Opinion

How to engage: the pillars of customer engagement

In this introduction to our new engaging brands series, we discuss the six key principles that successful brands live by. Read more here.

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By Paul West
Posted 02. 05. 2017
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The graphic of our engaging brand series

Since the launch of Engaging Brands in summer 2016, we have been busy working with ambitious brands all around the world, addressing the big themes, ideas and trends in customer engagement. From this series, one burning question was clear…

How can each of our clients become an Engaging Brand in their own market and build on their established position?

In answering this question, we have seen our clients’ ambitions – and our own thinking – evolve into some very bold concepts, fuelled by insights and inspired by creative strategy. This evolution is down to being more connected to a changing retail landscape and shifts in customer mindsets, and fundamentally having a more ambitious attitude towards what the brand could be and what its business needs to do to thrive.

A common trend that inspired our thinking was essentially how brands are focusing less on the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in favour of the well-documented UExP – The Unique Experience Proposition. We have since developed something of our own – the Unique Engagement Proposition.

This idea focuses on experiences that do more than merely exist and serve, but engage and influence behaviour to ultimately motivate sales and build brand advocacy. Defining the Unique Engagement Proposition in today’s ever-competitive brand and retail landscape is essential, and it needs to translate across all aspects of the customer experience – but…

How do we create a Unique Engagement Proposition in a practical and actionable way?

Firstly, every brand is different; each has varying motivations and ambitions, as well as different benefits and barriers to customers.

With this in mind, we have identified six useful ‘Pillars’ to consider when creating a Unique Engagement Proposition.We start by defining the brand Purpose, we express this with a brand Personality, we create Places, we motivate the People of the brand (staff, ambassadors and customers), we refine or reinvent the Process (ways to shop, serve, educate and facilitate), and finally we advise on Product offerings and identify areas for ‘brand stretch’.

Together, these Pillars exist to point businesses in the right direction to bring their purpose to life in unique and relevant ways.

They also help to decode the success of some of the world’s most successful experience brands, such as Apple, Nike, Virgin and more recently Amazon, alongside some new entries including our work for Rockar, Lululemon, and Missguided.

At D&P, we’re increasingly collaborating with a diverse mix of clients to define a more engaging future, workshopping the Pillars and identifying opportunities for customer engagement, commercial growth and a lasting, loyal connection.

Through 2017, we’ll be sharing new ideas and thoughts that illustrate how brands are captivating a new era of customers through the lens of these six Pillars. They’re going to be highly reactive to customer and sector shifts. They’ll be easy to understand and act upon. And they’ll be relevant – just like the brands of tomorrow need to be.

Make sure to read our articles on:

How can brands engage and thrive in the Transformation Economy?

How are streetwear brands are targeting today’s youth?

How are brands creating killer personalities?

If these ideas have interested you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can go through our thoughts in more detail.

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