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The Comparative Context: Journeys Across the Digital Ecosystem

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This presentation explores how we map the phases of the customer journey against specific areas of inquiry related to customer needs and then apply this framework to a review of competitive and comparative brand experiences. The outcomes of this analysis deliver both qualitative and quantitative results that inspire our clients and us. In turn, the insights gained enable our design team to deliver far more compelling experiences.

Publicado en: Diseño, Empresariales, Educación

The Comparative Context: Journeys Across the Digital Ecosystem

  1. the comparative contextJOURNEYS ACROSS THE DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM Michelle S Berryman, FIDSA @MicBerryman 30 August 2012
  2. AGENDA FOR TODAY Setting the Stage Defining the Customer JourneyIdentifying Competitors & Comparators Exploring the Digital Ecosystem Telling the Story Drawing Conclusions 2
  3. settingTHE STAGE 3
  4. a fewYEARS AGO... 4
  5. We were working for a consumerelectronics company.They made a lot of products.Some of them competed with this. 5
  6. Their productswere sold online• Through their website• Through online retailers such as,,, etc.• Through online channels for traditional retail outlets such as And in brick & mortar Best Buy, Costco, Target, etc. retail outlets• Through online channels for wireless carriers (in some cases) • Traditional retailers and wireless carriers • They had no physical retail presence of their own 6
  7. They hired us toprovide insight intohow they could delivera better web experiencefor their customers. 7
  8. Independent of thisassignment, we hadsome ideas and ageneral philosophy thatguided our thinking —and still does. 8
  9. We believe a websitedoesn’t just compete withother websites in itscategory. 9
  10. It competes with Nike+,Amazon, Skype, Mint,CNN and 100,000 othersites, social channels,apps and digital moments. 10
  11. We thought about this,and sketched out thegenesis of a newmethodology. 11
  13. defining theCUSTOMER JOURNEY 13
  14. this is our mental modelSIMPLE, CLEAN & DIRECT A I have a need. B I’ve found a solution. 14
  15. this is realitySO MANY CHOICES & DISTRACTIONS A B
  16. the journey doesn’t end at the solution WE CREATE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BRANDConsideration Transact Use Expand Phase AgnosticI have a need I’ve found a I use it. I need to replace it. Are there reasonsfor a product solution that to interact with theor service. matches my needs. How do I . . . ? I want another brand on an on- one. going basis? I buy it. Can I . . . ? Should I buy the What is the brand I want to . . . same one again? doing to maintain my awareness I need to . . . Is there a newer level? one? How is the brand Should I buy a building passion or different brand? loyalty with me? 16
  17. basic methodology GO DEEP & GO BROADConsideration Transact Use Expand Phase AgnosticFindability: Monetization: Usage: Engagement: Digital Channel Usage:• Once a user establishes • What are the paths to • How does the company • Are there relationship- • To what extent are digital a need, how easily can monetization and how help customers based efforts to keep channels leveraged (e.g. the company be found are they presented (e.g. maximize their customers loyal website, social media, within the competitive click to chat, trial offer, experience? between purchases? partnerships, content landscape? buy, etc.)? • Are training or • Is there a compelling syndication)? • What can be purchased educational services reason to interact withAcclimation: online and how? offered? the company on an Experience Consistency:• How is the company ongoing basis between • How consistent is the acclimating prospects Support: purchases/transactions? experience across digital (features and • How is support and channels? experiences)? customer service • How integrated/aligned is positioned? the brand throughout theProduct Positioning: • What primary support experience• How are offerings interactions are positioned/leveraged? offered? Social/Community:• How are offerings • Are there ways to interact presented alone and with the brand on social integrated together? platforms?• Are offerings shown in a • How are social/community comparative context interactions handled? with competitive • Are they integrated with offerings? accepted platforms? Differential Treatment: • To what extent are customers differentially treated?
  18. identifyingCOMPETITORS &COMPARATORS 18
  19. our “client”JIMMY CHOO
  20. identifying competitorsTHIS PART IS EASYClients generally have a pretty goodidea about their competitive set.It’s our job to look beyond their list tofind those companies from which aclient can learn.And we need to apply both macro andmicro lenses. 20
  21. jimmy choo competitorsSIMILAR PRODUCTS AT SIMILAR PRICES Christian Louboutin Christian Dior One of the world’s top fashion houses Luxury women’s footwear. Signature and largest luxury groups. Owns Louis red lacquered soles. Luxury Institute’s Vuitton. Founded in 1946. Marlene “Most Prestigious Women’s Shoes” Dietrich wore Dior. New .com site 2007, 2008 & 2009 launched in 2011. Manolo Blahnik Brian Atwood Luxury women’s footwear since 1972. Couture fashion designer known for Blahnik stilettos have become symbols thigh-high boots. “High chic. High of pure classical style for the 21st drama. High heels.” (.com is in century. Famously worn by “Sex and development) the City” character, Carrie Bradshaw. PRADA Shanghai Tang China’s only luxury brand. Style is Italian fashion label specializing in inspired by traditional Han Chinese luxury goods for men and women clothing of the 1920s and 30s since 1913. The brand became a modernized for the 21st century. No premium status symbol in the 1990s. shoes — yet! Compete in handbags and accessories. 21
  22. comparator brandsTHEY’RE MUCH HARDER TO DEFINEWe look for brands that might:• Have similar cache.• Appeal to a kindred audience or market segment.• Be in the same industry, but have a radically different business model and/or target audience.• Be aspirational.• Have analogous history.• Be faced with similar challenges. 22
  23. jimmy choo comparatorsUNIQUELY DIFFERENT BUT RELEVANT Toms Shoes W Hotels Inexpensive, casual footwear based on Starwoods luxury boutique hotel the Argentine alpargata design. The brand. Marketed towards a younger opposite of haute couture. For every crowd. Spare, minimalist modern pair of Toms Shoes purchased, Friends decor and hip, informal names such as of Toms, a non-profit affiliate, gives a the "Living Room" for the lobby. pair of new shoes to a child in need. Concierge service is called “Whatever, Whenever.” Virgin Atlantic Airways Vertu Cool, sexy and glamourous. Harkens Manufacturer of luxury mobile phones. back to a bygone era of travel with Prices range from $5,500 to perfectly primped flight attendants. $330,000+. The screens are made of The biggest fully flat bed, an in-flight ultra-thin sapphire crystal that takes bar, and London terminals equipped fifteen days to create. Every key is with salons to help you get properly individually ground and cut from coiffed before or after a flight. sapphire. Known for exquisite attention to detail. 23
  24. exploring theDIGITAL ECOSYSTEM 24
  25. you’re a scientistUNCOVER THE FACTSListen to what your client tells you about theirindustry, business and competition — but don’tdraw conclusions.Dismiss previous assumptions.Suspend belief.Probe for as much information as possible — fromthe client and the digital ecosystem.Let the evidence guide you. 25
  26. you’re a scientistBE METHODICAL IN YOUR APPROACHAlways work with a partner.Take copious notes.Screen cap EVERYTHING.Engage in detailed reviews with your partner.Reference the Areas of Inquiry and the CustomerJourney often.Score each brand against each Area of Inquiry. 26
  27. click & captureGO EVERYWHERE & FOLLOW EVERY LINKExplore the brand.• At a high level, get a sense for the brand.• Learn about the breadth and depth of their offerings.• Understand the digital brand presence.• Engage with the brand in as many channels and forums as possible.• Audit the digital ecosystem for tone, voice and intent. 27
  28. click & captureGO EVERYWHERE & FOLLOW EVERY LINKPick a product or service.• Learn about it.• Try to buy it.• Use it like the target audience does.• Try to get it serviced or repaired.• Find the manual.• Find user forums.• Find support forums and online communities.• Engage with users. 28
  29. click & captureLEAVE THE .COM 29
  30. click & captureCOLLECT. ANALYZE. UNDERSTAND. 30
  31. prepare to be surprisedBRANDS TELL UNEXPECTED STORIESLook again — literally. Do a visual scan of yourscreen caps.Discuss your findings.Revisit the online channels as necessary to validateand verify your findings and your hypotheses. 31
  32. prepare to be surprisedBRANDS TELL UNEXPECTED STORIESRevisit the areas of inquiry and the stages of thecustomer journey AGAIN.Was your client right?• About their own digital ecosystem?• About their competition?What did you learn? 32
  33. tellingTHE STORY 34
  34. initial perceptionsDESCRIBE THESE BRANDS 34
  35. listen to the brandJIMMY CHOO CROWD SOURCES STYLE
  36. listen to the brandTOMS IS A MOVEMENT FOR GLOBAL GOOD 36
  37. high-level analysisSHOW US YOUR SHOESJIMMY CHOO TOMSGrowing social engagement with Massive social engagement.participatory contests and crowd-sourced photos. Customers *love* the brand.Aspirational brand with a strong fan Wearing TOMS is a statement aboutbase. giving and caring.Clear desire for engagement from Makes consumerism feel good.customers and fans.Choo 24:7 mixes elite fashion withaspiring fashionistas. 37
  38. recommendationCREATE TWO-WAY DIALOGUE*With 1.2 million fans on Facebook and 99,000followers on Twitter, Jimmy Choo has a largeinterested and socially active fan base.Engage in more two-way dialogue.Respond to fans.Create opportunities for fans to “live chat” withdesigners and fashion critics via Facebook forumsor similar.*Based on a very high-level and rapid ecosystem scan performed specifically for this presentation.No review of competitor sites was performed. 38
  39. Is this what youexpected from JimmyChoo or TOMS? 40
  40. initial perceptionsDESCRIBE THESE BRANDS 40
  41. listen to the brandAPPLE IS FRIENDLY, CONFIDENT & ASSURING 41
  42. listen to the brandIBM INSPIRES CHANGE 42
  43. listen to the brandCISCO IS SOCIAL, APPROACHABLE & HUMAN 43
  44. listen to the brandSKYPE IS AN EDUCATION JUGGERNAUT
  45. Is this what you expectedfrom each brand? 46
  46. sample deliverableCOMPETITIVE & COMPARATIVE SCORECARD Competitor Brands Comparator Brands Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Brand Areas of Inquiry Client “A” “B” “C” “D” “E” “F” “G” “H” Findability (How easily can the company be found in the competitive landscape?) 3 4 4 3 3 4 4 3 4 Acclimation (What is the company doing to acclimate prospects - features and experiences). 4 3 4 2 1 3 4 2 4 Product Positioning (How are products/offers defined and differentiated 4 4 4 2 0 3 4 4 3 in the market?) Monetization (What can be purchased online and how? What are the 4 3 3 3 1 4 3 2 3 paths to monetization?) Usage and guidance (How does the company shepherd users through 3 3 3 1 1 3 3 1 4 the purchase/application/registration process) Support Content & Availability (is the content available, contextual and appropriate? 4 3 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 Does the site provide multiple ways to get help?) Engagement (Site engagement and interaction nuance as well as 2 4 3 1 1 3 4 1 3 communication style along multiple touch-points) Digital Channel (To what extent are digital channels leveraged - e.g. 1 3 2 1 1 2 4 2 4 websites, social media, partnerships, content syndication?) Experience Consistency (Is there consistency between messaging, 4 2 3 3 1 4 4 3 4 graphics, etc?) Social & Community (Does the site support a community or sharing of 2 3 3 1 1 2 4 1 4 information? Can users engage on social platforms?) Differential Treatment (Are each user type segmented within the experience? 2 4 3 2 3 2 3 1 4 Is the experience tailored to differentiated users?) Competitive Analysis: Comparative Analysis: Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of comparable Score: potential competitors, to provide both strategic context and alternatives, processes, products, sets of data, or systems, to to identify opportunities. provide both strategic context and to identify opportunities. Low 0 1 2 3 4 High
  47. sample deliverablesDETAILS, ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION 47
  48. drawingCONCLUSIONS 49
  49. qualitative quantitativePERCEPTION-BASED EVIDENCE-BASEDMethodology explores the “why” Properly applied, theand “how” of customer behavior methodology should be veryand experience, as well as the systematic, repeatable and“what,” “where” and “when” guided by the areas of inquiry Balanced approach that serves marketing, business and IT groups simultaneously. Outcomes represent a snapshot in time, but are based on definitive evidence. Hypotheses are validated through quantifiable metrics — particularly with regards to community and social engagement. 49
  50. yin and yangBUILDING A BIGGER TOOLBOXThe competitive/comparative assessment is oftenperformed in conjunction with another proprietarymethodology called Flow Score.Attraction – How are visitors reaching the site?Attention – How do visitors interact with the site?Appeal – How do visitors react to the site within social media?Benefit – How does the site affect a visitor’s opinion of the company?Impact – How does the site drive visitors to complete desired actions? 50
  52. insight & inspirationIT’S A TWO-FOR-ONE, GUARANTEEDWe use the competitive/comparative methodologyto gain insights and to inspire our team - as well asour clients.We expect to be amazed when we start a newproject.We know clients will be astounded by theoutcomes. 52
  53. inspiration aboundsEVERY JOURNEY IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE“I had no idea we were competing against [brand].”“I’m amazed at the social presence of [brand]. We’renowhere near that.”“Thank you. I can use this information to make surethis project is properly funded.”“I wouldn’t have thought to use Facebook as aplatform for support and continuing education forour customers.”“Fascinating.” 53
  54. Thank you. @MicBerryman