Is Your Brand Experience Living Up to Expectations?

Market Realities vs Glass Tower Idealism and the Role of Assessments

Is Your Brand Experience Living Up to Expectations?

Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes

In today's hyper-competitive marketplace, brands face the daunting challenge of meeting ever-changing consumer expectations. With a continual stream and oversaturation of technological advancements and innovations, brands are expected to be everything, everywhere, all the time, making the challenge to keep up more difficult than ever.

Function vs Emotion

Amid the constant innovation, we always look to consumers to tell us exactly what they want. In a recent study, we surveyed 2,500 consumers to find out what they're looking for from a store, and the results were twofold. What we found is in a world where novelty reigns supreme, consumers crave innovation that enhances functionality and fosters connection.

Function is king. The experience must be simple, easy, and fast. On the other hand, over-indexing on the functional factors is not what gets consumers to stay; emotion is key to fostering long-term loyalty. In short, authenticity and simplicity are prized over gimmicks and complexity.

So, it's clear that consumers always want more, and brands must continue to evolve accordingly to strike the perfect balance between function and emotion. Too heavy on function, and shoppers lose that sense of connection that keeps them coming back. Too heavy on emotion, and it feels inauthentic or aimless.

What isn't crystal clear is – how should brands evolve? Experiences are always nuanced. Humans evolve rapidly, choices are circumstantial, and one size does NOT fit all. That's where assessments come into play.

Function vs Emotion

The Role of Assessments

Customer experience assessments serve as the cornerstone of strategic decision-making, offering invaluable insights into consumer preferences and market dynamics. These assessments provide benchmarks, progress tracking, guidance, and opportunity identification so that brands can make quality over quantity decisions for consumers and their desired experience.

Assessments can include:

  • Cultural & market immersions aim to gain a clear understanding of the marketplace and important cultural nuances
  • Best in class benchmarking gives a carefully curated glimpse of retail experiences leading the landscape in innovation
  • Competitive analysis reports inform on the impact of competitor experiences and optimize differentiated market positioning accordingly

Tailoring Assessments for Success

Every brand is unique, and so too should be its approach to customer experience assessments. By tailoring assessment methodologies to specific objectives and target audiences, brands can uncover actionable opportunities to improve the customer experience in-store, online, and everywhere in-between.

Here's our basic 5-step plan to nailing your assessment every time:

  1. Define what's important – what exactly do you want to understand and what are the priorities of the assessment
  2. Determine the most appropriate assessment tools and methodology to achieve desired outcomes
  3. Deploy assessments across relevant touchpoints, including in-store and online experiences
  4. Study the data, synthesize meaningful insights & opportunities
  5. Act upon findings – translate insights into actionable strategies through collaborative ideation and execution

Continuous Improvement

Achieving customer experience success is not a one-time achievement, but an ongoing journey. By embracing a cycle of assessment, analysis, and action, brands can continually refine their offerings to meet and exceed consumer expectations without leaning too heavily on either function or emotion.

As you near the end of this article, ask yourself: Is your brand truly living up to expectations, or is there room for improvement?

This presentation was given by WD's SVP of Strategy & Experience Design, Jody Wasbro at Shop! Reach out today if you'd like to learn more about the role of experience assessments and to gain actionable insights from your brand.

About Wayfind

Lost and in need of guidance? That’s why we created Wayfind—the WD blog designed to be your beacon in this rapidly evolving world. In these short, thought-provoking reads, you’ll discover insights into the minds of your consumers and be inspired to go out into the world to create your own extraordinary experiences.

Subscribe to Wayfind

Back to Wayfind


Subscribe to Wayfind