Part of what I love about being a boutique customer insights firm is the variety projects and objectives we get to cover. One week I’m in the world of motorsports conducting a lifestyle study, and the next I’m working with a nonprofit to strengthen their community impact. While leveraging feedback and data to guide strategic decision making is always at the core, no two projects are the same.
But over the years, I’ve come to realize that despite any differences there is a common thread connecting every project and partnership I’ve ever been a part of. Everything I’ve done, and continue to do, is about making people’s lives better, easier, and more enjoyable. The brands we work with are developing products, services, and experiences meant to delight their customers. Our own efforts here at MacKenzie empower our partners themselves to perform with high levels of efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness. The strategy and tactics may differ, but the desired outcome is always the same – to have a positive impact on an individual’s life.
This people-centric mentality largely shapes my approach to the projects I work on. One of the things I always do is put myself in the shoes of the people I’m serving. After all, I am those people. I’m a consumer who is interacting with brands on a daily basis. I’m a business owner who is always looking for ways to be more efficient and productive. On top of all that, I’m a mother, a wife, and a sister who cares deeply about being there for family whenever needed. So, to truly understand me, all those factors should be part of the equation. It’s not enough to consider only my consumer behaviors or business needs. It’s the brands who can positively impact my life, in all areas, that will capture my attention and earn my loyalty.
If you’re nodding your head reading this, then you’re probably wondering how to put these points into action. With all the moving pieces, it can be hard to single out a ground-level starting point. So, I recommend stepping back and looking at your approach to Customer Journey Mapping. Since the goal is to understand when, where, and how customers interact with your brand, there’s usually a focus on the consumer behaviors and outcomes of each engagement touchpoint. While this is important, it’s only scratching the surface of the customer’s experience.
As I previously shared, my life is complex. As is yours. My interactions with brands don’t happen in a vacuum where it’s just me and the brand. There’s a lot more happening in and around each point of engagement. This is why it’s important to humanize our understanding of the customer’s journey. Look beyond the consumer behaviors and business-related outcomes to explore the thoughts and feelings at each point of engagement. In doing so, we’re better equipped to craft messaging that speaks to our audience rather than at them. We’re positioned to deliver more wide-ranging benefits and value because we’re considering the ripple effect our brands have on the other areas of the customer’s life. We’re able to build genuine and authentic relationships because we’re attentive to what’s driving behaviors and decisions rather than simply focusing on the results and outcomes.
We are no different than the people we’re serving. The more we see ourselves reflected in them, the better we can humanize our approach to strategic brand development. If you relate and connect with these core principles, I’d love to hear from you! Send me a note and let’s schedule a time to chat further about how our people-first approach can strengthen your brand engagement strategies.