Customer journey mapping is more than just a tool for improving CX. Used in the right way, it’s a powerful tool for vitalizing a brand’s strategy, deepening brand engagement and synthesizing a clear, winning go-to-market approach.
In the last 6 months, a profound shift in consumer digital engagement and direct-delivery to home has made customer journey mapping more applicable than ever. But with the clamor to meet the new consumer demands, brand teams have been using customer journey mapping primarily as a utility-driven insight tool. The result is a single minded focus on more functional upgrades like ease-of-use, speed, reduced cost and auto-customization which has enabled brand teams to eliminate pain points and pave the way for a smooth, satisfying customer experience.
While utility optimization is an essential outcome of journey mapping, it’s less than half of the story. Customer journey mapping is also a powerful brand strategy, positioning and brand engagement tool. Our customer journey work in categories like pharma, spirits, beauty and oral care has proven that each step of the journey offers an opportunity to express brand purpose and promise – and proudly celebrate a brand’s point of difference. Used in this way journey mapping becomes an unlock development tool to synthesize a visionary strategy.
Brand Positioning: Invitation To Engage
So how can brands successfully use journey mapping as a positioning tool?
By artfully imbedding the brand’s positioning – through distinctive product, voice and brand experience – into every step, the journey becomes a series of emotional engagements that deepen brand commitment and seed brand loyalty. When brand positioning is deeply ingrained into every post, every email and every piece of communication, taking the next step on the journey is not just easy for consumers – it’s downright compelling.
Here’s how to fully infuse brand meaning and equity into the journey:
- Immerse in your target: Deeply understand your targets’ psychographic mindset and digital profile so you can be relevant, speaking to the needs and motivations that propel them along the journey
- Proactively design the journey: After mapping the current customer journey, design the optimum journey, identifying going-in attitude and desired outcome for each step
- Engage through positioning: For each journey stage, explore content and brand engagement options through the lens of product, voice and experience – not just utility
- Optimize through insight: Use live labs research with rich interactive digital stimulus to uncover insights for optimizing brand content – with even more “why’s” answered than with A/B testing
Journey Mapping In Action: Sparking Interest During The Discover Stage
In recent journey mapping work with Gen Z beauty consumers, we explored how YouTube ads highlighting product, voice and experience can seize consumers’ much divided attention during the Discover Stage and pull them into the journey.