A Guide To Understanding and Managing Brand Touchpoints
Knowing your brand’s touchpoints and understanding how to properly manage them is critical to creating an ideal brand experience.
A brand touchpoint occurs any time a person interacts with your brand and they can have a significant impact on how people view you. If you do not know where you stand in the marketplace, or the light in which your brand is being shown, you will have a difficult time hitting the right notes with your ideal customers and converting sales.
When working in a digital marketplace you do not have the luxury of face-to-face communication, so your touchpoints have an even greater impact. They’re often how people learn about your brand for the first time. Brand touchpoints have a significant impact on customer behavior and their perception of your brand.
By understanding your brand touchpoints, you can improve or maintain your reputation. The most successful brands in the world spend a great deal of time making sure their branding and messaging is strong across all touchpoints and to stay competitive.
You may have the best product or service in the world, but if you do not manage and monitor your touchpoints then you'll never reach your full potential in terms of both sales and brand recognition.
The following information will help you understand your brand touchpoints, how to manage them, and what you can do to repair and improve them for maximum impact on the customer and your bottom line!
What exactly are touchpoints?
A touchpoint is any time a customer or potential customer interacts with your brand. These interactions include those that take place before, as well as during and after, a sale.
It is important to be able to identify your touchpoints and understand which ones you control, and which ones are out of your hands.
What do you control?
Depending on the size of your brand, you could have dozens of potential touchpoints from your website and social media pages, to your customer service, to advertising, packaging, and even your brand name.
These particular touchpoints are all within your control and while each has its own job to perform, they should all be working together to move customers closer to your brand.
Because there is much about your brand that you cannot control, it is important that you stay on top of what you can. For example, choosing the right colors for your logo and packaging can convey a great deal about your brand to any potential customers before they even decide to investigate further. Failure to monitor the response to your branding can stand in the way of growing your business.
When it comes to the touchpoints you can control, it is important to maintain your brand voice across the board. You never know when someone is making their first contact with you and so you want to make sure that all points send the same message. This does not mean saying the same thing over and over again, but it does mean keeping the tone in line with your brand’s beliefs. It cuts down on confusion and helps your potential customers understand who you are.
Staying on top of these touchpoints will help you control some of the narrative around your brand. As things get disseminated across social media and the internet you will have less control over the narrative so it is important that you get it right in the first place.
What is out of your control?
Word of mouth, customer reviews, marketing partners, and external blog posts are all examples of touchpoints that are outside the realm of your control.
Just because you cannot control these touchpoints does not mean you should not be paying close attention to them. You may not be able to control what is being said about you, but you can influence the conversation.
Explore what people are saying about you. Are your products being reviewed by people who really love your product? Are reviewers complaining about it? Pay attention to all possible channels for discussion. YouTube is littered with influencers and product reviews. Is anyone talking about you there or anywhere else?
When you know and understand what is being said about you, you can respond and react in a way that will create stronger touchpoints and improve the consumer experience of your brand.
How to influence uncontrollable touchpoints
You may not be able to dictate exactly what people say about, or how they feel about your brand, but you can use the information to influence future conversations.
Provide more information
If people are saying negative things about your brand, address the issue indirectly by providing more information.
In response to a review that expresses confusion over the use of your product, for example, providing online content that addresses this confusion can prevent that experience from proliferating. Conduct a live product demo for your social pages or create a blog post that educates readers on the potential uses and benefits of your product. When you give potential customers this sort of information, you help to minimize the damage that may be caused by the negative sentiment found at the initial touchpoint.
Use data for improvement
The brand touchpoints that lie outside of your control can be used to improve the ones you do control.
Mine customer reviews and conversations about your brand to discover exactly how people are using your product. You may be marketing it for a particular use but that does not mean that is the way people are actually using it. Sometimes customers find a use for your product that you never even considered. Use this information to your advantage by improving your marketing strategy.
Create content that specifically points to those specific uses. This creates touchpoints that demonstrate just how much you understand your customer and their needs. People want to be valued and understood and when you demonstrate a high level of understanding, it translates into fantastic word of mouth. Like we said, you cannot control word of mouth, but you can influence it.
It is also a good idea to market to the different demographics that may appear in your research. Different product uses can create different users and while you have an ideal customer persona, it would not hurt to target some of your marketing toward these other users. Again, it creates an understanding but also makes your brand feel more inclusive which creates that positive word of mouth and expands your potential customer pool and your brand recognition.
Keep your ear to the ground at all times. Do not just know what is being said about you, hear it. Customer feedback, conversations, and reviews are great resources. They can not only help you improve your marketing strategy, they can help you identify where your touchpoints may be missing the mark. By hearing objections, complaints, and concerns, you can pinpoint your weak spots. Are people complaining that they cannot find what they need on your website? Well, you can use that complaint to improve content and navigation on your site.
Managing your brand touchpoints is a full-time venture. But by investing time in this process, you will improve brand relationships and grow your business and your bottom line. From controllable touchpoints like your website and packaging to the uncontrollable touchpoints like product reviews and social media mentions, it is important to consider all of the ways customers make contact your brand so you can provide the best experience possible and establish a solid base upon which brand loyalty can be built.