Brand Experience: Use of Brand Experience Scale to Foresee Consumer Behaviors
In the marketing literature, the concept of experience has been investigated in different contexts including consumption experience, product experience, aesthetic experience, service experience, shopping experience and customer experience. Recently, a concept has been presented that spans across these various contexts: that is “brand experience”. It can be defined as subjective, internal consumer responses such as sensations, feelings, and cognitions as well as behavioral responses evoked by brand related stimuli that are parts of a brand design and identity, packaging, communications and environment. Brand experiences can be positive or negative, short-lived or long-lasting. Moreover, brand experience can positively affect consumer satisfaction, brand loyalty and brand associations. Brand experience is empirically distinct from other branding concepts including brand attachment, brand involvement and customer delight.
Most importantly, the concept of brand experience includes various dimensions: a sensory dimension, which refers to the visual, auditory, tactile, gustative, and olfactory stimulations provided by a brand; an affective dimension, which includes feelings generated by the brand and its emotional bond with the consumer; an intellectual dimension, which refers to the ability of the brand to engage consumers’ convergent and divergent thinking; and a behavioral dimension, which includes bodily experiences, lifestyles, and interactions with the brand. Depending on how many of these dimensions are evoked and the intensity of the stimulation, the resulting brand experience can be more or less intense.
There are three types of consumers: 1) Holistic consumers, 2) Utilitarian consumersand 3) Hybrid consumers. Holistic consumers seem to be interested in all aspects of brand experience. On the other extreme, there are utilitarian consumers who don't give importance to brand experience. Hybrid consumers are in between holistic and utilitarian and further categorised into three groups: hedonistic consumers, who attach importance to sensorial gratification and emotions; action-oriented consumers, who focus on actions and behaviors; and inner-directed consumers, who focus on internal processes such as sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Potential outcome variables may include customer delight, consumer loyalty, and word-of-mouth now-a-days.
Based on this insight marketers may develop differentiated experiential strategies and tactics. Such as; to reach inner-directed consumers marketers could focus on intriguing thoughts, and to reach hedonistic consumers they should stress the emotional appeal of their offers. Many brand communications and selling approaches are no longer focused only on functional features and benefits of the brand now days but on differentiated and unique experiences that different brands provide to consumers. So in order to develop high brand equity and long lasting consumer associations with brands, marketers must need to focus on brand experience strategy by adding emotional appeal to their brands messages.