Branding and service design
The opportunity to delight customers – to garner their love lies in delivering not just a quality product but also a quality experience.
If you pause a moment and count your favorite brands, the odds are that they will be brands that provide you with great service value and a seamless experience across media. Your journey as a customer would be positively engaging and most often result in getting what you are looking for at that particular instant from the brand. The value of a product in the customers eyes increases ten fold when it is supported by a system of services and corresponding designed experiences. This perceived value is something that defines the brand and differentiates it from the rest. A Starbucks coffee at the end of the day, is still just a cup of coffee, what sets it apart?
Branding originated centuries ago to cater to the basic need to mark ones goods. These exist even today, in the form of logos, symbols, marks and signs.
With the emergence of communication media, the concept of branding matured into communicating the ‘brand idea’ to customers. These messages were meant to communicate the company’s existence, to advertise offers and/or establish dominance over competition.Today, the meaning of the word ‘brand’ has take roots in the intangible space. Brands exist in the customers mind and the experiences they create through customer engagement and service cycles. It is now understood that Behavior and action is more important than just strategic communication.
What really matters is how a brand engages and what it is interacting. Value lies in the experience, and differentiation in the styling and detail.
Experience = Reputation | Reputation = Brand
Todays most preferred companies have become brands of innovation. It is noted that in their case, the brand value is created through services that surround the product. Innovation strategies with a product service system approach are being implemented, where brands enable customers by supporting and enhancing the utility of their product throughout the product life cycle. The principle behind the Product Service System is a shift in business perspective from product-orientation to service orientation, where instead of the product itself, the actual activity associated with the use of the product is considered to be of more value to the customer.
The value is not embedded in the physical product but is created by supporting the customer’s activities related to the use of the product. An example of this would be the Apple service system, whose unique offering lay in its well integrated system of products. These when weaved into an expereince web comprising of hardware,software and service products deliver to the user a complete designed system of expereinces.
Thus, it is important to note the impact and postive effects of service design on companies and their brands.
– Dubberly H (2011) Service Design 12 Principles
– Adrian Robert Tan, Tim Charles McAloone and Katherin Gall (2007) ICED International conference on engineering and design, product service system development.