How to Really Live the Values of your Brand Online via Experience

by Mark Sharron

Incredible digital experiences are surrounding us in our everyday lives. Masterful marketing, branding and design.

Of course, it is quite fair to say that we are drowning in plenty of digital experiences or the least, experiences that are still in the 90s.

You can imagine how much that pains me, given the fact that I am a Digital Marketing Evangelist.

I try my very best to bring my undying and deep passion for digital awesomeness and creativity to the companies, when I work with them. One example of that is the stories I provide by contrasting and comparing the digital existence of the client with the other people.

I want to try and do something quite similar in this blog post by sharing some of my very best experiences with clients. Their total number is seven.

Every example is really amazing and for each one I will share my thoughts on why.

So, what can you expect from this blog post?

Examples of how to really live the values of your brand online via experience that leaves your clients satisfied and wanting to pay more just to have your products, higher conversions through transparency, ecommerce reimagined, copy that urges people to purchase while respecting their intelligence, a copy of website delicious enough to eat, delightful checkout and cart experiences, cool calls to action and inspiring landing pages.

Here are the stories and companies reviewed in this post:

  • Songa-Smartphone homepages that deliver and anticipate delight
  • John Lewis: Thoughtful checkout and cart experiences for nonline outcomes
  • Innocent: Heart-warming visual design and passionate copy
  • AAA Life Insurance: “Convince me to buy” experience
  • Shopbop: Branding and ecommerce done right
  • Security Choice: The power of conversion via transparency
  • Method: Love evoking, immersive, amazing brand experiences

SONGA

I genuinely love Songa, because it is a great service. It has a wonderful music collection. I adore the sharing playlists’ social nature. The nag-free experience they deliver and their suggestions engine are great.

I am visiting the site on a Saturday night and the page is aware of that. After that it magically creates five music options for me based on my previous preferences. It doesn’t matter if you are eating dinner, entertaining cool friends, relaxing options or party options, I just have to press one button and there’s music.

I am sure that everyone can do this, right? In order to figure out where I am, the site uses IP/GEO. First off, they check if the service I have selected is available and they locate my local time. After that they match the information back to their rules engine in order to serve the best possible options for me.

JOHN LEWIS

My answer would definitely be to reduce the checkout and cart abandonment rates if you ever asked me the question what is the quickest way to enhance you digital experiences’ bottom-line.

In order to get someone to your website, you have to do a lot. It’s even harder to make your customers come for let’s say 5 times, because that’s how much time they need in order to finally hit the Add To Cart button. However, you should take their money if they do it.

Unfortunately, in the past couple of years, the abandonment rates have gone down nearly 65%. Often, the abandonment rates are even higher during the checkout.

The majority of cart experiences stink and that is one part of the problem. They are full of mobile app pimping, promotions, irrelevant other products, all kinds of logos and seals, up-sells and cross-sells and so much more.

INNOCENT

Television has a long history of awful commercials throughout the years. However, the predominant majority of billboards, magazine ads and TV commercials are joy-evoking, beautiful and clever. In order to create a connection with the brand of the product, they go to great pains by living the values of their brand in the advertisement (with celebrities, with music, with words, with imagery). The brand/product managers for all mankind clothes, Dodge Dart, Pepsi, Bertolli pasta sauce and many more work quite tirelessly on every single second of music or picture or frame.

However, they all seem to leave their brilliant minds, passion, and creativity at home when it comes to the web. If you don’t believe me, check all the sites that were mentioned above and see for yourself. They all have boring and unjoyful images.

AAA LIFE INSURANCE

We used to obsess about CMTB at a former employer. Where is the CMTB? Oh, wait that is not actually CMTB, that is just the way of treating customers like all of them are idiots. On the page, what smooth CMTB clues can we put?

CMTB stands for convince me to buy. This approach was one of our very best in terms of persuasive content that created a simple experience requiring the fewest having to go back to Google/back button presses, treated the customer with respect and took the customer perspective.

I wished to purchase life time insurance. I know I want it, even though I had the slightest idea of what it is about. That’s why I entered Google and wrote life time insurance online quote in the search box and with 2 companies I spent the vast majority of my time- AAA and MetLife. You can fill a form in both company’s sites.

SHOPBOP

I don’t usually have the opportunity to do this, but when I have it I really love shopping at Nordstrom. The staff are kind and informed, the displays are superbly put together and the stores are always nicely done. I completely understand what the definition of “retail therapy” is on these rare occasions.

Neima Marcus is just another instance of a store where it is always fun to shop. It is quite obvious that a lot of effort has been put into every single detail such as the underside of tables, which encourage you to buy, explore and stay.

It is the little touches, the feel and the look that make you spend your money with delight.

SECURITY CHOICE

I am sure that you are on to my bias, this deep into the post, for uncluttered experiences (the main theme so far) and white space (I don’t love the wasted white space, Nordstorm and love good white space, Shopbop). To be honest with you I do like sexy and nothing is sexier than uncluttered experience, because there the content can breathe.

As long as the experience is deeply functional, this example will prove that I’m very comfortable with a little garish and the cluttered.

I worry about the safety of mi casa, like every other human being on the planet. That’s why where I come from, we know that the best brand that could help me is called ADT. So, I opened my favorite search engine and entered ADT Security Plans.

METHOD

For my last example, I have saved one of my favorite sites. The reason why I like this site is that it uses a lot of good things, which I covered in my post, and does a bit above and beyond.

Instead of one thing or one page, I want to stress out the Method website as a whole.

It is an immersive and amazing brand experience. You get a really good sense of the brand, without the need of trying very hard. The visual design of the site is terrifically consistent with that of the product and also consistent with the feel and look of the products when you came across them at Target or other retail stores throughout the world.

I just hope that these examples can make you take a long hard look at your very own digital existence and wish to move from okay to great. It’s important to remember that you should not take all of this at face value. You have at your disposal affordable tools like Visual Website Optimizer and Optimizely and free tool like Google Analytics Content Experiments in order to perform experiments that will prove to you that I was right. The missing ingredients are your courage and your inspiration.

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