Brands and User Experience: When Two Become One

Posted by Nicolas Visiers on August 18, 2016

Most people would not argue that Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are probably the top 5 most valuable global brands. What I find interesting is that all of them have made significant investments in order to deliver an outstanding User Experience to their clients.

Our relationship to brands has shifted dramatically. We spend so much time engaging with brands that we evaluate our perception of a the brand based on the many interactions we have with all the services that it offers to us. When I “buy with one click,” when I have a “genius appointment,” when my calendar identifies a meeting, all those moments are crucial because they bring value, and my perception of the brand improves. This is User Experience.

I can easily change a product, but I will think twice about changing a habit, a service that I have gotten used to and value. I Facetime with my family, and changing that would mean changing 5 decides and asking 15 more people to change theirs, which will probably not happen. So, while I would love to get a Samsung, I am stuck with iPhone. But since I already lost/broke a phone, I know that I am up and running in less than 10 minutes with my backup function, find my phone, etc. I am an Apple user, and if they keep working on improving my User Experience with the brand, I will continue to favor them over any other, even at a premium cost.

The same goes for the financial sector. Fintech companies use the lack of user experience to get new users. They solve pain, complications, and friction with simple user-centric designed experiences. I enjoy paying with my credit card because it’s convenient, but staying at the airport lounge, scanning my receipts, and receiving a gift and magazines for my purchases makes my American Express more valuable. Again, it all comes down to User Experience. Brands like Paypal, Intuit, and Simple thrive on simplifying what is complex, making sure I can do what I need to do quickly and easily. User Experience.

In the travel and leisure industry, hotels, airlines, and cruise line companies are making major investments in making sure that we book faster than ever, that you have the option “upgrade with one click,” easy “online check in” alternatives, or that you can “pre-select your excursion” before you board your Cruise. User Experience.

We need to understand how our customers value User Experience, how they rate it so we can go further and personalize it, so we can test our hypothesis and make sure that we are giving them something that will hook them. A great way to approach this is with “personas” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona_(user_experience): For example, if you are buying media and measuring CTR of a campaign, think about measuring CTR for one of the personas you have created. If you are working on a value-add extension to your current service, build a prototype for that persona, be specific so you can test your hypothesis when it’s live, and make sure you deliver the best User Experience you can.

My father has always told me, “Do what you love, and the money will come.” I would say to all brands, “Focus on User Experience and your value will grow.”

Topics: News

Written by Nicolas Visiers