Digital Brand Experience and Affecting Factors

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 996 , Published on 07 July 2015
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Strong experiential brands like Nike evokes feelings of being powerful, inspired, being an athlete, membership in a community. Weak experiential brands line Wal-Mart talk mostly in terms of price and promotions as well basic functionality. Consumers nowadays no longer buy products and services in order to fulfil a functional need but instead purchase the emotional experiences around it. Customers do not feel strongly about the brand which lacks emotional connect and are not experience oriented.
Today consumers interact with the brands digitally and experience them through new channels. Digital has multiplied the number of potential touch points or connections that consumers can have with your brand.

(image:https://www.flickr.com/photos/hlkljgk/)

The consumers are searching about the brands online and making purchase decisions based on the information they get. Although e-tailing is only 1% of the total retail market in India but there is an interplay between online and offline. More and more consumers are influenced by the online presence of the brand. A study done by Google found that 24% of clothing shoppers use mobile devices on a daily basis to research deals, prices, or product information. Equally interesting is the fact that 75% research clothing online after seeing an offline ad. Brands today are adopting multi-channel approach that creates a unified brand experience across range of devices ranging from computers, smartphones and tablets along with physical channels. According to a 2012 research by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB, the Indian online advertising market, including classifieds, will grow by a huge 54% in the next 12 months. The data shows how serious brands are in making their presence felt online.

But, only being present across online channels is not the right approach. Simply creating a Facebook page, Youtube channel or Twitter feed is not sufficient to create brand experience for users. Effective experiences tell a story, they are immersive, engaging, interactive, intimate, personal, and authentic, the list goes on. The brands need to identify and emphasise the factors which creates a good digital brand experience for the consumers. The objective of my study is to understand the elements of good brand experience and how brands can include these factors to engage and influence online consumers.


Research Methodology


What are the factors that affect the digital brand experience? To address this question, we asked graduate-level business students (N = 20) to describe their experience with a brand of their choice. We instructed participants to choose a brand that provides a strong experience for them, to list the brand, and then to describe their experience in an open-ended way. These responses formed elements of our quantitative research in terms of 25 statements which form elements of good digital brand experience.
For quantitative research, a questionnaire was prepared. Consumers (N=75) were asked about their online behaviour, rate various brands on digital experience and chose factors which affect the experience. We asked 75 respondents to rate various factors related to good brand experience on a likert scale of 1 to 5. We applied factor analysis using SPSS. The factor analysis revealed a six-factor solution with eigenvalues greater than 1 (variance explained = 82%).Thus we were able to reduce the 25 elements into 6 factors responsible for good brand experience.


The factors identified can be represented as below based on the combination of elements:


1) Factor 1: Online security, privacy and multiple device support
2) Factor 2: Engagement with the community
3) Factor 3: Caring and responsiveness
4) Factor 4: Content presentation and visual appeal, rich media support
5) Factor 5: Reliability
6) Factor 6: I feel related to the type of people who are their customers


After getting six factors on factor analysis, we applied regression analysis on these six factors. The dependent variable in the regression analysis is the Brand Experience measured on a scale of 1 to 7. The independent variables are those reduced six factors obtained after factor analysis. Thus, we expressed Brand experience in a linear multiple regression equation with six independent variables. On running the regression analysis and applying the significance test, we realised that Factor 5 and Factor 6 are non-significant and thus can be removed from the regression equation. We ran the regression analysis again with only four factors this time. Final regression with 4 factors thus came out to be as below.


Conclusion


Thus Brand experience can be expressed as a combination of the four factors which will explain 70% of the value with significant accuracy.

1) Factor 1: Online security, privacy and multiple device support
2) Factor 2: Engagement with the community
3) Factor 3: Caring and responsiveness
4) Factor 4: Content presentation and visual appeal, rich media support


The equation can be presented as:


Brand Experience = 5.46+.393*Factor1+ .594*Factor2+ .538*Factor3+ .466*Factor4


On regression we find that factors 2 and factors 3 are predominant in explaining the good brand experience. Thus engagement with the users and being responsive online contribute to a good brand experience online.

How Brands are using Digital Brand Experience


A. Flipkart
Flipkart spends lot of money and resources on creating appealing and user friendly website and mobile applications. The brand loyalty of flipkart is strong which is exhibited in the engagement that it drives across all channels where it’s present. The brand is very responsive and reply comes immediately to complaints and queries posted through facebook or other online social channels. The flipkart app is supported across all platforms and its privacy control settings and personalized content creates an overall good brand experience. Flipkart offers good experience to its customers, sellers, media brands, partners and employees. The new logo of flipkart focuses on inclusiveness and fulfilment of wishes.

B. Makemytrip
Makemytrip has an informative and appealing website. It provides Multilanguage support on its mobile app and website for vernacular users. Makemytrip has a very good blog which is engaging and educating. Makemytrip acts as one stop solution for all your travel needs. Good and responsive customer service enhances the brand experience and derives the loyalty. The detailed reviews provided for the hotels and packages are helpful and enhances customer trust. The website has a good user feedback feature that helps makemytrip to improve its user experience based on feedbacks.

The article has been authored by Vikas Goyal, IIFT


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