SMPL Q&A: 3 questions on how to create a great brand experience with Liana Dinghile

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SMPL Q&A is a blog feature in which we interview experts on all things relevant to branding, design and simplicity. In this Q&A, we speak with Liana Dinghile, strategy director, about challenges brands face when creating great brand experiences. 

What are the challenges brands face when creating a great experience?

What is often forgotten is that great customer experience starts from within. Employees are often the link between customers and the experience they have. In many cases, employees are the first customer, so it’s crucial they understand their role in the mix and how it relates to the promise your brand is making.

Another challenge is infrastructure. For many larger brands—banks, retailers—there are big systems and physical assets across a wide geographical and digital footprint that will need to change in order to improve or transform the customer experience. In this case, it’s about achieving a balance between competing and leading. Understand where it’s essential to catch up, but also identify opportunities to innovate and sprint ahead. This is what separates truly great brands from good ones.

What should be top of mind when designing a digital brand experience?

Brands today are digital. But it’s often forgotten that we’re also designing for human beings. Having empathy top of mind when creating the user experience ensures it genuinely works and is useful for customers. We have seen great intent in Atom Bank, the UK’s first bank built exclusively for mobile. Although it prides itself on improving the banking experience, aspects are unintuitive still. Users have found it unreliable and unstable, crashing more often than working. The key to customer loyalty is delivering on your core promise.

For brands that do it well, consistency is key. We frequently see a disconnect between the digital customer journey and the personal interactions where it’s necessary to engage with another human being. If a brand has a highly personalised customer experience, the customer service should reflect the same level of personalisation.

What are three simple ways to improve your brand experience?

  • Be clear on the experience you think your customers deserve.
  • Map the moments that matter to create a memorable experience. By removing friction, you’ll add value and create a preference for your product or service.
  • Create a roadmap for change—prototype and pilot, be agile, and make adjustments when necessary. Great brands evolve with changing customer needs while staying true to their core promise.

Liana Dinghile is strategy director at Siegel+Gale. Follow her on Twitter:@LDinghile

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