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Crafting Customer Experience Vs. Leaving It To Chance

By Rob Hawse

If decisions about how your brand is represented are left to channel partners, customers may not end up having the experience you want them to have.

As a manufacturer, you may be under the impression that making things is your main business, but the need to make those things hinges greatly on a host of things that are happening with your company well before the sales are made and after they leave your dock – marketing and sales on the front end and packaging, shipping and service on the back.

The problem with leaving customer experience to chance is that you can’t measure what doesn’t happen. That’s why, as the manufacturer, you want to embrace your role as the brand mothership and provide clear guidance to your channel partners regarding how your brand is to be represented and what expectations need to be met. Even though the channel partner may have facilitated the sale, after all is said and done, customers will attribute all experiences they have (bad and good) related to that product – including the purchase, maintenance, and customer service experiences – to you.

To ensure customers have the experience you want them to have, you need to provide channel partners with readily accessible tools and clear guidelines that call out rules for all brand touch points, including branding standards, print, direct mail, events, tradeshows, displays, fixtures and more.

Rules might seem limiting, but actually providing channel partners with the tools and guidelines they need makes them more efficient, not less.

Even more so if you can show them the connection between the standards and their ability to sell more. Emphasize that creating a consistent brand experience is good for everyone.

Good for Shinola.

Good for Ford.

Good for Herman Miller.

Partners need a clear picture of the brand experience you want your customers to have. They are capable of creating an experience without your guidance – but it just might not be the one that will result in maximum success for you both.

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