Speaker Interview: Alex Hunter
1. Why is the idea of ‘brand’ so important to you as a marketer?
Brand is one of those funny words that gets tossed around a lot without much care or discretion. To really dive into what brand is, we need to spend some time talking about what brand isn’t. How many times have you heard something like this? “I really like their new brand” or “the packaging has the new branding on it.” Often, I’m sure. For a long time now we’ve laboured under the delusion that brand equals logo. Wrong. That brand equals corporate identity. Wrong again. They are mere outputs of a much, much bigger concept. Brand is the manifestation of your reason for being. It must permeate every facet of what you do and is made real in everything you create, from your core product, to an off-the-cuff note you write to a valued customer. So it's an intensely important concept and one, sadly, that gets over-simplified.
2. How closely linked is the company brand to customer experience?
They are intrinsically and inextricably linked. Your brand will ultimately be defined by the experience your customers have using your product and service. It will be defined by how you respond to and resolve the inevitable problems that occur from time to time. It will be defined by the ongoing relationship you curate with your customers, be they first time visitors, or loyal repeat customers. So that careful cultivation of experience is absolutely imperative to developing a successful, scalable brand.
3. Can you give examples of a current non-gaming brand that you think best displays their ability to stand out from the crowd?
Here's a few:
- Pact Coffee, a subscription coffee company in the UK, tracked me down after an exchange on Twitter and sent me a box of coffee and a handwritten note referencing our online conversation. I am now totally in love with them.
- An online music community regularly sent out handwritten notes and some stickers to some of its more active users and watched their already impressive engagement metrics skyrocket.
- An airline that uses technology to enable their inflight service teams to identify frequent fliers and address them by first name. Sounds simple but the use of a first name without looking at a piece of paper is a powerful gesture.
- A boutique hotel in NYC fills your room with your favourite snacks and drinks so you don’t feel so far away from home. Even better, they remember your selections so when you come back, even years later, the fridge is already stocked. Investing in the relationship, not the transaction. They’re the hotel I’ll stay in when I travel to the Big Apple.
4. What are some easy things digital companies can do to create a more customer centric strategy?
I'll give you the easiest one of all - remember that behind every click and every call is a human being. And now more than ever, we demand to be treated like one. Remember that and everything else becomes much easier.
5. Why is coming to iGB Live! so important to you and why should other industry professionals attend?