Branding Masterclass #4 – Creating Brand Touchpoints

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Branding Masterclass #4 – Creating Brand Touchpoints

Originally posted as “Creating Brand Touchpoints” on 19 Feb 2021.

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these and I do apologise. As a full-service brand management agency, we’ve recently been preoccupied with pushing out a slew of Employer Branding content, but that’s not to say I’ve forgotten about this content series! But hey, we’re back now – so freshen up your drink, sit back, and enjoy another issue of Branding Masterclass..

First things first!

Out of curiosity, when I mentioned “brand touchpoints” how many of you immediately thought of merch, business cards, and product packaging? Not that I’m keeping score, but after our previous discussions on brand identity, I can see how you might have thought that!

While it sounds fun and exciting to dive right into the creative design-based aspect of things, it’s also pretty important for us to establish our fundamentals. In the spirit of putting business ahead of brand strategy, this masterclass is going to discuss the significance of brand touchpoints. More specifically, how to go about deciding which touchpoints will work for your business and how you can avoid being knee-deep in unused or unwanted branded merch.

Hopefully by the end of this read, we’ll all be able to discern enough to avoid these pesky predicaments. #minimisewaste

So what are brand touchpoints?

Even for the uninitiated and those outside the circle of branding, I’m optimistic that most of us should have some idea what a brand touchpoint is. But in case you’re a little fuzzy on the subject, let’s refresh everyone’s memory!

Brand touchpoints, also known as customer touchpoints, can be described as the planned and intentional interactions and exposures designed by brands to influence customers in their perceptions and purchasing decisions

I’ve heard that a picture paints a thousand words – so I’m going to let this image paint you some examples: 

Examples of brand touchpoints 

The formal definition of brand personality can be defined as the personification of a brand by attributing human characteristics and qualities to the brand. Some questions might come to mind at this point, something along the lines of “But wait, how do I begin personifying my brand? What traits do I begin with?”

Perfect. All we need now is a frame. And by frame, I really mean – categorisation. Touchpoints can be categorised as physical or static touchpoints – as in packaging and brochures; human touchpoints – like sales personnel or customer care officers; or digital or interactive touchpoints – such as websites or video content. They can also be organised according to a customer’s buying stages. Hold on… this calls for another visual!

Categories of brand touchpoints in the customer journey

Why are brand touchpoints important?

Well, consider them your business’s first impression. In my last post about brand personality, I wrote about looking at your brand as a person with the kind of qualities you’d like in a friend. In a similar vein, you could view touchpoints as the clothes and accessories this friend would wear. Simply put, brand touchpoints are the tangible extensions of your brand personality.

Why brand touchpoints matter

Say for example, you received a personal, handwritten invitation to attend the launch event of a new luxury brand, you’d perhaps feel that sense of exclusivity and hospitality and may even consider attending the event. On the other hand, if you received a computer-generated invite that was printed on a generic card, you might feel quite differently – first about attending the event and next, about the brand.

How to develop good brand touchpoints

So we’ve got the “what” and “why” down, let’s talk about the “how”. The foundation of creating brand touchpoints necessitates some basic understanding of the customer journey. This generally means anticipating things like how customers get to know your brand, whether they consider buying your brand, and even how they will advocate for your brand. Say you were a travel business, your customer journey might look something like this:

Touchpoints in customer journey

Having a clear idea of what your customer journey is like not only helps you decide which touchpoints to create but also which ones to prioritise. From there on out, the next steps involve listing down the appropriate communication channels and activities for those touch points. Hypothetically mapped out, the examples above may look a little like this:

Detail touchpoints in customer journey

All mapped out? Great! Now all that’s left to do is to make a list of the activities that will be most effective in moving the customer from one point of the journey to the next, in order to prioritise which brand touchpoints to create first.

Key takeaways

Bringing brand touchpoints to life goes beyond just the design stuff but that doesn’t mean you should forego aesthetics altogether either! It’s about balancing your business’s needs and wants. As an aside, I’ve gotten everyone’s feedback about how long the previous articles were so I’m making good on my promise to keep things brief! Before I wrap this up, I just want to share three things to consider when creating brand touchpoints:

#1 Consistency

Who was I kidding? Of course the C-word was going to come up! It’s branding afterall. Yes indeed – from business card to website; or from advertisement to landing page to checkout, it’s important to keep your visual and verbal identity consistent to build brand recognition and trust within your customers.

#2 Range of Usability

Did I mention consistency? Guess what, consistency is easier said than done. No kidding! For consistency to happen with ease, it requires a good measure of forethought and planning. This means that when designing a logo, picking out colours and deciding on typefaces (to say the least), brands must do their utmost to anticipate all the things their logos, colours and fonts will go on. Why? Because production costs money. Reprints cost money. Very simply, mistakes cost money.

#3 Durability

A strong touchpoint reminds you of the brand, without saying its name

Much like how material durability refers to the quality of enduring wear and tear, durability in the context of branding refers to the ability of your touchpoints to leave a lasting impression. How much of your brand will your audience remember after interacting with each touchpoint? Humans are emotional, and it’s vital that each touchpoint delivers a lasting visual and emotional message that resonates with the customer, to reinforce the likelihood of customers reconnecting with the brand when they’re ready.

Closing remarks

Alright, that pretty much sums things up for now! I was originally going to share a few points on how to get brand touch points right, but perhaps I’ll leave it for a later issue of Branding Masterclass. 

If you like what you read, remember to keep up to date with the content right here and follow us on our social media platforms (Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn) for all the latest updates!

Nadine is the Principal Brand Consultant and CEO of Superminted. She is a nonconforming, divergent thinker with a conviction that effective branding is the cornerstone to a successful business.

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