Do you remember the last time you opened up a package for something you ordered online and you could tell how much love and care went into packaging that order for you? Do you remember the time you were walking down the street and had to stop and walk inside that one store because you were so intrigued by their shop front? Or that one time when you instantly recognised who that email newsletter in your inbox was from and was so excited to open it?

Experiences like these have the power to build and shape the perception of a brand and create long-lasting impressions. We call these experiences brand touchpoints and we believe they are important in building a successful brand, so we put together an entire guide walking you through what they are, how to find which touchpoints your business has, how to elevate them and make them work for your business.

What brand touchpoints are

Brand touchpoints are any bit of communication or interaction between your brand and your audience/customers, either online or in-person. They can be as small as a post they see from you when scrolling on Instagram or someone mentioning your product to their friend, to bigger touchpoints, such as your website or your shop front.

They are all opportunities for your business to create a positive experience with potential or existing customers and leave a lasting impression on them. Here at Kind and Ivy we like to think of them as the bridge between your business and your customers, so they should always reflect and reinforce your brand strategy.

Why touchpoints are important

Understanding what touchpoints your customers interact with is essential to building a strong and memorable brand. Knowing what touchpoints your brand has will allow you to plan the experience you take your customers on and shape the way customers think and feel about your brand.

Every step in your customer’s journey will involve at least one touchpoint, so make sure to craft and optimise them in order to create a seamless and positive experience for your customers. This will also lead to an increase in the ROI (return of investment) of your marketing, since all your efforts will be directly related to touchpoints your customers interact with.

Finding your brand’s touchpoints

Knowing how your customers find and interact with your brand can help shed light on some touchpoints you might not have thought of, or touchpoints that customers never reach (such as a Twitter account that no one interacts with). This will allow you to know where to focus your efforts and get the most out of the ones your customers do engage with.

To find out your brand’s touchpoints, start by mapping out your customer’s journey first – the steps they go through from finding out about your brand to buying from you and to becoming a long-term customer. We truly recommend sitting down and thinking carefully about their entire journey. Really think about the small details as well (from how do these customers find you, to the website/social media channels they go on before buying from you, their shopping experience, how they receive their products, to what happens after they buy from you). Knowing every single one of these steps will help you create a seamless and on-brand experience for your customers and truly shape their perception of your brand – which is what can get them coming back for more!

Our favourite brand touchpoints

No matter what touchpoints your business has, they should clearly represent your brand and what it stands for, be created with your target audience in mind and help you stand out from your competitors. A strong brand identity will give you all the right tools to achieve this.

Below we are sharing 8 of our favourite touchpoints and ways you can improve them in your business (and your customers’ experience at the same time). This is not an extensive list of all the touchpoints, as they can vary quite significantly from brand to brand; they are the touchpoints we consider to be most important when building your brand.

SOCIAL MEDIA

From the captions you write on Instagram and the stories you share, to the pins you create for your Pinterest account, they make an impression on your audience. Use your social media accounts to highlight your brand’s values and personality, and to form meaningful relationships with your audience. It’s the perfect touchpoint to connect with them on a personal level, keep in touch and get to know them better.

To save you time and make it much easier to create content, set up templates for your social media content. Our best advice for this is to make sure you keep the look and feel of these templates the same as your brand identity. For photographs, always try to include one of your main colours (such as the background on your product photography) to keep everything looking cohesive and on-brand.

WEBSITE

Your website is your virtual shop front, so it should fully show what your business is about and why you customers should care. We always encourage our clients to add their brand’s personality throughout their website as well; for example, if your brand is bubbly and youthful, instead of buy or purchase, your checkout buttons could say gimme the goods!. This not only furthers the story/experience you’re taking your customers on, it also reinforces your branding.

To make sure your customers have the best experience, double-check your website from your customer’s perspective: your homepage should be clear and motivating them to go further, your information should be easy to find and engaging, pages should be easy to navigate, all your buttons and social links should be working properly and the checkout process should be as smooth as possible.

MESSAGING

With social media content and a website comes a lot of text. From your Instagram captions, your blogs posts and newsletter, to your About page and leaflets, keep the language that you use consistent with the rest of your brand identity. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to create a guide for yourself, with specific words or phrases that are representative of your brand, and sprinkle them throughout everything that you write.

Your email signature and order confirmation emails are great ways to show more of your brand’s personality, so we recommend using your brand logo and social links at a minimum. You can always add a quote, call to action or a relevant graphic (even a meme) as well, to really make an impression on your audience.

PRODUCT PACKAGING

If your business is product-based, your packaging is one of the biggest touchpoints and best opportunities to showcase your brand values and personality. The physical labels that go on your products, the boxes or containers you’re using, and even the outer packaging you’ll be using to ship your products in, are all tangible touchpoints that make an impression on your customers.

Don’t forget about texture! It can have a lasting impression on your customers and completely change the perception of the value of your product. For example, an embossed or finely textured label can completely elevate the look of a candle jar and make it feel luxurious; whereas a candle with and seeded/plantable label (which has a very distinct texture) sends a completely different message.

ORDER PACKAGING

The way you package up your orders can create a story and transport your customers. Some of our favourite ways to go the extra mile and elevate your brand experience: send a quick and sweet message to your customers when they’ve placed an order, wrap their order in beautiful tissue paper that they’d want to keep and re-use in the future, include a little plantable card or biodegradable tea bag to just say thank you for ordering with you, an absolutely beautifully designed box that they want to keep and display. Details like these can make opening their package a complete experience that will entice them to come back in the future and keep supporting your business.

ENVIRONMENT

If you have a physical shop, you’ll know how important it is to create an inviting and entertaining layout for your products. From your shop front and signs to the internal layout and what the staff is wearing, your store should feel like a story, like entering into a different world when they step inside. Even small details such as the price tags, the smell around the shop or lighting can have an impact on your customers’ experience and perception of your brand.

You can create the same vibe or feeling on your market stand or table as well. It can be very tempting to cram as many products as you can on your table, but try to keep it as simple as you can. Customers are very savvy and notice even the smallest details, so a little effort with your displays can go a long way!

THE LESS TANGIBLE ONES

At Kind and Ivy we like to break out of the normal touchpoints and think outside of the box, so we’re including “the less tangible ones” to the list: sound, taste and smell. Even though they are not tangible, they can be very powerful touchpoints for your brand. Any of these senses can absolutely transport you to a completely different place or remind you of specific experiences or emotions. We’re sure you’re already thinking of some big brands that use smell or sound within their stores to attract customers or increase brand awareness.

If you create video content for your business (or hired someone else to), choose a sound that complements your brand identity well and use it every time in your intro/outro or throughout the videos. Sooner or later, your audience will come to associate that sound with your brand and be reminded of you anytime they hear it.

COLLABORATIONS/PARTNERSHIPS

While you might not usually see this as a brand touchpoint, we absolutely think it is one. The partners and collaborators you choose for your business tell your audience about who your business is at its core and can help you further establish your expertise. Plus, it can get you in front of new people to connect with.

This can come in many forms, such as being a guest on their podcast, creating a product together, launching a joint collection, or going live on Instagram together. When you’re looking for potential collaborators or partners, our best advice is to (kindly) approach businesses that have a similar target audience as you and always lead the conversation with value.

Our tips for making the most out of them

LEARN YOUR CUSTOMERS’ JOURNEY. The best tip we could give you and one we strongly recommend not skipping at all! Map out your customer’s journey to get a better idea of their potential experience and each touchpoint on their way. Once you mapped this out, focus on one point at a time. This can be an immense advantage in your business, as it allows you to be able to anticipate your customer’s needs and create a seamless experience.

INFUSE ALL TOUCHPOINTS WITH YOUR BUSINESS VALUES AND PERSONALITY. Your brand touchpoints should be customised to speak directly to your target audience. If your brand has really strong values or is on a mission (such as changing the world of fashion towards a more sustainable future or educating young women on the importance of self-care) showcase that as often as possible. Remind your customers what makes your business (or products) different, especially if it has a strong personality. Are you a playful or bold brand in an industry that tends to be more subtle or bland? Show off your personality!

STAY CONSISTENT. When refining these touchpoints, it’s important to keep in mind your brand identity and keep it consistent across the board. Using the appropriate logos, the same fonts and colours, the same tone of voice and messaging will help reinforce your brand in the minds (and hearts) of your audience. Whether it’s on the front page of your website, an order confirmation email or as a reply to an Instagram DM, your branding should reflect the same value, personality and vibe.

DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS AT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. Finding ways to pleasantly surprise your customers (no matter how small) can go a long way towards creating a long-lasting impression for them. Even small ways to create a story or create a personal experience can go a long way; some of our favourites are creating personal connections with your customers on your social media, asking them to help you name your new collection, including a little freebie or a hand-written thank you message with their order, sending an email on the holidays.

THINK LIKE YOUR CUSTOMER. If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll have definitely heard us talk about how important it is to know who your customers are and how they see and feel about your business. As you go through refining your brand touchpoints, put yourself in your customer’s shoes: how easy is it to find your business, what is the first impression they’ll get when they come across your content, how can they interact with your business, how do you handle complaints or feedback – and our favourite – how easy is it to create a personal or emotional connection with your brand?

REVISE REGULARLY. As your business changes and grows, it’s important to keep in touch with all your touchpoints and revise them from time to time. The ways your audience interacts with your brand might change in the future, so it’s important to make sure they’re always optimised to the best customer experience possible and are always on-brand.

Brand touchpoints will always play a big role in your business, so take the time to learn which ones your customers engage with the most and prioritise customising and improving those first. If you’re thinking of refining or elevating your customers’ experience, we’ve created a (free) very handy checklist for you to follow and refer back to at anytime. And because we also like to go the extra mile, we’ve also added some other useful resources in there for you.

How to elevate your customer’s experience with brand touchpoints

Branding, Business