Often, there’s a name that really sticks among the founders of the company. There’s a ring to it… It makes people smile… It seems obviously right… Or, frequently, in these times, the cute omission of vowels in a product name is just plain cool. Unfortunately, some of those names get lost in translation. The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt captures the pitfalls of naming beautifully in his column of how context can change a brand’s inflection.
Whether the ownership is too close to the product, doesn’t think beyond their initial market or just has bad luck with other things going on in the world, sometimes the brand name just leaves you wondering what they were thinking. This isn’t to say that you’ve got got neuter your brand name to make it work without offending anyone – it’s just that you should take the opportunity to get to know your audience well in order to name the brand as best as possible.
Of course, you should only have the problem of being so successful that changing your brand’s name is a major hassle. Otherwise, be sharp on the front end and strongly consider your brand name so you don’t have egg on your brand later.
No matter where you are in your company’s evolution, it always helps to step back and evaluate unseen revenue growth opportunities.
Most companies grow and evolve by way of executing the next biggest ideas and responding to emergencies – all while going at 1000 mph. Even the strongest of these systems show gaps in their foundation due to this form of corporate evolution – often leading to hindered growth and profitability. By merely stepping back and taking measure of where you are as a company, product or service, those foundational holes and assumptions are illuminated. One such form of this “stepping back” is engaging in an audience analysis. Many just touch the surface when evaluating whether to “Go” or “No Go” on a product, but they don’t really evaluate the opportunity for engagement. Most companies are just now coming to understand how you can gain insights of where your product can be tweaked by gauging those audience touch-points rather than relying on your inside and up-close relationships with the product – insights that are made perfectly clear through good Audience Analysis.
With such knowledge, you are armed with the ability to not only reach the next stage of growth, but strategically fill the gaps that might fracture any possibility for prolonged growth – no matter what is done to better the experience. A ZettaSquared Audience Analysis is that key tool to shining a light on the company’s opportunities for growth based on the partner that matters most – the audience.
Audience Development requires a different perspective on User Experience. Traditionally, User Experience relates to what the user or customer will experience when interacting with a product, but the key factor of Audience Development extends the idea to a larger conceit of the experience from all touch-points with a brand or product – what we refer to as Brand Experience. Kieron Leppard of SapientNitro posted an Evolution of UX presentation on SlideShare four years ago and, while a strong layout of the basics, it is outdated because of it’s pure focus on the User Experience design within the product and not all touch-points of opportunity within an Audience Development strategy.
Those touch-points that Audience Development factors in are; product, marketing, partnerships, customer service, overall brand, and whatever else makes sense for the particular company. Additionally, these touch-points aren’t considered to be one-way outbound features but enabling two-way communications that builds the bridge between company and audience. This strategy allows for the entire relationship to be fluid and authentic, because without it, consumers start to question the efficacy of the company/brand. Another benefit that many overlook in this strategy is the value to the employees within that corporate culture. With the clear strategic direction and understanding of how everything truly relates to each other, ambiguity and bad decisions can be left at the door.
We’ve all seen examples of the disconnects in the bigger UX picture:
- A consumer is intrigued to sample a product after being pitched one thing, only to find a product that doesn’t match the promise.
- Products come out hailing themselves as new and improved, yet are less appetizing to the consumer – even with strong feedback channels, the consumers are often left out of the equation.
- Receiving bad customer service after completing a purchase on a site with a fabulous user interface.
- A restaurant with great tasting and well-priced food, but horrible service.
- Being on a email list for a beloved-brand – only to be bombarded with communications that are too frequent, not relevant, or even worse, both.
- Original Content is produced and pushed out to try to broaden the audience, but only proceeds to confuse the loyal existing audience.
For companies/brands to be successful in the future, a strong emphasis on an holistic user experience is imperative to Audience Development. One can no longer develop product and then clean their hands figuring that it’s up to others to market it or relate to the customers – that will only lead to disconnects. From first-hand knowledge of a number of our clients who have come to us after falling into the trap of disconnected product; their businesses either struggled greatly to take-off, flat-lined or dipped because of such pervading methods. In many cases, the clients maintained deep insights about their audience (even developing open communication relationships with them) and understood the concept of the full user experience, but couldn’t determine how to address the disconnects effectively with limited or, sadly, wasted resources without taking a beat to delve into the possibilities afforded through proper Audience Development. Once you can look at User Experience as more than just a sum of it’s parts, a path to success and the ability to turn your audience into a tribe will come into focus.
Posted in Brand Experience, Core, Product Development, Strategy
Tagged Audience, Audience Development, Authenticity, Change, Content, Corporate Culture, Corporate Evolution, Customer Service, Kieron Leppard, Marketing, Partnerships, Product, SapientNitro, User Experience, UX