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Three Emerging Aspects From the Brand Relevance Index 2018


Think about the brands that make a difference in your everyday life. The ones that make your life easier, better. Offering you exactly what you need, at the exact moment that you need it.

These brands have the power to influence your decisions, inspiring you day by day. These are the companies that Prophet calls “relentlessly relevant”.

In this article we give an overview about U.S. market, with the purpose to find some relevant aspects that can help marketers understand what people value the most. This perspective gives brands a different approach in order to unlock growth.


The Brand Relevance Index was launched four years ago and is performed country by country, with the aim to distinguish the differences that exist within people and markets from various part of the world.  

The crucial point of this ranking is that it is made by surveying more than 40.000 people to list hundreds of brands on many aspects and attributes. According to Scott Davis, “customers are the real only experts” and the choice to start from their perspective to investigate the brand relevance is determinant.

The BRI is based on 4 principles:

  • The inclination to think, make investments and create with a customer-oriented vision;

  • The capacity to meet customers needs, offering products where and when they require them;

  • The ability to provide emotional experiences and ideas that inspire customers day by day;

  • The inclination to continuously reinventing themselves, finding new and creative ways to anticipate unexpressed needs and desires.

The results are mostly congruent to the expectations: tech giants are still dominating the top of the list and, besides few big movers and some surprising entrances, the most famous brands are meeting the expectations.

While a third of the top 21 brands is owned by three companies - Google, Disney, and Sony - none of them stands in the top 5. Instead, Apple is still the most relevant brand, for the fourth year in a row, while KitchenAid and Nike moved into the top 10, replacing Disney and Pixar.

Prophet presents four key findings, common to all top brands: all the companies on the top of the list are constantly reinventing themselves, in order to build a specific, strong community around them. Furthermore, they still are focused on customers and their needs and desires, while trying to inspire them and chasing a higher purpose.


Tech giants are on the top of the list: 8 of the top 10 are inherently digital and experiential, most born in the last 20 years. How can traditional, brick and mortar companies keep up with the wave of newcomers?

Looking at KitchenAid, a company started in 1919 that has just moved into the top ten, it shows the way to winning customers’ mind and heart: reinventing and renewing is the key to stick out of the ordinary and to emerge from the obsolescence.

Top brands have the commitment to stand ahead customers’ needs and to surprise them, continually reshaping experiences and expectations, in order to offer ever-greater involvement. It’s not just a prerogative of the newcomers.

Older brands, such as Dyson, Chevrolet or Ford, have recently broken into the top 50, confirming that there still is a room for historical brands, if they can keep the pace, transforming themselves while remaining true to their roots and consistent with the brand heritage.

Furthermore, the youngest customer base has a preference for these companies too. While these customers have always been known for being social media obsessed, this stereotype is no longer true - it has never been, probably. In fact, besides all the posting, tweeting and snapping, social media brands aren’t the most relevant to their lives.

On the top of their list there is Netflix, confirmed as the best entertaining media. Due to its ability to offer suggestions tailored to individual preferences, and to increase the content base with new, peculiar projects, it keeps reaching the highest “make me happy” score. Definitely one of the best recently born brands. 


It’s evident that among millennials, all the social media platforms are losing ground; especially Facebook, the biggest mover of the year (-102 positions). However, this drop is seen in every age and gender demographic as well, confirming that this decline is not ascribed to the youngest base.

The decreased usage of Facebook is imputable to the lack of trust and interest. The “fake news” attribution, and the numerous big data breaches have brought down the brand reputation, making people doubt about its value.

Partly, this drop may represent a natural shifting to other parts of the social ecosystem, as people are always looking for the best place to express themselves. Instagram is still running the photo-framed social interactions, WhatsApp is the most used messaging system, and YouTube is the natural place for video sharing.

Nevertheless, all these social media platforms don’t seem to be considered as “relevant” to people: no one of them is ranking on the top 50, except for Pinterest.


Among social media, only Pinterest is winning customers attention, ranking third in the overall list, and first among “makes me feel inspired”.

Delivering great experiences and promoting relevant ideas, is one of the most important aspects of relevance, that results in the opportunity for brands to create a deeper connection with their customers. People want brands to express a unique model of thought, that is consistent with the brand image, and which customers can relate to or get inspiration from.

Likewise, Android is perceived as “The People’s Platform”, making its openness and ease to use a major of the brand characteristics. Its usage is worldwide - actually 86% of mobile devices - and people have the perception that it is accessible and futuristic, and gives them the power to contribute to its development.

Both these aspects - letting people get inspiration from each other and from the brand, along with showing a purpose to chase - result in the opportunity to build a strong community that shares a common view and meets common values.

The few takeaways presented in this article are just a small part of the relevant aspects that can be observed looking at the report by Prophet. The starting point to study the relationship between brands and customers, that it is the most important element when shaping brand personality in order to become relevant, meaningful and essential to customers’ lives.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Download our brand new report, Digital Innovation in Retail & Fashion, and discover why you must know and understand your customers before even thinking about selling, and how you can use personalization to deliver relevant experiences that drive loyalty and increase value.

Schermata 2018-09-17 alle 15.40.21

Topics: Social Networking digital transformation Digital Customer Experience

10 Inspiring SlideShare Presentations For Your Customer Experience


In the last few years, SlideShare has become the perfect place if you are a digital leader looking for inspiration. A true business platform, with over 70 million unique visitors. No wonder that it is today one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world.

It surely is the world’s largest community for professional content, even though sometimes the amount of information can be daunting. We have done the dirty work for you, tracking down 10 of the most inspiring SlideShare presentations that could help you improve customer experience.

As of now, SlideShare counts on 18 million pieces of unique content. It is widely considered an easy way for brands and individuals to share their expertise with large audiences across social platforms, building a distinctive identity in an easy-to-consume format.

If you have a story packed with compelling visuals, 'SlideShares' make the perfect content dissemination tool. Thus, you must consider this site a major cornerstone for your content marketing strategy.

Even if you are just searching for a good read about customer experience, there are plenty of presentations you can take as a guide, to learn how to engage and monetize your digital customers, and eventually retain their eternal loyalty.

Customer experience management mirrors the complexity of the digital customer journey of the mobile era. From social media to mobile marketing, from Big Data to customer retention, there are many aspects you have to take into account before implementing your business strategy.

Here is our selection of must-read for all marketers and entrepreneurs out there.

"How Google Works" by Eric Schmidt
Though it may seem strange, in the era of global connectivity too many companies still don’t know how exactly Google works. This presentation by Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Google, show how critical is to understand search engines, even more now that customers have gone mobile, and brands have to face the consequences of the Mobilegeddon.

“Customer Retention: Why Your Dog Would Make More Money Than You” by Chris Hexton
Great business ideas might come from unexpected places. Chris Hexton knows it well and delivers one of the most interesting presentations with this excursus on customer retention. We know that loyalty is cheaper than acquisition but harder to get. How can you improve to conquer your customers’ heart? Just learn from the loyalty your dog shows to you.

"2016 Internet Trends Report" by Mary Meeker
When it comes to understanding where technology is headed to and how you can use it to improve your customer experience, nothing beats the yearly release of the Internet Trends Report. Mobile technology has disrupted business, changing the way we live, we search product information and make purchases. If you still have to adapt your strategy, this presentation will make you - finally - change your mind.
"Digital Darwinism and the Dawn of Generation C" by Brian Solis
Brian Solis is a well-known marketing guru whose work focuses on the digital disruption and the future of business. With this presentation, he explains how to develop an evolutionary approach to marketing. A change in your mindset is the only way to build an extraordinary digital customer experience, and engage with the new generation of customers, empowered and always connected. 

"Why Content Marketing Fails" by Rand Fishkin
If you want to create a profitable connection with digital customers, you must start from your storytelling. The importance of an innovative (and omni-channel) content marketing strategy is highlighted in this SlideShare presentation by Rand Fishkin, self-proclaimed 'wizard of Moz'. Because sometimes what you need to learn is what NOT to do, and how to recover from your errors.
"Digital Strategy 101" by Bud Caddell
What makes a great digital strategy? This question is the tipping point for the presentation created by Bud Caddell, renowned consultant and marketing blogger. Almost 100-slides long and packed with lots of useful insights, Digital Strategy 101 may help you find your answers to critical questions: What is a digital strategy? What core concepts should you know? What are the real-life business effects of a great strategy?

"Social Media Secrets" by Guy Kawasaki
In the last decade, Facebook, Twitter and all social networks have become so important to build (or fix) customer experience that digital marketing is not even conceivable without them. Whether you use social media marketing to showcase your products, to engage with customers or to serve them better, there are secrets you need to know. You will find them in the SlideShare presentation by Guy Kawasaki, a collection of tips and tricks to rock your social strategy.
"The History of SEO" by Hubspot
SEO is dead, long live SEO: with the introduction of the new mobile-friendly algorithm, Google has brought to attention the importance of search engine optimization. The spread of the smartphone and the emergence of mobile searches present marketers with a considerable challenge: How to build an optimized identity across all digital properties to increase sales? This presentation is great to understand what SEO meant at the beginning, and what it means in the mobile era.

"Digital, Social and Mobile" by We Are Social
Yes, this presentation by We Are Social dates back to 2015, but it is so humongous that it is worth reading even in 2016. This SlideShare covers all things digital, a comprehensive picture that contains global snapshots, regional overviews, and in-depth profiles of 30 of the world's largest economies. Whether you are looking for invaluable statistics or just trying to undestand how to connect with customers abroad, you will find the answer in this report.

"20 Inspirational Customer Experience Quotes" by Neosperience
Let us to close with a little self-reference. Where can you start to improve customer experience and foster engagement? Learning from those that have already taken the decisive step into the Age of the Customer. Here is our selection of 20 inspirational customer experience quotes, to “get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves."

If you need more food for thought, you can also download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.
Get The Mobile Engagement Playbook
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Social Networking Facebook Branding Content Marketing Mobile

Engage Millennial Customers Using Mobile & Social Media


Millennial customers defy any categorization by definition. They have some traits in common, however: Mostly optimistic; self-aware and demanding; always connected and empowered by technology.

They breathe in symbiosis with their smartphone. They definitely are the living proof of the digital transformation, that has changed the way we live, communicate, search and make purchases. How can you engage and monetize millennials?

Given that premise, it’s easy to see why brands are so focused on the Generation Y (those born between 1981 and 2000). They are your digital customers, and a failure to impress them will likely lead to your irrelevance on the market. Do you dare to risk so much?

Of course, millennials are not the only customers you need to attract and engage. However, in an era shaped by mobile devices - where the ability to exploit the micro moments means everything - they become a key factor to decide whether you succeed or fail.


It's not all about millennials, as said. On the one hand you have the Generation X (1965 - 1980) and Baby Boomers (1946 - 1964), born and raised in an analog world. These customers are still critical but are going to become inevitably marginal. On the other hand, you have the Generation Z (from 2001 on), born and raised in a digital ecosystem but still too young and with low buying power.

Here’s the secret of Millennials. They are your true native digital customers. Conscious of their role and their purchasing power. It's not just guesses: Statistics talk about some 600 billion dollars spent by millennials customers every year globally, a figure projected to reach 1.4 billion in 2020.

Breaking news, before 2018 ends they will surpass the spending power of Baby Boomers. A very good news if you are a retailer, because millennials - unlike their fathers - love to spend. They do it now that earn less than their fathers, and they will do even more so in the future. As a result, your only goal for the next years is to be obsessed with the pursuit of a great customer experience for millennials.


They spend more than save, but they aren’t making the same buying decisions their parents made. The purchase behaviors of digital customers have deeply changed in the last decade. It's not just what they buy but also - and most of all - how they buy. Your entire strategy, from awareness to conversion and loyalty, must begin with this fact.

The emergence of Micro Moments, as told by Google, means that your business strategy has two founding elements: mobile devices and social media. Ask any Millennial what is the only thing he can't live live without, and you will receive the same answer over and over. The smartphone. Today’s customers rely on their phone for any daily activity, outside and inside the physical store.

Since the smartphone has become the primary door to access the Internet, you need to preside all possibile channels to establish a strong and engaging relationship with customers. Millennials are connected 24/7, and if you are not there when they need you, it’s like you don’t exist at all. Just look at the following numbers:

  • 58% of mobile shoppers are Millennials;

  • 50% of Millennials use their smartphone to search for information while shopping;

  • 41% of Millennials have made at least one purchase using mobile;

  • Millennials are twice as likely to be influenced by mobile apps while deciding a purchase.

Whether you like it or not, today every company is a mobile company. Mobile commerce is disrupting your business. A fancy responsive website is just the beginning of the story, a piece of the puzzle, together with social networks, mobile apps, augmented and virtual reality, and chatbots.



Where do Millennials find their most trustworthy source of knowledge? Most of this generation’s time is spent using technology to gain access to social media platforms. A complete framework for the customer journey considers the social networks one of the most critical touch points to oversee.

Social media are their favorite place to share opinions and gather information about brands and products. If you are a retailer, a fashion & luxury firm or even a financial institution, never underestimate the importance of social dynamics. Millennials are not loyal to companies; they are loyal to innovation:

  • They trust word-of-mouth as a purchase incentive;

  • They stay updated on brands through social pages;

  • They want to be engaged by brands on social media;

  • They dislike traditional loyalty programs;

  • They always come back to the brand they truly love;

  • In the next future, they will buy directly from the social profile.

Choose the networks that fit you best and use them to attract customers, answer to their questions, delight them with useful content, serve in real-time (and ultimately sell your products). Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube: to engage your audience, you first need to understand who and where they are.


Downloading mobile apps for personal and professional life is like a game for Millennials. Mobile app marketing, therefore, becomes a faulty science when it comes to digital customers. You must reinvent your KPIs. The fact that they download your app doesn’t remotely mean they will use it or even open it.

The truth is, some apps become old and do not stay trendy for long, so they are celebrated for a short period before they quickly disappear (and get uninstalled). A small part - only 26% - is used daily, and very few become necessities for ever-connected customers. Spotify, Uber, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Pokemon Go are the apps Millennials use the most in 2015.

What can you do, if you are not in the lucky ones, to capitalize on your mobile app development? The secret of successful apps is "Be sure to make your customer’s life easier."

  • Build around a distinctive concept that creates a consistent experience;

  • Make sure your app is available wherever digital customers may find it: app stores, social media, search engines;

  • Maintain engagement using bonus contents, exclusive features, and gamification dynamics.


Once you know who these digital customers are, what they like and how they buy, you still need to understand one more thing. How to engage millennials so that your brand stays top of mind when they make purchases. They take technology for granted, so that is the ideal starting point.

Think and act mobile - 19 out of 20 Millennials across the world own a smartphone and most check them an average of 43 times per day. There is a huge opportunity here, and the app is just one piece of your mobile strategy: customer assistants (bots), wearable technology, the smartwatch, proximity marketing, geo-fencing, the Internet of Things. Everything you do must be mobile-first.

Connect on any channel - traditional advertising alone doesn’t work, nor old fidelity cards or newspapers. Digital channels become the main reference for all things marketing if you want to build a successful campaign. According to Accenture, 68% of millennials demand “an integrated, seamless experience, regardless of the channel.

Ask them to contribute - the Generation Y is also known as ‘Me Generation’. One of the most effective ways to engage Millennials is playing up to this peculiar mind-set, by asking them to contribute with self-generated contents. Personalization is the keyword you should never forget when dealing with empowered, exacting customers.

Serve them fast & easy - whatever you do, do it fast & easy. Millennials are less than pleased to waste their time waiting for your reply. They are the perfect multi-taskers, with a short attention span. If you can’t reach them in the micro-moment they want you, then you have lost your customers. Ensure you provide a good experience across all channels.

Stay true and epic - Millennials look for meaningful interactions. They do not consider price as the main brand differentiator; the ability to stand out and be amazing is what makes a truly epic brand. Whether you do it by using content or disruptive technologies (i.e. virtual reality), create a unique story rooted in your true brand identity.

And remember: Praise and criticism are the two sides of the same coin. Deliver an amazing digital customer experience and you will earn their trust and loyalty; offer a poor customer experience and they will abandon you with no regrets.


Need more insights on how to engage millennial customers? Download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.

Get The Mobile Engagement Playbook


Topics: Digital Customer Experience Social Networking Branding Retail Content Marketing Wearable Mobile

Conversational Commerce - A New Paradigm For The Customer Experience


2016 will be the year of conversational commerce.” With these very words Chris Messina, Developer Experience Lead at Uber, introduced in 2015 the idea of conversational commerce as the main trend of customer-facing apps.

Today, with the chatbot mania in full swing, it is time to review this topic, and see what has happened in the tech world since the pioneering Uber’s first integration into Facebook Messenger. And how this trend is affecting the digital customer experience.

Powered by Uber’s API, Messenger has enabled users to sign up for Uber with one tap and request a ride, even if they had not downloaded the Uber app. All important information were delivered to a private conversation between the customer and Uber on Messenger, without having to leave the discussion.

The landscape, as we know it, is made of mobile devices that disrupt the way people communicate, share, and connect with each other (and with brands). The spread of the smartphone has brought the entire world into the hands of customers, and for years they have experienced it using mostly mobile browsers and apps.

Now, things are slowly - but steadily - changing. The first step in this evolution comes with the huge success of messaging applications. WeChat, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack come in the form of apps but they are not like all the other apps. They show that it is possible to engage customers in a more meaningful way. In a conversational way.

When you look at it from a business perspective, the difference between the traditional and the conversational patterns is evident: in the first one there is interaction but not real-time communication (just think about the push notification); the conversational one, instead, is all about ‘the right moment’. Content and context become so tangled up that you can have one without the other.

Some analysts already say that we are moving towards an ecosystem where the conversational commerce could live without the apps, with the improvement of the vocal assistants (i.e. Siri, Cortana, Google Now), or the development of alternative technologies (i.e. Amazon Echo, Google Instant Apps).

Right now, however, messaging is so huge that it is no wonder more and more brands are willing to join the league. According to eMarketer, 1.4 billion customers used messaging apps in 2015 (31.6% more than 2014), and we will hit 2 billion by 2018. Around 75% of the world’s Internet users use these services, not only chat with friends but also to connect with companies, make a purchase, and get help.

We are seeing at work the same forces that have shaped the social commerce trend in the last two years: Brands discover and embrace the business potential of a tool created to entertain.

What happened with Facebook is now happening with Facebook Messenger, ultimately unveiling what Mark Zuckerberg predicted at the 2015 F8 Conference: Messenger will become a business platform, in the name of a superior customer experience.

That is exactly what we are witnessing today, with the chatbots running all over the place, and bot stores growing within the apps. It is not by chance that Facebook has announced the launch of an API connected to the e-commerce Spring, which will allow users to communicate directly with the service in private chats.


Since messaging apps now attract more monthly active users than social networks, it is no surprise that companies see them an ideal vehicle for delivering a better experience, creating deeper customer engagement and retention, and ultimately sell more.

The bots (r)evolution is only one piece of the conversational puzzle, and yet bots are attracting attention and investments because their promise is tempting: The automation of services and the creation of more meaningful interactions with customers, at the lowest price.

Conversational commerce (as I see it) largely pertains to utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context.” (Chris Messina)

Chatbots, and conversational technologies in general blend human elements, machine learning, and artificial intelligence so that you do not really know whether you are engaging with a human being or a software.

If properly developed, this is the real deal for the improvement of the digital customer experience. A win-win situation for both the customer and the company:

  • Customers could chat with support representatives, ask for product suggestions, compare product alternatives, get personalized recommendations and offers, purchase with a tap, all from within the messaging app.
  • Companies could automate customer service routines, resolve the issues rapidly, engage in real-time, provide order information and delivery notifications, recommend products (up-sell, cross-sell), analyze wishlists to tailor offers.

The synergy between the conversational commerce and the mobile messaging has the potential to revolutionize how customers connect with brands. It is a step closer to make the online shopping experience more akin to that in the store.

Of course, technology is just a tool, not the purpose. Once again, the main focus should be on creating and delivering an experience that is utterly unique, satisfying and engaging for the customer. Only then the chatbots will be good news for the business and the people.


Download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.


Get The Mobile Engagement Playbook


Topics: Digital Customer Experience Mobile Innovation Future Retail Social Networking

The Future Of Retail 2016: How To Reinvent The Customer Experience


The evolution of the retail industry usually moves at the same speed with the evolution of technology. Over the last ten years, we have witnessed a major shift in customer behaviors, driven by the impact of the smartphone and mobile connectivity.

In a customer’s perspective, new tools mean new ways to connect with products and brands; in a company’s perspective, new tools mean new ways to create value and deliver memorable customer experiences. So, what’s in store for the future of retail?

No doubt that mobile devices have helped to change retail customer experience merging the physical and digital worlds and paving the way to other technologies (such as beacons, the Internet of Things, geo-fencing). Both the in-store and the online experiences have come out from this shift more complete and satisfying for the customer.

To say it with “The Retail Transformation” report from the Deloitte Center for the Edge, “technological advances and public policy liberalization are contributing to new flows of information, knowledge, and resources. As a result, retailers face new pressures:

  • Lowered barriers to market entry are bringing in many new small players and fragmenting the retail landscape.
  • Online marketplaces are transcending geographic proximity and expanding market demand for highly specific offerings. 
  • Technologies such as on-demand fulfillment are changing how and where retailers hold inventory.
  • New retail models are arising out of new technologies and new ways to connect with consumers.

Amid all this change, the retail value chain is unbundling, and even remapping. To compete effectively, traditional retailers should reimagine how they create and capture value, thinking past omnichannel positioning to examine, and find the best uses for, their assets.

The ultimate goal for every retail brand is to build a strategy to accomplish three different tasks:

  • Engage customers across all touch points of the new customer journey;
  • Understand customers’ needs and desires, studying their behavior patterns;
  • Delight customers, offering experiences that are enjoyable, innovative, and contextual.

In our digital ecosystem, the proliferation of the points of contact between brand and customer forces even the most traditional retail companies to realize that they extend and live way beyond the concrete walls of the physical store.

The typical journey of a customer today is very different from how it was not so many years ago. A simple example:

  • I visit the store to get an idea of what products may fit my needs;
  • I look for more information on Google;
  • I scan the reviews of blogs and communities;
  • I compare the different prices and offers online;
  • I post all my questions on the official Facebook or Twitter page;
  • I finally purchase the product using the e-commerce site;
  • I get back to the store to pick up the product;
  • I use the live chat or the mobile app to access the customer service to solve a problem.

It is evident that retailers need to learn to connect with customers across different channels, simultaneously and seamlessly. Clients want to waste no time and demand that you can be there and everywhere!

The perceived quality of your brand depends on your ability to provide value, combining both useful/informative contents and personalized experiences, anytime and on any device.

This is the essence of an excellent digital customer experience in retail, the one that engages and keeps customers coming back again and again. This is your most critical differentiator in markets where the quality of the output (products/services) is taken for granted.

To get back to the initial question, what will happen next in the retail industry? To answer, we will use as a reference "The Future of Retail 2016" report by consulting firm PSFK.

This take on the subject delivers a different point of view on how the idea of shopping is changing, and how brands need to reshape their retail customer experience to overcome the challenge of digital transformation.

In more detail, they identify four key major areas for improvement in the shopping experience, and ten pillars to create and deliver a truly omni-comprehensive strategy.


Create Confidence: empower customers with useful contents, create new opportunities to discover products and help them choose the best option.

Eliminate Obstacles: streamline your technology and services to eliminate pain points, and avoid wasted time when customers connect with you.


Democratize Access: create a sense of exclusivity with your brand identity and values, while offering the same opportunities to every single customer.

Recognize & Personalize: recognize that not all customers are alike, promote personalized contents and tailor-cut the experience acting on specific needs.

Promote Transparency: in the Age of Digital Customers, communication is always a two-way process. Remember that your brand also speaks with what you do.


Perfect Partnerships: choose the right partners and platforms to deliver more (and more useful) services and create a unique customer experience.

Optimize Ownership: the conversion path never ends with the conversion. Be ready to support customers and respond in real-time to their questions and problems.

Cultivate Community: as taught by sports teams, the sense of community is decisive to create loyalty and legacy. Use the mobile app and social media to strengthen the bond.


Encourage Advocacy: the inbound marketing methodology aims at transforming generic users into brand advocates. Engagement paves the way to loyalty.

Deliver Delight: never stop improving and testing. Work to provide fresh and personalized contents that delight customers and reinforce the relationship.

Now it is your turn. Do you think there is something missing? What would you focus on to reinvent retail customer experience and fulfill your brand promise in the digital era?


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: These 3 Top Digital Trends Will Change Your Retail Marketing Strategy

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:


Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Social Networking Retail Content Marketing Mobile Internet of Things

Born To Build: 5 Timeless Customer Experience Lessons From LEGO


What can customer experience leaders learn from the remarkable success of The LEGO Group? What is the connection between LEGO plastic bricks and digital marketing? None, at first glance. If you look deeply, though, you will see that the maker of children's toys that has a lot to teach.

There is a reason if the company has quadrupled its sales in the decade when virtual entertainment has replaced physical. That reason is the ability to build a unique brand, both anchored to tradition and open to innovation. The essence of digital transformation.

Our children do not play like we used to. They do not like what we like, yet there are LEGO sets in almost every house. And the LEGO playing experience has not changed at all over the years. From wooden playthings to plastic bricks, from video games to movies, the little toys are everywhere.   

Founded in Denmark in 1932, The LEGO Group history spans nearly one hundred years of building creativity. While other classic brands have struggled - and still struggle - to survive the avalanche of digital screen and video games, LEGO has managed to overcome the challenge. Ultimately becoming one the world's great brands, the most valuable toy company (ahead of the giant Mattel), and one of the most loved icons of all times.

What is the secret of this enduring success? We can sum it up by quoting two catchphrases from past LEGO advertising campaigns:

I Can Build What I Want” - Using LEGOs you can build whatever your creativity brings out. Lego marketers have built the brand the same way, decade after decade. Despite its century-long tradition, LEGO is all but a traditional company. Ready to innovate with eyes wide open, the company is devoted to creativity, without walls and prejudices.  

Everything is Awesome” - LEGO marketers are great builders of content, none can deny this fact. No matter what tools they are using to engage customers, what is really important is the quality of the output. LEGO video games constantly amaze users and critics, and the same happens with the movies. Everything is awesome when we are living our dreams.

The toy industry is well known to be the battlefield of a fierce competition. Marketing strategies need to accomplish two different goals: on the one hand they must attract, engage and delight children; on the other hand they must persuade parents. Given these premises, great content marketing is the only way to build a strong brand.

Easier said than done. Since the expiration of the last standing LEGO patent in 1989, we have witnessed the flowering of the blocks market. A growing number of companies has entered the competition, producing plastic bricks that are very similar to LEGOs.

Just take a look at the shelves in toy stores, and you will see dozens of alternatives. Through the years some have failed, some have reached a temporary success, very few have built a distinctive identity. None has really threatened the LEGO supremacy.

First come, first win? Of course, the fact that they have been the first to produce building blocks has given an aura of familiarity to the company. But this is not enough to explain the long-lasting (and ever growing) success of the Legos.


Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, highlighting the five timeless customer experience lessons we can learn from the tiny LEGO blocks.


For some industries, the buyer persona includes both the customer and the user. This logic does not apply to the toy industry, where the users are hardly ever the ones who make the purchase. When you build your strategy, it is easy to lose sight and underestimate the customer, focusing on the user (or vice versa). LEGO knows the difference between the two entities and constantly works to appeal both with tailor-cut content activities.


Never stop building is yet another great motto taken from the company’s history. In a sense, it enshrines the entire LEGO philosophy: creativity is not a bird box. Creativity is a never-ending process that puts together what we are (as a brand) and what the world around us has become (mostly due to technology). Success, in these terms, is about finding new ways to improve and adapt to customers.


A memorable customer experience always lies on great content, even more so after the digital disruption. LEGO is probably one of the best companies in the world at engaging and retaining customers through the use of valuable content. They do not just sell; they tell stories. LEGO’s storytelling is not about the product, it is about the customer: a story you can relate to is the foundations of great content marketing.


What if LEGO continued to produce only the original sets? One critical quality of the company is the ability to embrace the evolution of technology and tastes. LEGO methodology is set on constant change, showing that - in the digital era - you cannot live in just one channel alone. New sets (i.e. DC Comics, Simpsons, Dr. Who), magazines & comic books, movies, installation art, video games: they do whatever it takes to engage customers and oversee every channel.


Customers, they do not simply buy a product. They buy that specific product because they want to be part of a story. Identity and content create a sense of belonging, deployed across all channels and tools: community, social media, mobile apps, events dedicated to ‘builders’ of all ages. Have you ever given a child a product similar to LEGO but from a different brand? Then, you know what we are talking about.

Here is a huge lesson all digital entrepreneurs should learn from The LEGO Company: even when you have the best product on the market, the key to success is to create an amazing customer experience. The experience is the main brand differentiator in markets where clients can choose from hundreds of similar products.

Even when your brand is universally acclaimed, you can lose all your customers in the blink of an eye if you cannot evolve with customers. Loyalty is never carved in stone, and The LEGO Company knows it well. Evolution is in the brand’s DNA, and marketers are devoted to innovation in every single aspect of their job.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Digital Marketing Lessons From Game Of Thrones

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:


Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Social Networking Branding Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Mobile

20 Marketing Blogs That Will Help You Improve Customer Experience


Success is 1% inspiration, 98% perspiration, and 2% attention to detail” (Phil Dunphy)

No field in business needs so much inspiration like marketing. In the age of digital and mobile technology, customer’s attention is the most precious coin on market. And you never sell just products or services, you sell experiences.

Thus, you need innovative ways to create memorable experiences. Where could you find your daily dose of good insights and inspirational reads? Citing the Beatles, all you need is blog. More than one blog, actually.  

Today’s post is, in fact, dedicated to our recommended 20 marketing blogs that will offer you quality content to help you improve customer experience. Some are well known (how could you not know Seth Godin?), some might represent a nice surprise for you.

Given that the experience is more than a product, there is nothing like fresh read or a side angle view to learn new approaches and remove dust from your digital strategy.

Content marketing, social media, retail customer experience, business vision, mobile app marketing, search engine optimization: these (and many more) are all parts of the brand-new customer journey.

As a brand and entrepreneur, you need to learn how to perfect the connection with your customers - and employees - across the physical and digital touchpoints. The ability to manage relationships: here lies the essence of the inbound marketing methodology, the one that replaces interruption with communication.

You know nothing, Jon Snow”: this quote from Game of Thrones is perfect to explain why you can evolve, and get better at involving your customers in a story, only if you assume that you don’t know everything.

Digital strategy is a continuous ‘learning & testing process’, and inspiration is all around us. You just need to know where to look. In these 20 marketing blogs, for instance.


Rand Fishkin is one the most renowned marketing experts out there, the creator of Moz and one of the wizards that offer their tips, tricks and advice on this SEO-focused blog.


The best selling author and business guru Seth Godin shares his wisdom in this blog about "marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread".


You say inbound marketing and you think about Hubspot. The company also has an official blog, where tons of tremendous contents (articles, guides, ebooks) get shared every single day.


Want to know how to survive Google's algorithm updates? Want to understand how search engines work and how to perfect your SEO strategy? Search Engine Land is the place you want to go.


Email marketing is often underrated, yet it is a critical element of the inbound marketing strategy. With his provocative posts, Ben Settle will help you finally link email and sales.


If you want to become a better blogger, you definitely need to read Jeff Bullas' blog about ... blogging. The famous speaker and author is a great source of tips and ideas.


If marketing is your daily bread, you surely know Neil Patel. In Quick Sprout you can find guides and ‘how-to’ articles about content marketing, social media and web optimization.


The voice of digital transformation, Brian Solis, owns one of the most read blogs in the business world. The future of customer experience is the rule here.


There is no marketing without measurement, there is no digital marketing without analytics. Kissmetrics Blog offers everything you need to know about marketing and metrics.


Search engine marketing, PPC, AdWords campaign, retargeting: if you want to know more about these topics, Wordstream is the blog you are looking for.


In the inbound approach, content marketing is the key to attract qualified leads and convert them into customers. CopyBlogger shares great tips and content development ideas.


Would you build a marketing strategy without social media? Of course not. Social Media Examiner collects news and actionable tips on how to build a successful social brand.


Success in the Internet era is all about conversions. If you want to learn how to improve your conversion rate and build great landing pages and CTAs, take a look at Unbounce Blog.


Michael Andrews, an independent content strategist, with StoryNeedle has created an inspiring source of knowledge on how to build an outstanding content strategy and storytelling.


More a web magazine than a blog, Marketing Land gathers the most important news about all things marketing: search, email, social media, analytics, advertising and technology.


Forrester is an important consulting firm, but also a source of knowledge. Of all its blogs, we recommend the Customer Experience Blog, focused on the evolution of digital business.


If actionable guides and case studies is what you are looking for, Brian Dean and his Backlinko blog is the answer: SEO, copywriting, content, you name it.


Would you miss the official blog from the number one player in the mobile and digital world? Think With Google is a great source of ideas and insights, and you might even foresee the world of tomorrow.


Shopify is an innovative e-commerce company, and they have a blog. Where else could you gain insights into the evolution of online and retail customer experience?


Despite the name, The Sales Lion is not a blog on how to push-sell in the old way. On the contrary, it is a collection of thoughts on communicating and connecting with clients in the digital world. 

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list nor it claims to include the best blogs ever created. These are just the ones we appreciate and constantly read. There may be hidden gems we still don’t know; please, let us know using the comments.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 10 Inspiring SlideShare Presentations To Improve Customer Experience

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Social Networking Analytics Branding Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Mobile

#INBOUND15: 5 Marketing Presentations You Must See (And Probably Missed)

 inbound15_marketing_presentationsOne week has passed since Hubspot’s #INBOUND15 epilogue, but the voices from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center still resonate in our ears. Given the incredible number of 204 total sessions, for those who had the opportunity to attend the event it was impossible to take part in all keynotes and talking.

Whether you were running - like we did - back and forth around the BCEC to find a seat, or were unable to be present at all the #INBOUND15, you will gladly welcome these top 5 marketing presentations you might have missed (and should definitely see).

Of course, this is just a selection of all interesting sessions that took place at the four-days long conference. Search engine optimization, content marketing, digital transformation, the disruption of sales process, social media marketing, business growth in the age of mobile: all pieces of the inbound puzzle had a fair share of attention.

The 14,000 attending marketers have been pretty busy taking notes and sharing opinions and comments. Luckily enough, their hard work is not going lost, thanks to, the ‘inbounders community’ where you can find all other insightful slide decks and presentations and personal notes.

Here are the 5 marketing-oriented presentations we have appreciated most. A good reminder of the amazing things that happened at #INBOUND15, waiting for the 2016 edition.

“50 Actionable Tips For Launching a Successful Lead Generation Campaign”, Amanda Sibley

A lead generation campaign is the foundational element of any inbound marketing strategy. Amanda Sibley pointed out the different stages of the content creation, highlighting the importance of timing and employee involvement in the process, and ultimately suggesting the 50 action-driven tips for a successful campaign.

“Live To Tell The Tale”, Shawn Pfunder

The complete title of Pfunder’s presentation is “Live To Tell The Tale - Leveraging Story To Define Your Brand and Craft Marketing Strategy”, and it says it all. It should not surprise that content marketing took center stage in many of the sessions. The creation and distribution of useful, quality content is the key element of the inbound funnel (Attract - Convert - Close - Delight).

“The 30 Minute Marketing Plan”, Eric Keiles

Is it possible to understand the rules of inbound marketing in just 30 minutes? The answer is yes, according to Eric Keiles. A 30 minute marketing plan is enough to eliminate the most common challenges of modern markets. The presentation was a mix of real-world examples and actionable tips, to help you focus more on strategy than tactics and learn how to leverage your message.

“Technology Trends Shifting Customer Behavior”, Kyle Lacy

This one is probably our single most favorite session in the whole #INBOUND15 agenda. Filled with incredible insights on marketing and business, this presentations aimed at showing why technology is changing the way we think, buy and communicate. The key takeaways? Moments matter (remember Google’s Micro-Moments?); whoever owns the audience owns the experience; our entire economy is being rebuilt around the idea of sharing.

“Revenge of the Storymakers: How Brands are Battling Storytelling”, David Berkowitz

You are what you narrate: we all understand the importance of stories in the creation of the brand identity. If you are able to master your storytelling, you will conquer customers’ heart. Berkowitz, however, goes one step further: what is really critical is not ‘your’ story, it is your customers’ story. With examples from Starbucks, Visa, Coca-Cola, this presentation explained why brand are building on the stories their customers tell.

Now it's your turn. Did you attend the #INBOUND15 conference? What were your favorite sessions? Use the comments to share your thoughts, opinions and links to the presentations.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 3 Marketing Takeaways From #INBOUND15

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist


Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Social Networking Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Mobile

The 6 Pillars of Digital Transformation To Improve Customer Experience


"Digital innovation is as much about technology as it is about people." (Brian Solis)

In the past decade, business and society have undergone a whirlwind of changes. A digital disruption, in fact, guided by technology. The Internet and the smartphone have brought the entire world in our hands, forcing the transformation of markets, identities, and companies.

Every major paradigm shift in human history is strictly linked to a technological progress (just think about the wheel, the printing press, the steam engine). We are now witnesses of a similar evolution, facing what analysts have called Digital Transformation. 

Submerged in an ever-connected ecosystem, customers and brands move towards the dematerialization of the world as we know it. Physical and digital worlds collide and melt into a new ground of experience, where information is immediately accessible.

Businesses, governments and organizations are being challenged to embrace the latest digital technologies to improve sustainability and provide engaging experiences.  To reach customers and provide products and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Digital transformation means different things to different people, but one thing is for sure: mobile devices and social media have created a layer across our world, revolutionizing companies, products and customers forever. 

Whatever definition you prefer or adopt, you need to make sure that your approach to building and integrating digital customer experiences evolves as digital trends evolve. One single technology might change your destiny and pave the way to success. 

Here lies the secret to overcome the challenge of this new era full of threats and opportunities: start by understanding the rules of the new world, then review the customer journey your clients go through, and realign business model and marketing strategy to effectively engage your digital customers.

In such a complex scenario, if you don’t have a process, any discussion about digital transformation remains just that, a plain talk. While investing in new technologies (social media, cloud, big data, virtual reality just to name a few) is critical, it is not enough to ensure that you truly implement a digital mind shift.

Increasing investments doesn’t itself equate real change, when there is no deep evolution in company vision, brand identity, employee engagement and infrastructure.

Now that the smartphone has - finally - become the first reference screen, digital disruption implies thinking and acting mobile first. We see three great challenges here:

  • Change company culture and routines;
  • Invest time and money in new tools, processes and people;
  • Rebuild the digital customer experience from scratch.

Expectations are higher than ever, engagement is even more difficult and too many marketers struggle to connect with customers and create enduring relationships.

The first step to build a proper improvement path is to put digital customers where they ask to be: at the very core of your strategy. Once you understand that, you are ready to learn the 6 pillars of transformation to improve customer experience.


Since we have entered the Age of the Customer, traditional customers have been replaced by digital customers. They are connected, empowered and demanding. The smartphone is their way to access the Internet and social media the primary source of information. There is no marketing strategy for the Generation C without innovative technologies and social relations. Map your digital customer journey and make sure to create a proper experience to add value and earn their trust.


As Google recently stated in an eye-opening study, "what used to be our predictable, daily sessions online have been replaced by many fragmented interactions that now occur instantaneously. There are hundreds of these moments every day" and they decide the success/failure of your mobile engagement strategy. Context-aware content, multiple touchpoints and personalization become critical to reach your clients mobile-first.


Innovation is the life-blood any customer-centric company. The reason is very simple: customer behaviors usually evolve faster than companies. The ability to respond as quickly as possible is what makes the difference between winning brands and average brands. Connected people crave new experiences: smartphone, Internet of Things, wearable technology, smartwatch, mobile payments and so on.


What makes a memorable brand? Products, tradition, innovation, identity? Your brand is valued not only for what it gives (products, services) but also - and above all - for what it is: intangible meanings and archetypes. Great storytelling is the foundation of engagement and loyalty. Know your true why; master your story; shape a narrative involving story, image, identity and people; build on it your content marketing and digital strategy.


Given the previous pillars, it is easy to see why personalization is the ultimate goal that all companies should aim to achieve. An amazing shopping experience, specially in the retail industry, is what converts desires into needs. If you want to produce a sincere emotional response in customers/prospects, start by customizing your marketing to match their interests, tailoring communications based on customers’ known preferences and desires. 


The key to a successful transformation is the deep awareness of the importance of data in the planning and execution of a strategy. You are now able to collect meaningful information; you just need to learn how to convert data into actionable insights and prioritize improvements. Track and measure your results, to extract reliable strategies from numbers and statistics (i.e. using an analytics dashboard).

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy with the latest trends and advancements of digital customer experience.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How Customer Obsession Will Drive Your Digital Transformation

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

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Topics: Digital Customer Experience Society Innovation Social Networking Analytics Storytelling Content Marketing Big Data Mobile

These 3 Top Digital Trends Will Change Your Retail Marketing Strategy


At first glance, the fundamentals of retail business have not changed so much in the last fifty years. Someone sells products/services, and someone makes a purchase. If you have a closer look, though, you will see how deeply everything has changed.

We have witnessed a revolution - made possible by disruptive technologies that blur the distinction between the physical and digital world. Moreover, the journey is far from being finished. Major digital trends push to change retail industry even more deeply, from 2015 on.

Arguably, the pace of this evolution will increase in the next years, driven by the spread of mobile devices and the adoption of smart objects, namely the Internet of Things. The input (products) and the output (conversion) will still be the same, but all that is in the middle is completely different: the customer journey that connects brands and customers.

One debate is about the future of shopping. It is pretty obvious that the retail customer experience, shaken by technology, is destined to change, and it is already transforming. However, what kind of evolution will we face?

Retailers are living in a moment of transition, somewhat stuck between traditional store patterns and their digital transformation. Customers, for their part, show no doubt in embracing the new world shaped by constant connectivity and segmented by the rhythm of the smartphone.

In 2015, customer expectations have reached new heights when it comes to shopping across channels and devices. We are running towards a day when we can assume “100 percent of shoppers will be connected 100 percent of the time.” (Deloitte Digital).

Given the premises, a one-sided approach to retail strategy is not inadequate to face the real challenge of our times. In other words, attract and engage customers that live online and can choose from a (potentially) infinite set of suppliers with a tap.

When we say that an omni-channel approach (with a mobile-first vision) is the only viable strategy, we are saying the obvious. However, the obvious seems to be still a challenge for too many retailers.

To bridge the smartphone with the shelves, you need to craft a truly digital customer journey, rather than continue to consider e-commerce, proximity marketing, behavioral targeting and the physical store as different tools.

Most of all, you need to keep your eyes wide open to trace the seeds of evolution before your competitors do; ready to adopt inventions that revolutionize and strengthen your retail customer experience.


At the start of this year, Google shared - on its think-tank website Think With Google - an article that described seven key digital trends for retail technology:

  1. Seamless touchpoints - Customer’s life can be divided into micro-moments, mostly spent on connected devices. Retailers need to preside all touch points of the customer journey, to allow clients to move seamlessly between devices.

  1. Borderless retail - Commerce has no geographical borders anymore. Thanks to the Internet and E-Commerce, your competitor is not just your neighbor. Competition is a worldwide game: a threat but also a huge opportunity.  

  1. WWW Delivery - WWW now stands for ‘what I want, when I want, where I want it’. Customers demand that you can fulfill their needs in real-time, on any device and across all channels. Retail goes way beyond the four wall of the store.

  1. Personalization - When commerce becomes ‘me-commerce’, retailers must learn to analyze mobile data and recognize customer behavior, to deliver personalized experience, and tailor-cut offers and discounts.

  1. Service and experience - While the product is still the purpose of shopping, there is another critical element that you should never forget. The experience. The ‘how’ has become (at least) as important as the ‘what’.

  1. Store revolution - Even with the competition of online firms, the traditional store will not disappear anytime soon. It will evolve, however. Retail spaces will get from places of transactions to places of experience, to showcase products and engage consumers.

  1. Social commerce - Social platforms are essential to connect with customers, and the advent of social commerce was unavoidable. The challenge for your brand is to show up in the social feed with the right content at the right moment.

This is what Google predicted months ago. Some trends have become a factor in retail marketing strategy, some will come soon, others will probably fade away like meteors.

Now that we are in the middle of the race, it is interesting to see how far have these trends took shape, and what other trends are taking shape on the horizon. While we recognize the value of the seven trends listed by Google, we want to add three more digital trends that will play an important role in the retail experience of the future.


Two figures show the value of millennial customers: By 2020, roughly one-quarter of customers will have been born after 1980; their purchasing power will rise to 1.4 billion dollars spent every year. Well informed, always connected and willing to spend, millennials are the most powerful force in Western economies and require a renewed retail customer experience.


The pervasiveness of the technology produces a huge amount of data that companies can scan and analyze to understand their customers. Predictive analytics makes it possible to study customer behavior, and identify patterns to anticipate needs and wants, starting from previous actions and habits. If employed in correlation with machine learning, the predictive analysis may finally give a purpose to the Big data buzz.


As a direct consequence of the previous point, technology rewrites the rules of customer engagement, reinventing loyalty in the name of behavioral targeting. Proximity marketing will raise to a whole new level, stepping from generic push notifications to one-to-one communication. Mobile app development will stop being a simple ‘addendum’ to become the ultimate key to customer’s heart.

It is clear that only by opting for a digital perspective will retailers maintain and grow in the face of technological (and social) disruption.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 10 Inventions That Will Revolutionize Retail Customer Experience

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:
Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist


Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Social Networking Analytics Retail Mobile Internet of Things