Driving the Customer Brand Experience Online


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Companies spend millions of dollars to build a brand: award-winning creative pushed to the masses via multi-million dollar media buys; beautiful, well engineered products and packaging; "high touch" in-store experiences; highly trained front line staff. Is your website delivering the brand experience your customers have come to expect? Learn how one prestigious brand built a site that earned top customer satisfaction scores and delivered a winning brand experience.

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  • Devlin is a digital agency in Toronto. We help our clients create exceptional brand experiences for their clients through their website and other digital properties.Devlin is a full service agency providing strategic, creative, design, architecture and development services. (including digital marketing, social media and mobile strategies).
  • Good brand strategy must be developed around a sense of purpose; as reason for being.Consistency of the brand message through each and ever consumer touch point is critical.Companies historically spend a great deal of focus, time, and money on ensuring most of these touch points reflect their brand.There is one dot I want to expand on specifically today and that is “Website”.
  • About Best Canadian BrandsThe 2010 survey is the 3rd “Best Canadaian brands” ranking published by Interbrand (published every 2 years). It is based on Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” ranking and uses the same valuation.The study ranks the top 25 Canadian brands according to brand value. Interbrand’s method looks at the ongoing investment and management of the brand as a business asset.Brand Value is determined by three factors:1) FINANCIALPERFORMANCE - Financial performance measures an organization’s raw financial return to the investors.2) ROLE OF BRAND - Role of brand measures the portion of the decision to purchase that is attributable to brand – this is exclusive of other aspects of the offer like price or featureprimary research, a review of historical roles of brand for companies in that industry, or expert panel assessment.3) BRAND STRENGTH - Brand strength measures the ability of the brand to secure the delivery of expected future earnings. Brand strength is reported on a 0 to 100 scale, where 100 is perfect, based on an evaluation across 10 dimensions of brand activation. (Dimensions include commitment, clarity, protection, authenticity, responsiveness, relevance, understanding, consistency, presence, differentiation)Source: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/best-global-brands-methodology/Overview.aspxI wanted to examine how the big brands are doing with respect to reflecting their brand. The following slides depict home pages for the top 10 brands identified by Interbrand.
  • Number 10 – Bank of Montreal
  • Number 9 – Scotiabank
  • Number 8 - Rogers
  • Number 7 - Bell
  • Number 6 – Tim Horton’s
  • Number 5 – Shopper’s Drug Mart
  • Number 4 - Blackberry
  • Number 3 – RBC Royal Bank
  • Number 2 – TD Canada Trust
  • Number 1 – Thomson Reuters
  • There are over 26 million Canadians online with 77.7% penetration rate. (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats14.htm#north)According to this study published by Rain Today’s “2009 “How Clients Buy” benchmark report:74% of consumers say websites have either a great deal of or some influence over their decision to buy.
  • Now when we start to think about your WEBSITE specifically. How do you really do this?Well according to JD Power, there are 4 key elements that drive customer satisfaction on a website. -Content-Navigation-Appearance-SpeedAs a guiding principal, each of these needs to be customer or user driven.Successful websites will effectively balance each of these elements. For exmaple, a brilliant photo gallery that loads like molasses is as good as omitting that content altogether.
  • Who is using the site?What information will they be looking for?What tasks may they try to complete?How frequently will they visit?Do they want a long or short experience?What do they already know about you or your business?This is about how your USERs want to engage not what your corporate org chart looks like.
  • Content is king these days and brands are being forced to become more and more like publishers creating high value and ever changing content to keep consumers engaged and ethusiastic. Create a Content Plan:What formats/types: text, images, videos, rich media, features & functions, reviews, communities, blog, ecommerce etc. You need to make sure what you are providing is:ValuableRelevantConsistent with other sourcesAccurate (eg, Do images accurate reflect your product?)CurrentAlso, ensuring this content is all reflective of Brand Tone & Manner & personality is crucial.Plan for the Where, When & Who:Where will the content come from?When will it be updated?Who will be responsible for creation and to curate as needed?
  • Jakob Nielsen of the Neilsen Norman group is a pioneer in the field of Information Architecture.Nielsen’s 2009 study analyzing the causes of the user failures across 24 websites concluded that bad IA is the most common cause of user failure.Jakob Nielsen:“Bad IA is now the greatest cause of task failures because it's the stumbling block for getting anywhere on a site. Users try to find their way around a site, and if they're particularly motivated, they might even try again if they fail. But if users are repeatedly led in circles or dumped into no-man's land by weak search, they give up and leave for another site. That's why deficiencies in your IA are costing you a lot of money, right now.”Navigation…Definition of Navigation is the visible manner in which a user will interact with your structure.
  • Design matters. What would life be like if all sites looked like Craigslist? This is the award winning site Devlin built for Roy Thomson & Massey Hall.-Enjoyable to use-Visually Captivating-Celebrate the brand
  • Another example of a very different design; Devlin’s most recent launch.Visually looks quite different but still interesting, pleasing, engaging.Use of colour and typeface is big part of this design.Enough white space gives the design room to breath.Brand philosophy front and centre.
  • Speed & performance are critical elements of great website experience. Consider:How long does it take your homepage to load?How long to load galleries?How quickly can transactions be completed? Both in terms of the number of steps/clicks/pages and also the processing time.According to the Nielsen Norman Group, shaving as little as 0.1 s. off your time results in a lift in conversions.Eye tracking study, first scenario, 8s response for graphic to load. Second scenario, graphic loaded immediately.From:http://www.useit.com/alertbox/response-times.html“In a recent study for our seminar on Brand as Experience, we asked users what they thought about various websites they had used in the past. So, their responses were based not on immediate use (as in normal usability studies), but on whatever past experiences were strong enough to form memories. Under these conditions, it was striking to hear users complain about the slowness of certain sites. Slowness (or speed) makes such an impact that it can become one of the brand values customers associate with a site. (Obviously, "sluggish" is not a brand value that any marketing VP would actively aim for, but the actual experience of using a site is more important than slogans or advertising in forming customer impressions of a brand.)Indeed, we get findings related to website speed almost every time we run a study. When sites shave as little as 0.1 seconds off response time, the outcome is a juicy lift in conversion rates. Today or the 1990s? Same effect.0.1 seconds gives the feeling of instantaneous response — that is, the outcome feels like it was caused by the user, not the computer. This level of responsiveness is essential to support the feeling of direct manipulation (direct manipulation is one of the key GUI techniques to increase user engagement and control — for more about it, see our Principles of Interface Design seminar).1 second keeps the user's flow of thought seamless. Users can sense a delay, and thus know the computer is generating the outcome, but they still feel in control of the overall experience and that they're moving freely rather than waiting on the computer. This degree of responsiveness is needed for good navigation.10 seconds keeps the user's attention. From 1–10 seconds, users definitely feel at the mercy of the computer and wish it was faster, but they can handle it. After 10 seconds, they start thinking about other things, making it harder to get their brains back on track once the computer finally does respond.”Jakob Nielsen
  • This is not explicitly one of the four elements driving customer satisfaction according to J. D. Power, however, it needs to be mentioned as it is becoming more and more of an issue. Platforms – mobile, tablets, There are more and more devices that consumers can choose to use. When they want to interact with you, they will do it from the device most convenient at that moment.According to this Morgan Stanley study, the mobile internet will overtake the desktop internet by 2014.Source: http://gigaom.com/2010/04/12/mary-meeker-mobile-internet-will-soon-overtake-fixed-internet/According to a Buzz City finding at the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 70% of mobile Internet use takes place in the homeSource: http://www.gomonews.com/we-know-how-consumers-access-the-mobile-internet-says-buzzcity/
  • User testing does not have to be expensive and elaborate. The main point is that you bring them in and do it. According to Nielsen, you are going to be able to identify somewhere around 90% of your usability problems with only SIX user testers – and it is a very sharp curve, so even with half that – 3 users – you can uncover around 70% of the issues.Source:http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000319.htmlInvolve your users in the testing of the site. Give them that list of common tasks you defined up front. See how they work with and interact with the site. In our studio we have a usability lab, we bring in real people to test and can observe their behaviour through one-way glass.
  • Case Study – Lexus Canada; Client of DevlinEmbarked on a major redesign in 2006.
  • The 2010 Canadian Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study is based on evaluations provided by 2,274 new-vehicle shoppers who indicated they would be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 12 months. Each year between 20 – 30 manufacturer websites are evaluated. 2010 MWES Press Release: http://businesscenter.jdpower.com/news/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2010082 Back in 2006, prior to the site redesign, Lexus.ca ranked 24th with only 756 points.Online experience did not measure up to the Lexus standard of excellence – The Lexus ExperienceOnline experience not consistent with the showroomOnline buyers simply looked elsewhere – Lexus lost control of the experience and the messageConstrained by corporate design that was underperformingThe first year after the redesign, Lexus improved its position to 3rd overall with 833 point. Putting the user first clearly had an impact.This year, Lexus was awarded top honour ranking highest in overall customer satisfaction with 843 points.
  • J. D. Power and Associates: TORONTO: 21 May 2010 - New-vehicle shoppers who are highly satisfied with their automotive manufacturer Web site experience are more likely to test drive a vehicle from that manufacturer's lineup, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Canadian Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation StudySM released today.The study finds that the likelihood to test drive a vehicle after visiting that manufacturer's Web site increases by 22 percent among highly satisfied new-vehicle shoppers (scores higher than 900 on a 1,000-point scale), compared with less-satisfied shoppers (scores of 700 points or less). Source: http://businesscenter.jdpower.com/news/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2010082Industry data shows that customers with a satisfying website experience are MORE likely to visit the showroom for a test drive. (Darker bars indicate industry results across the entire study, light bars indicate Lexus Canada results).In fact, while the gap is only 0.6 in the middle range in the industry; the gap for Lexus customers is actually much greater. Lexus customers have much higher expectations and higher standard is required for conversion making the focus on website satisfaction that much more important.
  • START WITH YOUR USERSThere are 14 core values that drive the Lexus Experience. Covers – what they stand for, how customers should be treated, every detail of the experience, tone and manner etc.Each and every person that comes in contact with a Lexus prospect or customer has been trained on these values. The Devlin team was trained on these values – the art designers, the writers, the developers, the project managers. Critical featuresCompare VehiclesDetermine Monthly PaymentEquip & Price a VehicleBrowse Pictures/VideosResearch Features & SpecsFind a DealerAdvanced FunctionComplete a credit appSchedule a sales appointmentObtain a brochureRequest a price quote from dealerLocate vehicle at a dealershipResearch discounts/offersAccess independent dealer web sitesUse search tool to locate information2010 survey results found customers are becoming more interested in more advanced functions indicating that the bar for customer satisfaction raises each year.
  • -Beautifully designed-Matches brand look & style-Car has bold position, front & centre
  • … allows the user to easy access key information. They can see the starting price and how to get more information, access the photo gallery or build and price; three of the most common tasks an automotive shopper will want to do.
  • Exterior-6 views-close up of exterior features
  • Interior-customers can really get to know the vehicle
  • Information on Performance & Safety.
  • Detailed specs, features & options.
  • Robust gallery of images.
  • Video Content.
  • Behind the scenes.
  • All the images can also be downloaded easily so consumers can use them or share them.
  • Organized by model.Key features & navigation always visible.Selected state appears visually different.Uses familiar terminology.
  • And the build and price process is intuitive and easy to follow. As the user selects options, the pricing automatically adjusts so they can see the impact of different choices on the price, all presented on ONE screen without navigating through a cumbersome set of pages. When the user is happy with their configuration, the site clearly presents the most logical next steps such as saving a the vehicle, determining payments and booking a test drive.
  • Robust gallery & image & data intensive. Excellent performance is critical requirement.
  • Average Speed (sec): 3.6 Average Uptime (percent): 93.7 Total number of benchmark Sites: 162http://www.vertain.com
  • Lexus – the pursuit of perfectionKeep focused on your user’s needs and these four elements: Content, Navigation, Appearance & Speed.Lexus is able to have data year over year via the JD Power study. However, valuable user insight can be determined with as few as 3 users. These studies are not difficult to run and can provide significant benefit.
  • When you get back to the office tomorrow and you are looking for something actionable to take away from today,Go to your website and ask yourself – “Does my customer get what we stand for in 15 s. or less from our home page”?Think of your website as your storefront in your customer’s living room. Is your brand well reflected?Then ask, why do my customers visit my website? What are their top 3 tasks or activities? Does your content, features & navigation easily support this?Start with these simple questions & you can be on your way to driving a better brand experience on your website.
  • Thank you.I would like to encourage you to reach out to me if you have any thoughts on my presentation today.
  • Driving the Customer Brand Experience Online

    1. 1. Driving the Customer Brand Experience Online<br />Shelley Mayer<br />shelley@devlin.ca<br />416•363•6316 x298<br />@shelleymayer<br />@DevlinTO<br />linkedin.com/in/smayer<br />
    2. 2. DRIVING THE CUSTOMER BRAND EXPERIENCE ONLINE<br />Building a Brand<br />Website Review – Top 10 Canadian Brands<br />Building a Better Brand Experience with your Website<br />Case Study: Lexus Canada <br />
    3. 3. Building a Brand<br />Website<br />
    5. 5. 10th<br />
    6. 6. 9th<br />
    7. 7. 8th<br />
    8. 8. 7th<br />
    9. 9. 6th<br />
    10. 10. 5th<br />
    11. 11. 4th<br />
    12. 12. 3rd<br />
    13. 13. 2nd<br />
    14. 14. 1st<br />
    15. 15.
    17. 17. BUILDING A BETTER BRAND EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR WEBSITE<br />Stand for something<br />Be clear & concise<br />Celebrate your brand<br />Make it enjoyable<br />Stimulate all of the senses<br />Create an experience<br />Inspire brand advocacy<br />
    18. 18. Let’s break it down: the HOW<br />Successful websites generate an effective balance between these elements – you can’t focus on one while ignoring another and hope to create a truly satisfying online experience for web visitors.<br />-J.D. Power and Associates, 2010<br />
    19. 19. START WITH YOUR USERS<br />Who are they?<br />What do they want to do?<br />How much do they know?<br />Which features & functions will they use most often?<br />
    20. 20. CONTENT<br />Content Plan<br />Format/Types<br />Text, Images, Videos, Rich Media, Features & Functions, Reviews, Community, Blog etc.<br />Valuable, Relevant<br />Accurate, Current<br />Aligned to Brand<br />Where? When? Who?<br />
    21. 21. NAVIGATION<br />Based on structure with clear organizing principle<br />Visible, Permanent<br />Consistent<br />Use common language<br />Makes sense at any point of entry<br />Search<br />"American Maze" by Dale Wilkins<br />
    22. 22. Appearance<br />
    23. 23. APPEARANCE<br />
    24. 24. Speed/Performance<br />Source: Useit.com, Jakob Nielsen<br />
    25. 25. Device independent<br />Desktop Internet Users<br />Mobile Internet Users<br />
    26. 26. END WITH YOUR USERS<br />Involve actual users in your testing<br />Test most common features & functions<br />Consider user view across all 4 aspects:<br />Content, Navigation, Appearance, Speed<br />
    28. 28. J.D. Power Canadian Manufacturer WebSite Evaluation Study<br />2006<br />24th<br />756 points<br />2007<br />3rd<br />833 points<br />2010<br />1st<br />“[Lexus.ca] ranks highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 843 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well across all four factors”<br />J.D. Power and Associates<br />
    29. 29. Satisfied users generate higher conversions<br />Satisfaction Score<br />Lexus<br />Lexus<br />Likelihood to Test Drive<br />Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2010 MWES Study<br />
    30. 30. START WITH YOUR USERS<br />
    31. 31. START WITH YOUR USERS<br /><ul><li>Create the Lexus Experience for consumers
    32. 32. What does the Lexus customer really want?
    33. 33. Compare Vehicles
    34. 34. Determine Monthly Payment
    35. 35. Equip & Price a Vehicle
    36. 36. Browse Pictures/Videos
    37. 37. Research Features & Specs
    38. 38. Find a Dealer </li></li></ul><li>APPEARANCE<br />
    39. 39. APPEARANCE<br />
    40. 40. CONTENT<br />
    41. 41. CONTENT<br />
    42. 42. CONTENT<br />
    43. 43. CONTENT<br />
    44. 44. CONTENT<br />
    45. 45. CONTENT <br />
    46. 46. CONTENT<br />
    47. 47. CONTENT<br />
    48. 48. CONTENT <br />
    49. 49. CONTENT <br />
    50. 50. NAVIGATION<br />
    51. 51. NAVIGATION<br />
    52. 52. NAVIGATION <br />
    53. 53. SPEED/PERFORMANCE <br />
    54. 54. SPEED/PERFORMANCE <br />
    55. 55. SPEED/PERFORMANCE <br />
    56. 56. END WITH YOUR USERS<br />
    57. 57. KEY TAKEAWAYS<br />Will our customers get what we stand for?<br />Is our brand well represented?<br />Do I know the top 3-5 goals of my users?<br />Does my content and navigation support this?<br />
    58. 58. Driving the Customer Brand Experience Online<br />Shelley Mayer<br />shelley@devlin.ca<br />416•363•6316 x298<br />@shelleymayer<br />@DevlinTO<br />linkedin.com/in/smayer<br />