When and how to create customer journey maps

From Nielsen Norman Group: Journey maps combine two powerful instruments—storytelling and visualization—in order to help teams understand and address customer needs. While maps take a wide variety of forms depending on context and business goals, certain elements are generally included, and there are underlying guidelines to follow that help them be the most successful. · Go to When and how to create customer journey maps →

Stop branding and start activating

From ChangeThis: Marketers don't generate demand. Great companies spend their time understanding what and where latent demand exists and build the products, services, and user experiences that connect to that demand. They delve into their founding principles and develop, invent, or innovate goods and services specifically driven and defined by those principles. Don’t misinterpret this effort. It’s not a matter of chasing market opportunity. It’s as much an inward journey as it is recognition of the current state of any given market. This is where the mental shift is happening among great companies that are attracting incredibly loyal customer bases. They are thinking about markets and the competitive environment they reside in terms of user experience design. · Go to Stop branding and start activating →

Museums, the next media companies

From Contently: When the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired Charles Le Brun’s 17th century painting “A Portrait of Everhard Jabach and Family” from a private English collector late last year, it made headlines in The New York Times. In the past, this would’ve been the end of the famous painting’s story—but things are a bit different nowadays at America’s largest art museum.

Today, anyone from the most casual art fan to the most ardent restoration geek can get an in-depth look at the scrupulous process behind the painting’s preparation — all by visiting the Met's website. Once there, visitors can learn about the piece’s long and damaged history (the painting was folded and tucked into a frame for 250 years). The restoration is a challenge that the museum might have once hidden from the public eye. Now, it wants to tell that tale. · Go to Museums, the next media companies →

Asking “who’s the customer?”

From If you've bought a ticket to an event in the past, oh, 15-20 years, chances are you got it from Ticketmaster. Chances are also pretty good that you think Ticketmaster completely sucks, mostly because of the unavoidable and exorbitant convenience fee they charge. And that probably has you wondering: if everyone who uses the service hates Ticketmaster so much, how are they still in business? Because ticket buyers are not Ticketmaster's customers. Artists and venues are Ticketmaster's real customers and they provide plenty of value to them. · Go to Asking “who’s the customer?” →

Actually only one thing needs to change about classical music concerts

From Ron Spigelman at Sticks and Drones: Baldur Brönnimann made waves with his 10 things he would change about concerts post, but he didn’t bring up the most important thing! So in October Baldur’s blog post went viral and not that this discussion shouldn’t take place, or that several of his ideas aren’t valid, however his list is mostly about current tastes and aesthetics and not structural change.  I will give my brief take on his 10 Things and then introduce my one thing that I believe really will make a difference.  It has very little to do with the concert itself. · Go to Actually only one thing needs to change about classical music concerts →

Seeing through the illusion: Understanding Apple’s mastery of the media

From 9to5 Mac: Apple’s public relations department is probably the best in the world — certainly more impressive at shaping and controlling the discussion of its products than any other technology company. Before customers get their first chance to see or touch a new Apple product, the company has carefully orchestrated almost every one of its public appearances: controlled leaks and advance briefings for favored writers, an invite-only media debut, and a special early review process for a group of pre-screened, known-positive writers. Nothing is left to chance, and in the rare case where Apple doesn’t control the initial message, it remedies that by using proxies to deliver carefully crafted, off-the-record responses. · Go to Seeing through the illusion: Understanding Apple’s mastery of the media →

Testimonials: increase your visitor’s trust

From Yoast: Testimonials are powerful in creating trust, and not just for online shops. The same actually goes for sales. Research has found that positive reviews can significantly increase sales. In fact, testimonials have been found to be a more important cue for judging the trustworthiness of an online store than the actual overall reputation of that store. But obviously you can’t just slap on some glorifying texts on your site. Your testimonials will have to earn the trust they’ll evoke in your site’s visitors. · Go to Testimonials: increase your visitor’s trust →

A complete guide to crawling inside your customer’s head with empathy maps

From Copyblogger: We all need to know our customers in order to create products they’ll actually buy. This is why the minimum viable audience idea is so powerful. It doesn’t start with the product. It starts with the customer. That means the media you create — the daily podcast, weekly Hangouts, the monthly downloads — all contribute to attracting an audience. As that audience grows, you learn their needs, wants, hopes, and fears. That information allows you to build a worldview of your customer. And when you confirm that worldview in your media, it allows you to sell products they actually want to buy. · Go to A complete guide to crawling inside your customer’s head with empathy maps →

The power of aligning consumers with your brand

From Gallup: Companies often believe that they can change consumers' perceptions of their brand by embarking on big advertising and marketing campaigns. They use updated logos and celebrity spokespeople to signify changes in their attitudes and behaviors.

But these tactics simply promote a message; they do not deliver what consumers really value — an actively aligned brand promise. Consumers want to walk into a store, go online, or contact a customer care center and have the experience they were promised. They want companies to back up their taglines and follow through on their guarantees. When companies do this, consumers will align themselves with those brands — and ultimately, will trust them. · Go to The power of aligning consumers with your brand →

Why customer engagement matters so much now

From Gallup: The upshot is that consumers are spending money, but they're more inclined to spend it only with businesses they feel good about. And this mindset isn't likely to disappear even if spending continues to increase — and even if it returns to pre-recession levels. Simply put, consumers will give more money to the businesses they feel emotionally connected to, and they will continue to ignore, or even oppose, those that provide them no value. · Go to Why customer engagement matters so much now →

The why and the how of organizations that deliver great experiences

From Peterme: As companies embrace the need to take user experience seriously, often their first step is to build out a “UX department.” However, the reality is that user experience is a phenomenon that emerges from an entire organization’s activities, not just the efforts of one team. There are (at least) six components that need to be aligned throughout the organization, which I’ve grouped into “The Why” and “The How”. · Go to The why and the how of organizations that deliver great experiences →