Quality = Table Stakes. Amazing experience = Differentiator.

People want good experiences. Quality only gives you table stakes. The quality of your products or services has to be good to start with. It’s the basic thing you need to stay in the game of business. It is not a differentiator. It is not a unique value proposition.

Information is so abundant and available at our fingertips that the act of providing information does not differentiate you from so many others. The quality of your content and the content consuming experience does.

Every business has a website. Having a website doesn’t automatically wow or attract your target audience. A well-designed website with easy navigation and quality content specifically curated for a specific target audience does.

Online purchasing is now so widely adopted that simply allowing your customers to buy from your website doesn’t differentiate you from many other e-commerce businesses. Making the buyers feel at ease and special pre-, during, and post-purchase does.

In a nutshell, what differentiates you from the rest is the memorable experience you provide. What experience are you currently providing to your target audience?

Map out your audience’s journey with your brand. Buyers tend to go through these four stages: education, evaluation, purchase, and loyalty. And this 4-stage journey is rather circular than linear. Most businesses have more than one thing they sell and even when they sell one thing, their customers most likely buy them again (repurchase or renew). What experiences are you providing at each of those stages?

From the seller’s perspective, the four stages are: attract, engage, delight, and grow. These are four of the six pillars of the 6-Pillar Marketing (6PM) Framework. These four pillars represent a marketing strategy.

At each of these stages, how is your target audience interacting with your brand?

  • In the education stage (the attract stage from your perspective), they probably find your website from a search engine and visit to learn about you and what you offer. Is your website designed in a way that speaks to your target audience? Does your website load fast enough?

  • In the evaluation stage (the engage stage from your perspective), your target audience is likely interested in case studies and/or reviews. Do they exist on your website? Are they easy to find? Is your sales team equipped to share those with your prospects? Do you have a chatbot enabled on your website so that your target audience can get answers right away?

Go through this exercise for the next two stages as well. From this exercise, you will be able to come up with a list of action items that you’d like to take on to improve your target audience’s experience with your brand.