Your company, your product and service, are a brand. Your brand is a combination of visual arts and markings, logo, mottos and sayings, persons and representatives. Your brand has a message. Your brand hopefully makes and keeps its promises. A brand is a culmination of experiences.
Technology affords businesses an opportunity to connect those experiences digitally. A great example is a technology both my bank and financial software implemented this week on their iOS apps: touch ID authentication.
Touch ID on the iPhone 6 allows your thumb print to act as a security passphrase. It securely uses this biometric to allow access to the phone itself and these applications. It's a great feature of the iPhone.
When I think about experiences with these brands, though, touch ID offers something more than reasonable platform security. It's an ease-of-use - a convenience that enhances my user experience - that only strengthens my relationship with those brands. It's now easier for me than ever to access account data, tools, and resources, offered by these companies, and doing so cements my loyalty.
Meanwhile, on other apps where I access financial information, I still have to provide passwords. A manual process that takes a little longer and is less convenient, and that idea "Less Convenient" now interconnects my idea about that brand.
I feel the same way about digital cash registers running on something like iPads as compared to traditional POS / registers. It takes seemingly forever to provide a credit card, swipe it, insert a code, walk through the cash back stuff, confirm the PIN, and execute the transaction on a traditional register. Then I have to wait for a printed receipt! Meanwhile, on the iPad, I swipe, tip, and go; the receipt is emailed to me. And in the future, I'll just be able to wave my phone in front of the register. Wow, what a convenience. What a pleasant experience.
Small and mid-range businesses have an opportunity to leverage inexpensive technology to create better, digitally-interconnected experiences, that enhance brand and cement loyalty. I think this is a fun exercise for management:
How are our technology solutions (both back stage employees and front stage consumers) providing for a fun, easy, compelling, or convenient experience?
If the answer is "Not sure" or "how is this relevant?", I think management is missing a huge opportunity to strategically apply technology to create such experiences, and to thereby differentiate their brand from competitors. In modern technology, it's the small digital interconnectedness of things that lends much larger (synergetic) capability and intelligence, and, offers compelling brand experiences.