Brand experience is conceptualised as sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioural responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments.
The traditional commercial paradigm, based on features and benefits, is being dismissed by the rise of the contemporary consumer. Customers, especially in the Western world, demand more; they have reached the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy, where the goals are personal enlightenment and fulfilment. These changes, amongst others, have forced a shift within the branding discipline. While the fundamental principles remain—understand and stay relevant to your audience—brands today must also provide for the sensorial experiential needs of humans in order to be competitive within the increasingly dense retail landscape.
As an experience design studio, we value the emotional intelligence of our client’s audience and every project we undertake, big or small, is built upon in-depth understanding of the project’s prerequisites. The result is work that has utility and longevity. Read more on the growing concept of brand expereince.
Notably, brand experience has attracted a lot of attention in practices associated with brand development, namely marketing and visual communication sectors. Consumer research presents three main settings where consumers interact with a brand in a retail scenario and experiences occur: when searching and examining and evaluating the product (Hoch, 2002), when interacting with a store’s physical environment, its personnel, policies and practices (Kerin et al., 1992), and when consumers consume the products. Moreover, experiences can also occur indirectly—for example, when consumers are exposed to advertising and marketing communications.
As Professor Bernd Herbert Schmitt (1999) posits, “consumers are living human beings with experiential needs: consumers want to be stimulated, entertained, educated, and challenged” (p. 94). This being said, brand builders have to move away from the traditional branding approach that only acknowledges brands as identifiers and instead look at brands as experience providers. The degree to which an organisation is able to deliver a desirable customer experience will largely determine its success in today’s global marketplace.
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