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Balancing customer effort and engagement

Posted 12th December 2016 | Category: BrandStrategy

In order to attract and hold customer attention in an increasingly fragmented digital world, brand experiences and customer journeys need to be compelling and memorable, as much as they need to be quick and easy.

Introducing Affordances and Rituals

Affordances and Rituals are two principles behind brand experience design that can balance the need for effective and efficient brand interactions with efforts to create memorable and meaningful experiences for customers. Affordances can reduce effort in brand interactions while brand rituals can build engagement.

Make my life easier

Affordances are design cues in the brand experience that make interactions intuitive. They make it easy to understand how things work and can reduce customer effort and streamline the customer journey.

Affordances are design elements that make products and services easy to use, they enable design to be user-centric, and are increasingly applied in digital transformation by user experience (UX) specialists as part of efforts to improve performance and humanize brands.

Make my life richer

Rituals are powerful vehicles that can be tapped into or created to build brand engagement. Rituals go beyond habits to tap into emotion, meaningfulness, personal and social identity.

All of these elements are recognised as important human-centred elements of customer-brand relationships. The potency of brand rituals is their ability to influence behaviour across a social group. The behaviour becomes emulated, repeated and shared, often through social media.

Establishing brand rituals is a key opportunity for brands to build emotional engagement within their category and with their brand. Existing social rituals can be borrowed or new ones can be created to develop engagement. Brand rituals can build a narrative that creates demand and differentiates the brand through a meaningful experience.

Designing great customer experiences is a central concern for the majority of brands because customer attention is the cornerstone of brand engagement and most brands are looking for new ways to capture and hold attention as customer expectations rise. Affordances and Rituals are core principles that can help brands to sharpen efforts to become customer centric, meeting customer needs more effectively and efficiently while building an enduring narrative based on the most meaningful activities in customer's lives.

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