customers’ attention? Promotional products can get you noticed—and help you get past gatekeepers to make the appointment.

Engraved-PenAnd these are just a few of the more common uses of promotional products. Keep in mind that there are a number of products that can be decorated beyond your corporate logo and be individually personalized for your recipients.

Personalized-CalendarCalendars with variable data options can include a recipient’s name on each month. Pens can be laser engraved, and apparel and bags can be embroidered with individual names.

Whatever brand building idea you have for your business, there are just as many ideas of how to incorporate promotional products into the experience to make it memorable long after the initial encounter.

 

If you want to boost your customers experience with your company, we can help. Book an appointment by clicking here or call us now at 248-538-4700 to learn how. Mention the blog, and we’ll send you some SMART Swag to get the conversation started!