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March 04, 2013 | By

Creating Customer Obsession through Positive User Experience: Q&A

In advance of the upcoming Bazaarvoice Summit I asked two of my fellow panelists and Rosetta’s long-time clients, Pat Duncan, SVP eCommerce of Helzberg Diamonds, and Chris Cotton, Director of Digital & Social Promotions of Nationwide Insurance, a few questions about the event and our panel: Creating Customer Obsession.

Eli Grant: What are you hoping to learn from attending the Bazaarvoice Summit this year?

Pat Duncan: I’m looking forward to hearing more about authenticity and relevancy.  Authenticity from the standpoint of making sure that customer reviews are legitimate and that the customer is like me—or that they are a brand’s best customer—would help make consumer generated content more relevant (particularly reviews).  As more and more user generated content is integrated into the shopping experience, authenticity and relevancy will continue to play a vital role. 

Chris Cotton: I would like to find real case studies from low interest, low involvement industries where they have used word of mouth to improve customer retention and acquisition.

EG: With the topic of our panel focusing on creating customer obsession, what do you think are the core things a brand needs to do to create obsession?

CC: In my opinion, obsessive brands have to have:

  • Acceptable Product—has to fulfill the core purpose first 
  • Mass Appeal—built or inherited, somebody has to be interested and want to notice your product or your brand
  • A Notable Experience—has to have some time for the customer to connect with or use the product—watch, listen to, use, wear, etc.
  • Some Degree of Scarcity or Uniqueness—implied or actionable

These 4 elements are needed. If a brand/product is stronger in one category than another, creating an obsession becomes easier. You have to have 3 of the 4 to be an obsession. When this happens, the consumers become your media outlet. Earned media outpaces paid media.

PD: Experience. Experience.  Experience. Very few companies can win on price alone. Creating a unique and ownable user experience that represents your brand is how brands can win and ultimately create an obsessed customer. To create this customer experience, retailers need to begin looking at themselves differently. We are no longer companies that simply move product most efficiently to our physical locations and sell it at a reasonable price (although we do a lot of that too). We are now content creators, experience curators and trusted advisors that play a role beyond just the product we sell.

Pat and Chris represent fantastic companies, each with their own opportunities and strategies for creating customer obsession in their industries. For more insight from these and other great brands come by Salon F at 2:15PM on Tuesday, March 5th for the panel: Creating Customer Obsession: Turning your top customers into your biggest advocates.

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