[PODCAST] EP013 – Shelley Rostlund

Brand Experience Trumps Product. Every time.

Feb 17, 2023 | Experience

A balance between product quality and client experience

I know your time is valuable. These show notes give you the gist of the episode, what is covered, any links or resources talked about in the show, and also gives you a few ways to listen, watch or digest this episode.


This episode’s topic, in a nutshell…

My topic today may resonate with you, I know its becoming more and more of an issue for the people I have been talking to – who are either consumers or run their own business.

And that is this balance between the quality of your product or service…versus the experience your customers or clients are having in buying that product or service from you.

If the experience is disjointed and not up to scratch, it doesn’t matter how good your product is, you will fail in connecting with your audiences and actually in retaining clients or keeping their loyalty longer term.



In this episode I walk through:

  • What happens for micros if they provide a disjointed experience for their clients. The fallout can translate into suffocating and killing off the lifeblood of their business…and that is happy, loyal clients.
  • Why customer service and responsive communication is a huge part of your brand experience
  • The 4D experience of ‘Brand Experience’ (hint: it’s not just customer service)
  • My 7 Stages of the Customer Marketing Journey (more detail below) which help to give you specific phases to your client journey where you have an opportunity to create, plan or note a touchpoint which falls in line with what you want your customers’ overall experience to be of you.
  • My 4 Brand-related categories you need to overlay the 7 stages, to ensure that your brand strategy is in full play inside this brand experience mapping. (More detail below)
  • Some interesting and motivating stats about how building loyalty across your client’s journey and experience with you will pay dividends over time. (Hint: loyalty increases lifetime value, which means more profit)
    1. 50% of your most loyal clients would rather pay a 25% premium before switching to someone else
    2. Your loyal clients will spend 33% more than new incoming clients
    3. People who have an emotional connection to you/your brand are 4 times more likely to choose to work with you
    4. A 5% increase in customer retention can equate to a 30% increase in profits
  • A reminder to ensure that anything you are planning, mapping or plotting needs to be:
    1. Sustainable (so you can keep it up)
    2. Meaningful (so it will foster loyalty)

I picked this topic because I feel like since the pandemic – particularly amongst local small businesses – my experience as a customer has diminished, while their prices have increased and their care in my experience has hit an all-time low.

It’s worrying me. Micro and Small businesses carry our economy (at least here in the UK) and if they start to be disengaged with the humans they serve – this is really not going to help our economic and societal post-pandemic recovery.


Shelley’s 7 Stages of the Customer Marketing Journey

In this episode I very quickly listed my 7 stages which I use inside my work with my clients. As promised, here’s a more detailed description of each stage for you, if you’d like to use them as a mini framework to help you look at touch points inside your business:

  1. Awareness: Activities you do to grab the attention of cold and unknown audiences (that match your dream client profile).
  2. Enquiry: The systems/ways you have in place to handle dealing with people when they do initially find you. They will reach out in some way how can they do that?
  3. Invite: This is the discovery phase of getting into a conversation with your cold prospect to qualify the relationship viability. How do you handle the incoming enquiry – what do you do to start a two-way dialogue?
  4. Conversion: How you progress the person through from enquiry & invite to signing on the dotted line. Plotting the points in your conversion phase helps you to put some numbers to it & helps you be more focussed in your business objectives.
  5. Welcome: The process and activity you have to welcome and onboard a new customer. The start of your working relationship to set them up for success.
  6. Retain: The continuing relationship past the welcome period. What do you do (over time) to retain the client. Activities to stay in touch with them ad stay in tune with their needs (in case they change)?
  7. Supplement: Providing extra, supplemental value that may be beneficial for your customers. A new service that you have launched, or it could be a negotiated deal you’ve made with a suitable complementary brand.

Shelley’s 4 Brand-related Categories for Brand Experience Mapping

#1 Purpose

This category covers making sure you are clear about and effectively communicate:

  • WHY your business exists;
  • Your Brand Voice (by that I mean tone of voice and overall messaging)
  • Your point of view (which includes thing like your brand principles, values);
  • and of course, the environment you want to create around your brand

Clearly this category helps to give your fuller brand experience its guardrails in terms of the direction or bigger picture which all of what you do, say or think will fall behind. 

#2 Products

This category encompasses touch points you can identify that involve, support or engineer:

#3 Processes

This is an easy one, because generally people default to this main category when mapping a customer’s journey. And that’s because you already will have tasks, actions or activities around these. So, with an eye on your client’s journey with you, in this category you’d look at:

  • the marketing of your offers and or brand
  • The delivery of your products or services
  • the supportive service you provide around your products;
  • The content you create; and
  • The transactional/administrative element to your business. 

#4 People

This category is one that seems to go awry for bigger businesses, but you are a super-duper micro, so you WILL include this in your planning of your brand experience.

So, this one is centred around the humans that interact with your brand, and covers:

  • the relationships you have with your own team, your clients, business communities, etc
  • your personality which impacts how you come across as a personal brand or business brand
  • The associations you have with other people, brands, or products which will trigger deeper value alignment;
  • behaviour – so how you act and are with your team and clients; and
  • your formal community drawn together by your brand – whether they are paid, unpaid or voluntary


Ways to watch, listen or digest this episode:

Full transcription: Click here for the audio with follow-along transcription.

Listen on the go, on your mobile phone: Click here to find the show on your favourite podcast app.


You can watch the episode in full colour here:

All full episodes are recorded in video as well, and are uploaded to the show’s playlist on my YouTube channel. (Click here to quickly subscribe to my channel to see future episodes).

If you want to watch with auto-generated captions – click the captions icon on the YouTube play bar menu at the bottom of the video.