Brand experience is a term used to describe the total impression of a potential consumer of a brand. There is no physical entity that can be identified as brand experience. The term refers to the total experience of the brand, which may come from advertisements, actual use, reporting, or other interactions with the brand.
Experiencing the brand through a variety of situations creates in the mind of a potential consumer a kind of profile full of feelings and attitudes about the brand, helping the consumer to psychologically predict what items associated with it are likely to be like. This is therefore a highly valuable concept for makers of brand name items, as manipulating that experience can yield higher profits.
For a brand to be strong, it must present a clear and unified experience. This means, for one, that the items associated with the brand must appear to perform as they are advertised, because the use of the product should not contradict expectations. Additionally, this means that the brand must not try to pack too much meaning into the experience, because a complex experience is likely to become diluted in the mind of the potential consumer. It is often thought that the most successful brands have a sharp and singular experience because of focus through all avenues of exposure.
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In many cases, brand experience is related to marketing and advertising, which often attempt to imbue the brand, and therefore product, with meaning by presenting it with information and images. More subtly, this experience can be manipulated with techniques such as selling brand name products only in certain stores, or by creating sales displays that give off a certain feeling. Anything that is related to the brand can affect this experience, which makes it difficult to control the resulting sense in the consumer's mind.
One of the problems with the idea of brand experience is that there is no reliable scale by which to measure it. When surveying potential consumers, it is possible to get a negative or positive rating of the experience, but it is much more difficult to identify what specific emotions, intellectual thoughts, and sensations are associated with the brand. While it is clear that such a thing as brand experience exists, it is not always simple or even possible to use its existence in a productive manner.
The ultimate goal in manipulating brand experience is to influence the behavior of potential consumers. In some cases, this means buying a product, but in others, it may mean simply knowing that the brand exists. For example, some companies with products not commonly directly consumed, such as airplanes or computer chips, make attempts to modify this experience. It is clear, then, that having a positively rated brand can be a good in itself for a company, whether or not this positive rating results in purchasing directly.