Teams Issue

To dig into what’s possible when a brand gets their act together and successfully marries data, technology, and teams to create consistent, powerful brand experiences (and also what happens when they really, really don’t), let's take a—fictional—look at two very different versions of one person's customer journey.

Technology has made it possible for brands to speak with a consistent voice and provide a coherent, personalized, valuable brand experience across a diverse array of digital touchpoints—and that’s led customers to expect this kind of consistency from the companies they engage with. But, too often, there’s a missing link, breaking the connection between these three keys aspects of a successful marketing campaign and providing customers with a broken, frustrating brand experience. That’s a major problem, especially in today’s increasingly cross-channel, cross-platform, cross-device world.

Getting it right doesn’t just happen. To send even a single marketing email, you need data (like each recipients’ email address), technology (like a marketing platform to orchestrate, target, and customize the message), and teams (you know, all the people who actually do the work of building and sending and testing and optimizing these messages) and you need all of them to work together to create the kinds of cohesive, compelling experiences that strong customer/brand relationships are built on.

We’ve seen brands make it all work with flare and style; we’ve also seen a lot of brands fall on their faces. To dig into what’s possible when a brand gets their act together and successfully marries data, technology, and teams to create consistent, powerful brand experiences (and also what happens when they really, really don’t), let’s explore the line between broken and brilliant brand experiences with a little help from a (fictional) brand and one of its (equally fictional) customers.

Sara Hightower-Kellerman — Age 27 — Software Engineer II at Yachtr
UponVoyage Inc. — Travel & Hospitality Bookings

Meet Sara Hightower-Kellerman. She’s a software engineer at an Austin-based startup, and when this year’s edition of World On-Demand Week (WOW) rolls around, she finds herself dependent on travel and hospitality app UponVoyage to get her to Kansas City and back. But what that experience looks like depends heavily on factors beyond her—or any customer’s—control: namely, has the company in question gotten their ducks in a row when it comes to providing a cohesive cross-channel, cross-platform brand experience?

A compelling onboarding experience makes it possible to start your relationship with each customer on solid footing. But making it work takes the right customer engagement strategy, connected systems, and especially smart collaboration—if your mobile, web, marketing and UI/UX teams only see each other at happy hour, this is a tough thing to make work consistently. That can be painful, especially when you consider that fewer than 25% of the people who download an app will return to it the next day.

Even for customers who don’t churn, the impact of these sorts of unforced errors can echo throughout each customer’s relationship with that company. Degrading their brand experience. Weakening the odds that individual ever becomes a loyal customer and brand evangelist.

But here’s the thing: it’s entirely possible to provide every customer with the sort of thoughtful, relevant experience that drives real loyalty—and to do it right from the start.

What does it takes to make your onboarding experience shine? It’s all about preparation, teamwork, and the right tools. This particular brilliant flow leverages:

Next Time On... “Broken Vs. Brilliant”

Thrill as Sara nearly misses her flight! Cheer as she and her coworkers reap the rewards of a good customer/brand relationship! Tremble as Sara struggles to figure how to turn push notifications back on!

Stay tuned for all this and more on the next installment of...Broken vs. Brilliant!

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan is a New York-based writer and editor. When he's not writing about mobile marketing, customer retention and emerging technologies for Braze (formerly Appboy), you can find him trying to read his way through every Wikipedia article related to World War II.