As a brand manager, understanding how to establish a strong, memorable, and meaningful connection with your customer is the key to developing a strong market strategy.
This is much easier said than done, as so many variables interplay in the development of a rapport with your customers. Managers can struggle to identify the right approach, the one capable of influencing the experience of customers.
In this post, we’re going to analyze an interesting framework that was developed in academic literature to break down the three essential components of a branding strategy: efficiency, effectiveness, and experience.
Following this model, you can draw some interesting insights that may allow you to understand where to focus your efforts.
Each of these three elements contributes to the overall formation of a brand impression and provides many interesting insights into how brand managers can build a persuasive perception of value associated with their companies.
In order to pursue a holistic vision of this area of marketing and management, you may want to use this model in connection to other similar frameworks.
For instance, this format is very useful if connected to the customer journey, a model, which allows us to see the path that leads a prospective customer through a series of challenges and decisions that ultimately put him or her in touch with our product or service.
As customers move through the market in the pursuit of a solution for a problem they need to overcome, our organization can build on the “three Es” to make sure that a one-time customer can turn into a loyal brand advocate.
With no further ado, let’s look into each of these three branding dimensions.
Efficiency can be summarised in the idea of providing money and time savings to your customers. A brand that masters efficiency, allows customers to find products at the right price point, and allows them to find a great deal when they’re looking for one.
An efficient brand is considerate of the customers’ time and is able to design retail experiences that are quick and painless with optimized re-stocking and short checkout rituals. An efficient brand masters ecommerce platforms and digital distribution to help customers fit their shopping into a busy schedule and provides omnichannel services to those who want to blend time efficiency with a richer experiential exchange with the brands’ touchpoints.
Effectiveness is about getting customers to be “successful” as they use your products to solve a problem they are experiencing.
But what problems does fashion solve? Each person can use a fashion product to solve a different problem, so it may be easier to discuss how fashion products provide value to customers.
In general terms, we can start by saying that fashion products provide three distinct types of value: functional value, social value, and emotional value.
We look into each in more detail in this post. How do these values translate into customers’ use?
Customers, in fact, buy fashion products to get a job done.
It could a functional job, as shielding oneself from the weather, it could be a social job as in fitting in or standing out in a given situation, or an emotional job, such as feeling as if you belong to a particular heritage or brand legend.
The effectiveness of your brand can be connected to how successful your products will be at helping customers in solving these problems or getting these jobs done.
- If a customer is looking for a way to fit in, your product could provide the right “social currency” to do that.
- If your customer is looking for an emotional reward, your brand heritage can make him\her feel as if it belongs to a wonderful brand legend.
- If your customer is an athlete, your shoewear can provide great comfort and performance.
Jobs to Be Done is in fact, a very useful model that can help you understand how your customers use your products, and how they serve a purpose, which can vary from customer to customer.
If you’d like to learn more about this innovative marketing framework, we discuss Jobs to Be Done in further detail in this post.
A brand experience can be defined as the sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments.
By looking at this academic definition we can see how the brand experience is, to some extent, everything else that is not comprised by efficiency and effectiveness.
Experiences relate to anything that cannot be measured quantitively, as it relates to feelings, impressions, and responses that are connected to each individual customer and their own individual exposure to the brand.
The experiential component, however, builds on everything else. Let’s look at a simple example.
For instance, the experience of a violin concerto can be very different depending on the context of the performance. For a night at the theater, we’re happy to spend a lot of money to buy an expensive ticket, to dress up, and give to the violinist our undivided attention.
If we were to listen to the same performance in the subway, not only we’d have a hard time noticing the talent of the performer, we may consider it a distraction.
Is the performance the same? Yes. What changes between the two scenarios is the context, the process of impression formation, our mood, and our state of mind.
These factors combined completely alter the customer’s experience and the perception of the value of the brand, even if the brand quality is the same.
Great, now that we’ve touched upon all three dimensions, let’s draw a few conclusive remarks.
There you have it!
In this post, we’ve discussed three essential dimensions of a fashion brand strategy: starting from the efficiency of your services to the quality or effectiveness of your products to the overall experience your organization is able to provide to its customers.
As we’ve discussed, over the last few decades we’ve seen how the focus of brand managers has moved towards providing rich, meaningful, and memorable experiences to customers, in order to build a strong, long-term relationship with a brand’s audience.
We discuss the topic in further detail in this article, from our blog.
If you’d like to read more about how to develop a branding strategy for your fashion company, here’s a book we recommend reading: Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen.
Moreover, don’t hesitate to look into our blog, where we provide a wealth of material on fashion branding and marketing. Enjoy!