Interview with Leesa Wytock, Group Director of Experience at Siegel+Gale – Sidney Evans

Leesa Wytock is what you may name an experienced chief of expertise. Throughout numerous roles and industries, she’s managed to construct a view on branding in a method that tugs at the roots (and heartstrings) of strong, strategic positioning. Her recommendations are evergreen, making use of to each old- and new-age creatives, marketers, innovators, and business leaders. Under is a current interview that we had with Leesa through which she unveils her ideas on:

  • Methods to design an expertise that fits, slightly than being all over the place;
  • Buyer listening and adoption;
  • Tangible steps for creating the conduct you’d wish to see from your clients;
  • What being a “good” model really means;
  • Designing high-impact cellular and social methods.

Have a look at what she had to say…

Sidney Evans: You latterly said, “Brands will need to think beyond creating experiences they want people to adhere to and start thinking about creating behaviors they want people to adopt.” Fascinating idea. Can you please elaborate and provides a couple of tangible steps on how manufacturers can create behaviors individuals need to undertake?

Leesa Wytock: It’s about analyzing the psychological behaviors of individuals and understanding what it takes to create a compelling expertise. A model experience is about altering behaviors and influencing actions. On the subject of experiences, much less is extra. As an alternative of being in all places on a regular basis, brands that start eager about behaviors they want individuals to adopt might be extra targeted, useful, and streamlined. Consequently, they could have much less interaction with their clients, however probably, extra powerful interactions.

An instance of that is the Starbucks app. Not solely do they help your conduct (whatever your beverage selection) and remain aware that their clients go to them in an virtually blind state (i.e., visiting the same location every day, ordering the same drink), Starbucks builds their system round simplifying and automating their clients’ wants. You’re not going to forgo your coffee when you forgot your pockets as a result of you might have the app in your smartphone.

Starbucks is making an attempt to break regular habits without disturbing the established order. They’re doing this thrilling thing whereby they promote new product strains in their app through the use of gamification. For example, they’ll supply clients additional points for making an attempt new blends. That exhibits an understanding of what drives individuals to stray from their typical drink order. Starbucks has achieved an interesting job of introducing new products in a method that plays into their system. I might have an interest to see the adoption fee of how many people try the merchandise which might be promoted inside the app.

SE: Can you give us a couple of tangible steps by which manufacturers can create conduct?

LW: We’ll have shoppers strategy Siegel+Gale and say, “We need to improve our customer experience” or “We need to improve our sales experience,” and it’s often about one thing convoluted that needs simplification. However once we begin to dig deeper, shoppers begin to say things like, “We want to be known as the Uber of X.” What we do in our initial conversations is distill that so we will study what their real ambition is, and clearly define what conduct it’s that they need individuals to adopt. Then, very quickly the dialog will get incredibly personal and, subsequently, more genuine.

The profitable brands think about how they will work together with their clients more authentically. Consider the consumer and understand their behaviors; what are potential emotional, behavioral moments and triggers?

SE: Reminds us of the AR-powered make-up trial expertise that you simply now see at shops like Sephora…

LW: Absolutely. It goes again to experience being extraordinarily user-driven. One factor that brands need to do when deciding which behaviors they want shoppers to adopt is to get fairly analytical—check them, iterate, watch and study. Many occasions, how shoppers interact with brands or with merchandise just isn’t essentially what the brand or product was initially designed to do. By adopting an iterative strategy, brands can build in suggestions loops from the end-user. That is incredibly efficient in helping shoppers determine what behaviors they need individuals to adopt.

SE: A couple of years in the past, Goal announced it is going to part out some gender-based signs in its stores, particularly in the toy and bedding aisles. In a previous article you said, “Target is doing what a good brand does.” In your opinion, what constitutes a superb model and what ought to good manufacturers do?

LW: A profitable brand focuses on lively listening and considering versus reactive adjustment. It’s about listening to what the client base is responding to. Beginning with that core perception, middle of gravity, and North Star–all the things that a good model positioning does, makes that half easier.

Once I take into consideration a “good” model, I think about the modern-day version of brands–the model that isn’t solely about colours and logos, however quite the totality of expertise that you’ve with a model. At Siegel+Gale, we consider good manufacturers are expertise brands. Typically, individuals will say, “Oh, I think Amazon is a great brand.” However, then, we ask individuals to peel the onion just a little bit and think about how they expertise the brand. What is their awareness– which means, how are they discovering out about it on the planet? What’s that interaction like? Does it mirror what that brand stands for? Then, we move into the client expertise: what’s that model doing for you whenever you turn out to be a paying or engaged customer? And, finally, what’s it like if you’re using that brand or dwelling with it? Is the brand creating any rewards on your loyalty? A superb instance of this is Spotify permitting individuals to attach and creating a worldwide group of music lovers. The model has constructed a group which you can faucet into.

Lastly, what is that worker experience? How are they treating their staff? What’s the onboarding course of like? How is it once you interact with an employee from that brand? That may be a good model—an expertise model that ticks the box on all features of the client journey.

SE: Do you assume a great model can also be one that corrects, makes shifts, and takes duty shortly?

LW: Absolutely. It’s terrific that we’re in a place the place company manufacturers are adapting and embracing delight, variety, and equality because that was not the case 15 years in the past. On the flip aspect, it goes again to model authenticity and what you stand for. When Uber modifications its app icon from a automotive to a rainbow, it feels slightly off to me. What are they doing to affect change in that area? What do they stand for? Are they donating a proportion of proceeds in the direction of charities that help trans youngsters? It goes back to what you stand for and what a very good model does—adapts shortly, listens to what’s happening, and being authentic about it, as nicely.

SE: What are the important thing steps for manufacturers to recognize when creating excessive impression social and cellular strategies or designing intuitive and interesting consumer experiences?

LW: The important thing to consumer expertise is to type an concept or a hypothesis after which attempt to break it. Think about what you need your users to do and what you assume it is that they want. Reality-check that idea, whether or not it’s by way of research, consumer testing, focus teams, and so forth. By no means go in with an assumption and a inflexible plan because even probably the most fabulous ideas can fall brief.

As the simplicity company, on the subject of intuitive consumer experiences, it’s about having laser focus when creating a easy, impactful expertise.

It might appear little counter-intuitive, but brands might have to withdraw slightly. Right now, lots of brands are all over the place, however that’s not sustainable; you’re not going to have significant impression or interactions with individuals. For those who’re all over the place, then you’re sort of nowhere, versus displaying up in sensible, targeted methods. This goes back to the start, to being very attentive to the consumer and the behaviors you need. It helps to rigorously contemplate where and the way it is best to present up.

SE: In my article, 6 Dominant Branding Themes For A Savvy 2018, I said, “The way brands interact with consumers will be greatly influenced by the use of artificial intelligence.” What are one of the best methods for brands to strategy AI? Any ideas?

LW: A method is making certain that manufacturers perceive the best way to retain these moments of empathy and connection when it issues most. One of the best AI, sensible experiences are the ones which might be a sum of all of our consumer enter. Generally, it’s understanding my habits in a method the feels pure when offering me with new options.

The place it may possibly go flawed is the place it veers into Massive Brother territory. Think about how the Google browser adapted and altered through the years. Keep in mind how you used to sort within the search key phrase, a plus signal, and then the keyword to tug up outcomes? Google changed their conduct because they realized that folks have been typing in questions. That made them enhance how we work together with the search browser.

SE: Trademark query: What’s subsequent? For instance, because it pertains to brands and experiences?

LW: I have three fascinating subjects; I don’t essentially know where they’re going to go but, but they’ve been top-of-mind for me.

The primary is figuring out your position. Manufacturers want to know that it’s extra concerning the position they play in our lives and respecting these boundaries; accepting the position they play in my life whereas delivering persistently good experiences. That focus will begin to reward these brands that comprehend the oversaturated world that we stay in. Individuals are going to start to know and embrace manufacturers that provide value when requested and when needed, but not all the time on-demand. In different phrases, these manufacturers which might be respectful vis-à-vis their roles in our lives.

The second one is this concept of spontaneity. By having the ability to do virtually all the things by way of a smartphone, we’re dropping some of our adaptability, along with the shock and delight of understanding that every part in life is unsure. I typically go searching and see how my fellow New Yorkers are all the time on their telephones; there are not any moments of spontaneity anymore. I’m wondering if the newer era goes to revert, just like how they’re presently adopting our terrible 90s style tendencies. I’m wondering if they’ll reject the notion of know-how figuring out every little thing about their lives.

This ties into my third point, which is this concept of calling a spade a spade. Newer generations do not worry calling manufacturers out, boycotting them and saying, “This is not what I want.” Once I assume of my era, we chalked it as much as, “Well, that’s corporate America.” We had this acceptance of how things work. In the present day, there’s this excellent upflow of individuals having a voice as a result of brands do should pay attention.

Relating to your point about whether or not good brands pay attention and react fast, this notion of calling manufacturers out on their missteps is just going to continue to grow. Ideally, the result can be more authenticity for brands, figuring out their place on the planet, and comprehending where they need to and shouldn’t play. It might lead to an interesting place—not necessarily just company and social duty, but in addition all the opposite elements of a brand that make it altruistic.