Brand touchpoints can have a surprising power to reinforce and support your brand even in the most subtle of interactions with your customers. They offer an opportunity to consistently delight your customers, building trust and loyalty and strengthening your brand.
Let’s start by defining what a brand touchpoint is: it’s any point at which one of your customers interacts with your company in some way, whether browsing your website or listening to your podcast.
Brand Touchpoints include anything that someone can experience with your business—from a beautifully branded business card to an Instagram story to an email newsletter you send out once per month.
Brands have many different ways in which they interact with their customers, but there are two major types of interaction:
- Awareness – When someone first becomes aware of your company.
- Engagement – When someone interacts with your company and decides to become a customer.
We’ll talk about the importance of touchpoints in both these areas, as well as how they can help customers on their journey from awareness through engagement (and beyond).
We will also discuss why consistency is so important across all points where you interact directly or indirectly.
The power of brand touchpoints across your customer journey
Brand touchpoints are the various contact points between a brand and its customers. They include anything from your website and social media posts to an in-person experience or customer service call you might have with them – they’re all opportunities for building relationships!
What’s more, these interactions can be used strategically by brands to create a seamless customer experience that increases your brand impact. The importance of brand touchpoints can’t be overstated.
Your brand is a promise of an experience, your touchpoints are how people experience your brand in real life.
Touchpoints are the foundation for your customer journey, and they create a consistent experience across all channels that helps you build trust with customers – which is what every brand should be aiming for.
In other words: brand touchpoints help drive loyalty by creating an emotional connection through consistency throughout each interaction along every stage of the customer journey from awareness -> consideration-> purchase decision > repeat business/loyalty.
What are the benefits of branding your touchpoints?
Branding lets you shape and impact the customer experience by showcasing your company’s strengths, creating a more positive perception of your brand or business.
It also creates loyalty with customers as well as impacts overall satisfaction levels (depending on how strong your brand touchpoints are when interacting with clients (awareness -> consideration-> purchase decision > repeat business/loyalty).
When you brand your touchpoints you can:
- Elevate your brand experience
- Reinforce your brand identity
- Build trust through consistency
- Craft memorable experiences
Each brand touchpoint gives you the opportunity to craft an intentional experience that will leave your customers associating specific feelings towards your brand, whether through subliminal use of colour and font psychology, eliciting feelings through surprise or delight or embodying your values.
Branding, done right, can help you achieve your company mission and vision for the world simply by being visible:
How can you use touchpoints to create a cohesive experience for your customers?
Touchpoints are the various ways that your customers interact with you, and they can be used to create a cohesive experience for them.
For example: if someone visits one of our stores in person but contacts us through email or phone when looking at products online – we want their interactions across all touchpoints (in-person store visit + emails/phone calls) to feel like it is coming from an integrated company rather than separate entities because this will help build customer loyalty over time by creating more opportunities where people see themselves as part of something bigger instead just seeing individual transactions happening separately on different platforms.
So what does a cohesive experience feel like?
Firstly, it means that we have a consistent look and feel across all touchpoints. For example,
- the colours on your website should match those used on social media or customer emails.
- Fonts should be consistent across your website, social platforms, invoices
- Tone of voice should be consistent
- You should use the same image style across all touchpoints
Bear in mind that colours, fonts and images all have their own personalities with hidden meanings that should align to deliver a cohesive experience.
Taking it one step further. Your visual presence: images, colours and fonts should align with your brand personality: tone of voice and language, which should all align with your overall vision and mission.
A cohesive experience also includes consistency with how information is communicated – for instance, if someone visits an offline store but contacts customer service through email/phone call they would expect similar responses back.
A cohesive brand experience can also be described as ‘Walking the talk”. In my brand strategy sessions, we don’t just look at the brand vision and brand energy/ brand vibe, we also explore how this manifests itself in the practical, day-to-day running of the business – it’s how we build an aligned brand and business.
Having a cohesive customer experience will help your customers see themselves as being part of more than just individual transactions happening separately on different platforms which can, over time, lead to greater loyalty.
List of Brand Touchpoints:
Brand touchpoints are the different ways that a customer interacts with your brand.
In our digital world, the website is the most common touchpoint for brands and their customers, as it’s where people go to find out more about a brand or product before they purchase anything from them.
It’s important that your site has an effective design that communicates the right message across all devices (desktop/mobile/tablets) to ensure a consistent experience for all potential customers.
Here are just some of the brand touchpoints that you might have in your business:
- Business Cards
- Magazines & leaflets
- Welcome packs & guides
- Ebooks & PDFs
- Blog posts
- Google my business
- Online programmes & courses
- Online payment systems
- Client Portals
- Events (in person and online)
- Customer service responses
- Presentations (in-person & online)
- Live speaking events
- In-store / in-class / in-clinic experience
- Online store
Depending on the type of business that you run, there are myriad possibilities for customer touchpoints. It’s worth jotting down all of the touchpoints that you can think of in your customer journey and including them in your next brand audit.
Brand Touchpoints and the Customer Journey
The customer journey is a term that was coined by McKinsey and refers to the process of how customers interact with your company.
It’s not just about sales, it includes everything from initial contact through purchase decisions all way up until post-purchase interactions like feedback or reviews on social media platforms such as Facebook.
The idea behind this concept being so important for brands now is because people are becoming increasingly selective in their purchases – they want what you’re selling but only if its perfect or increasingly, if it aligns with their values.
They will research extensively online beforehand then go into stores armed ready know exactly which model number suits them best etc… This means there has never been greater emphasis placed upon making sure every touchpoint along each step aligns perfectly together:
Customer touchpoints and brand touchpoints are effectively the same thing, except whereas someone planning a customer touchpoint may only be concerned with getting information across to the customer, someone concerned with brand touchpoints will look at the overall experience and message and how that aligns with the overarching ethos of the company.
An eco-friendly yoga retreat might opt to offer downloadable e-brochures rather than a glossy printed magazine with a higher carbon footprint.
A high-end luxury fashion company may be less concerned with carbon emissions and more concerned with the Wow factor – Have you ever ordered from Net-a-porter?
Why is it important to have brand consistency?
A consistent brand identity across all touchpoints can help your customers understand the company they are dealing with.
It also helps them feel more comfortable and confident in their interactions, as it is easier to recognize a familiar logo or design pattern than something new that doesn’t match what you’ve seen before from this particular business.
This consistency will make an impact on how likely someone would consider purchasing products/services offered by companies online.
An example of such coherence could include:
- Having branding elements like colours, fonts and patterns used consistently throughout social media channels
- Having the same profile profile photos across your social media
- Use of similar images across social media, printed materials and website
- Language and tone that reflects your brand values across all touchpoints
This way, customers will have the same experience with your company whether they find you on Facebook, receive an email or meet you somewhere else online.
Brand touchpoints are often overlooked but they are the key to creating lasting impact.
It’s worth taking the extra time to create meaningful experiences even in these fleeting moments because when our experiences match our expectations, we start to trust that a company will deliver what they say they will.
When our expectations are consistently met brand loyalty is achieved and when we can consistently exceed the expectations of our customers we create loyal and vocal brand advocates who will recommend us to friends, join our mission and share our vision for the future.