The brand experience journey: A new model for consumer marketing
TheExperienceJourney:A New Model for Consumer MarketingBy Jack Morton Worldwide
New realities, new journeys / 3Defining the experience journey / 53 Brands getting experience right / 7Mapping experience journeys / 11Learn more / 13 /2The Experience JourneyWhat’s inside
/3The Experience JourneyNew realities, new journeysCraig MillonLike all of us, marketers need maps.For marketers, the most fundamental journeyto track is the one customers go through topurchase their products. Maps help marketersset strategy and priorities against this journey.How else would they know when and how toinvest in order to create the right moments intime and the right relationships over time – todrive sales, to inspire referrals and toearn re-purchase?Across industries, consumer journeys havechanged radically in recent years. Thereare many more brand choices and infinitelymore sources of information about them.There are new ways to seek out and sharerecommendations. And – picture a shopperusing a mobile phone to scan a bar code andcomparison shop a toothbrush – consumers areempowered in ways that couldn’t have beenimagined a generation ago.With consumers’ journeys so radically different,so too are the models marketers use tomap them.Fig. 1 McKinsey’s 2009 “Consumer Decision Journey”Moment ofpurchaseInitialconsiderationsetTriggerInformation gathering, shoppingOngoing exposureActive evaluationPostpurchase experienceLoyalty loop 3. Ultimately, the consumerselects a brand atthe moment of purchase2. Consumers add or subtract brandsas they evaluate what they want1. The consumerconsiders an initialset of brands,based on brandperceptions andexposure to recenttouch points4. After purchasing a product or service, the consumerbuilds expectations based on experience to inform thenext decision journeySecond Momentof Truth(Experience)First Moment ofTruth (Shelf)StimulusWhich becomes the next person’s ZMOTFig. 2 Google’s 2011 “Zero Moment of Truth”
Stimulus Consideration Purchase UseSHARING PATHLOYALTY LOOPTimeCompetitiveSetFig. 3 Jack Morton’s 2013 “Experience Journey”/4The Experience Journeypeople get closer to purchase. Google took thislast implication further with its “zero moment oftruth” model (fig. 2), which emphasizes the extentto which consumers’ active information-gathering has grown in scope and influence inrecent years.As I said, maps help marketers set strategyand priorities against consumer journeys. BothMcKinsey’s and Google’s models showedmarketers that they needed to change: forexample, by spending less on above the lineadvertising and more on search, shoppermarketing, customer experience design andprograms that generate referrals andword of mouth.I’m indebted, as all of us at Jack Morton are, toMcKinsey’s and Google’s thinking. But as a brandexperience agency, we have a different (butcomplementary) view of how things work, whichbuilds on their models: it’s called theexperience journey (fig. 3).Back when I was being trained as a marketer,the “purchase funnel” reigned as the assumedmanner in which consumers moved to purchase.Consumers were thought to move from beingaware of several brands with a sector to asmaller group of brands they’d consider oncereal shopping started. The goal of marketers wasto move the consumer logically down the funnelto become the one chosen brand at the end.Re-purchase and recommendations were tackedon at the end, but were assumed to work withsimilar linearity. New consumer journey models– especially those put forth by McKinsey in 2009and Google in 2011 – have destroyed this onceset-in-stone approach.As McKinsey’s research-based report proved ,consumers don’t move logically and inexorablyin one direction, but rather in a layered loop,with postpurchase experiences informing futuredecision journeys (fig. 1).Rather than limiting choices as they commenceshopping, people actually add brands totheir consideration set. And rather than beingpassively led down the funnel by company-driven marketing, consumers rely more on activeinformation-seeking about brands; company-driven marketing becomes less influential as12
/5The Experience JourneyDefining the experience journeytheir experience journey depending on theirparticular circumstances.• The experience journey puts even moreemphasis on the variability of any consumerjourney circa 2013. There is no singularconsumer journey; there are infinite andmultidirectional consumer journeys.All of this is an accurate reflection, we believe,of the more competitive landscape and complexmedia environment in which we all now live– with the added layer of experience as thedifferentiator that wins consumers’ consideration,commitment and word of mouth.In the experience journey model, brands win atmoments in time and moments over time –by creating rich, technology-enhanced brandexperiences that keep consumers engagedby the brand throughout the journey. Theseexperiences extend as the threads thatkeep consumers connected from stimulus toconsideration, purchase and use.Research proves out that experiences definebrands throughout consumer journeys. Based onthe input of consumers surveyed in 2011 , weknow that the vast majority will only recommendbrands based on experience – and that just asmany expect brands to do “something special”(like an experience) to even get theirattention (fig. 4).Like the McKinsey and Google models, theexperience journey begins with a stimulus andmoves through consideration, purchase and use– but there are key differences. Most importantly,experience is the continuous thread linking thejourney itself. That’s a fundamental difference,built on the strong belief that it is compelling,differentiating experiences that keep consumersengaged with brands these days, and lesssubject to distraction by the competition.In addition:• We also see a “loyalty loop” cycle around re-purchase (which requires brands to invest in theirafter-purchase interactions and customer serviceas potential strengths).• We extend referral (both giving and seekingout) from isolated moments to a continuouspath of sharing across the whole experiencejourney. Sharing your experience with a brandis not something that happens at the end of theprocess but throughout the process.• We map time across the X axis andcompetitors across the Y axis – allowing us tohelp clients across different industries to mapFig. 4Experience is the owned media that earns mediaSource: Jack Morton research, 2012.GlobalAverageUS Brazil China India76 79 74 78 7875 65 71 84 78I only advocate brands when I have had great personalexperiences with themWith all the media and information available to me, if a brandwants to get my attention it has to do something special3
/6The Experience JourneyExperience is also there defining the journeywhen we ask consumers, “What are themost important influences on your purchasedecisions?” Among the top five influences citedby consumers, referrals fueled by experience(recommendations sought from or given byfriends and family) are ranked number oneand number two; number five is the in-storeexperience itself (fig. 5).Not surprisingly, experience is important tobrands – but there’s a gap between how goodcorporate leaders think their experiencesare and how their customer rate their actualperformance. Bain & Company surveyedcustomers of 362 companies. “Only 8% of themdescribed their experiences as superior, yet80% of the companies surveyed believe that theexperience they have been providing is indeedsuperior.”From an 80% assumed superiority to 8% actualdelivery represents a big gap – and still anotherreason for marketers to embrace the experiencejourney model.4Fig. 5Most valuable sources of information for purchaseSource: Jack Morton research, 2012.GlobalAverageUS Brazil China India56 65 55 58 4455 61 53 61 43Friends and family from whom you sought opinionsFriends and family who volunteered their opinion47 61 41 48 3747 55 45 45 4344 55 46 41 35Research you conducted on the internetProduct reviews by experts (eg.g, in magazines, on Web)In-store experience or media
/7The Experience Journey3 Brands getting experience rightThe value to brands inarchitecting consumerexperience journeys is clear.The brands that succeed nowand in the future will bebrands that build relationshipsat moments in time andmoments over time on thebasis of experience. We callthese experience brands. Theydeliver more than a product orservice – they offer the sharedvalue of an experience.Recent research shows thatpeople are more likely toconsider experience brandsover the competition. Theyare more likely to recommendthem. And they will even paymore for them .Experience brands considerand plan for the total consumerexperience – from stimulus toconsideration to purchase anduse. They don’t view tacticsin isolation but rather as partof journey that is organizedand based on macro consumerinsights, macro technologychanges and the belief in a“new journey for a new age”.So what are some examples ofexperience brands? Here arethree of our favorites :56
/8The Experience JourneyCoke.1Ranked by many as the world’s most valuablebrand, in recent years Coke’s marketers haveled a brand renaissance that’s built arounda simple, inspiring promise – happiness –which is played out across the experiencejourney. Is it possible not to love its award-winning experiences – such as its HappinessMachines, or its partnership with Google tore-create its landmark 1970s “I’d Like to Buythe World a Coke” anthem in a new, digitalform? Also noteworthy: its “content 2020”content marketing strategy includes not just acompelling vision (“liquid and linked”) but alsoclear priorities about the allocation of resourcesand priorities.
/9The Experience JourneyGoPro.2Experience brands understand that brandsare verbs and that doing is ultimately moreimpressive than telling. That’s so true of GoPro:the brand for wearable and helmet camerassolicits content from customers doing what itsproducts celebrate – having adventures – anduses that content as its marketing. Rather thantelling people about what they can do withits products, it shows them what using theirproducts could look like – and it extends thisstrategy across the experience journey. GoProis an exemplar of search – an area that manybrands neglect.
/10The Experience JourneyRed Bull.3The most successful experience brands startoff by finding unmet consumer needs and theninnovating experiences and products to fillthose needs. Red Bull did that almost 30 yearsago by innovating the energy drink categoryitself. Its promise – Red Bull Gives You Wings– is a higher-level aspiration that’s borne outat every conceivable touchpoint along itsexperience journey: from the annual Flug Tagto Red Bull Racing and other sponsorships, fromone-off stunts like the Red Bull Stratos missionto the edge of space to the brand’s consistentlysignificant investment in experience-based marketing.
/11The Experience JourneyMapping experience journeysBrands don’t become experience brands byaccident: they get there by planning.Planning isn’t just figuring out what to do when.It’s about the context and connection acrossbrand experiences. If those experiences exist inisolation, consumers can become confused andfall through the cracks.That’s why we work with clients to concept,plan and execute brand experiences within theexperience journey framework.What that looks like varies dramatically bysector and situation. For example, an experiencejourney for a fast food brand (fig. 6) has a muchshorter time frame, fewer competing brandsand a smaller incidence of sharing than anexperience journey in the automotiveindustry (fig. 7).Stimulus4 BrandsConsideration10 BrandsUseSHARING PATHLOYALTY LOOPTime - 1 YearCompetitiveSetFig. 7Experience Journey: automotive industry$Stimulus5 BrandsConsideration2 BrandsUseSHARING PATHLOYALTY LOOPTime - 1 HourCompetitiveSetFig. 6Experience Journey: fast food industry$
/12Best Experience Brands 2013That’s the vision; getting there will require agreat experience journey map and strongagency partners to travel that journeywith them.Craig Millon is SVP of Digital & ShopperMarketing at Jack Morton Worldwide.We’ve developed the work of mapping theexperience journey into a four-step process,for which we use a simple schema that mapsthe experience journey alongside consumerdisciplines (such as live, retail and digital). Thefour steps are:1. Audit each tactical activity and its primarypurpose(s) and intended result(s).2. Review and map each tactical activity,associated purpose and intended result.3. Identify the communication gaps / breaksalong the purchase journey. These canbe tactical gaps (offer), messaging gaps(consistency) or discipline gaps (digital).4. Propose solutions that assist consumers in aseamless Experience Journey.What does the output look like? That dependson the brand, of course. But the goal is alwaysthe same: leverage the power of experiencethinking to build relationships with consumersand claim an advantage in the market. Inthe experience journey model, brands win atmoments in time and moments over time – bycreating rich, technology-enhanced brandexperiences that keep consumers engagedby the brand.Footnotes1. David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder and Ole JorgenVetvik, The Consumer Decision Journey, McKinsey & Company,2009.2. Jim Lecinski, ZMOT: Winning The Zero Moment of Truth,Google, 2009.3. Josh McCall and Liz Bigham, New Realities 2012: ConsumerResearch from Jack Morton Worldwide, Jack Morton Worldwide,2012.4. Christopher Meyer and Andre Schwager, “UnderstandingCustomer Experience,” Harvard Business Review, February 2007.5. Josh McCall and Liz Bigham,Best Experience Brands 2013: A Global Study by Jack MortonWorldwide, Jack Morton Worldwide, 2013.6. Full disclosure: none of these brands are clients. We’re just fansof their discipline as experience brands.