Delivering digital flagship experiences with the power to evoke emotions is the secret sauce to long-term growth. But how can brands turn this insight into practice?
Simon Andersson, Design Director at NoA Ignite, sheds some light on the topic.
Once in a while, you might enter a store that immediately embraces you with inspiration, punchy interior design, interactive installations, and charismatic staff. A brand experience as tactile as the products that are sold in the store, altogether leaving you with a clear emotional impact. This, is something we refer to as a flagship experience.
But what about translating these physical cues into the digital space? Being able to offer your customers digital flagship experiences with the same power to evoke emotions is the secret sauce to long-term growth. Simon Andersson, Design Director at NoA Ignite, shares his insights on the topic.
We all understand the importance of providing a good customer experience. But what makes it truly exceptional? How do you get it right?
To cater for future, long-term growth through a digital experience, whether an eCommerce or a service, is something that requires great design that has an emotional impact. First of all, it’s about leading with purpose through everything you do. In the stories you tell, the features you offer, and the way you make a button behave when you press it. It’s about knowing your user and delivering added value in every interaction. It’s also about being distinct and clear when solving user needs at the same time as you feed their inner aspirations. If you succeed in aligning all of these aspects with your brand's purpose and vision, users will start to feel who you are and where you are headed, rather than trying to rationally understand it. It’s about transgressing the technical and functional benefits and delivering an experience beyond the product or service itself.
But let's break it down. What's needed to build this kind of experience? And which factors define a successful, emotional user experience?
Empowering the customer
Serving people with innovative interfaces that let them solve tasks in new, intuitive, and more engaging ways is a great tool for building emotional bonds. I mean, who wouldn't like a continuous relationship with a friend who makes you feel smart, relieved, or even proud when you interact with them? Or someone who keeps on giving you aha-moments just by explaining things in easier or more creative ways? Working with immersive storytelling that enriches product or service benefits with interactivity, motion choreography and thoughtful content is a great way to build understanding and desire at the same time.
Do your homework
To create an experience that is truly exceptional in every aspect, brands need to understand their customers inside and out. Your ability to be creative, identify opportunities, and solve challenges might define how good you are at innovation. However, an innovative idea or interface is just a starting point for making a truly exceptional product. Your ability to handle and act on user feedback and data to correct your course and make incremental improvements is just as important. These two very different skill sets need to work together like Yin and Yang.
Lead with purpose
As briefly mentioned, good design oozes purpose that aligns with a brand's vision. Strong brands have a compelling vision of what they want to achieve, and they invite their customers to share that purpose with them. Like Airbnb that went from an appreciated P2P booking service with a set of great features – into an aspirational movement that enabled travelers to feel at home anywhere in the world. Unlocking the hidden gems of the local communities through being invited into real homes, by people who know their way around.
To sum it up, tapping into the role of emotions when creating digital experiences has a lot to offer and is relevant across all touchpoints that make up a brand universe - from a website, newsletter, and receipts to a physical store and all the different services surrounding a product. Every interaction is an opportunity to deliver elegant and exceptional experiences that propel growth and create true brand fans.
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