Recap Academic Marketing Update: Customer Experiences and How to Stage Your Brand

By Robert van Eekhout

28-06-2013 | 9:15

AMU slideOn June 20th, we welcomed our alumni and fellow interested marketers to the inaugural Academic Marketing Update. During a 2-hour seminar, Dr. Mirella Kleijnen discussed the latest academic insights in the field of Customer Experience Marketing. Dr. Kleijnen emphasized the importance of customer experiences in creating a successful brand. “Setting the stage” for our brand really requires us, as marketers, to think about each moment customers interact with our brand. We need to engage them before, during and after consumption.

Exploring the Customer Journey
AMU lecture room IThese interactions, along with the experience context and the value-in-use, determine the strength of a customer's relationship with our brand. We can "set the stage" for our brand by blueprinting the customer journey. This is where we consider the roles of customers, front-office employees and back-office employees during all phases of the customer journey (before, during and after the experience). The key take-away was to be consistent in the way we communicate and the way we deliver brand experiences.

Storytelling is a key area of attention in the pre-experience phase and we learned which aspects to focus on when crafting a story. During the experience, influencing the senses was shown to impact a customer's perception of the brand (experience). When you hold a bottle of Orangina, for example, you can actually feel the shape of an orange. The use of audible cues also makes brands more recognizable, like in the case of MSN, BMW and Nokia. At the same time, understanding our customers' role and level of involvement within the customer journey helps us determine how to engage with them.

Alumnus in the Spotlight
AMU lecture room IIFollowing Dr. Kleijnen's presentation, we shone the spotlight on one of our alumni: Frank van der Steen, founder of FanWork, a theater production company. Mr. van der Steen shared his know-how of the experience industry. In particular, he discussed the "Pay What You Want" concept he'll launch in his productions this year. The customer experience is paramount in building a successful business model around "Pay What You Want" and Mr. van der Steen took us "behind the scenes" on the thought process for preventing a financial disaster. 

AMU networkingDuring the break and after the seminar, attendees had the opportunity to network. A great opportunity catch up with former classmates but also to meet fellow alumni of the MSc Marketing and their colleagues!

About the Academic Marketing Update
The Academic Marketing Update is a series of seminars organized by the Marketing Department of the VU University Amsterdam. During each seminar, a marketing professor will share the most recent and interesting findings in his or her field of expertise. We welcome graduates of our Marketing program as well as fellow marketing professionals to attend these seminars.

The next Academic Marketing Update will take place in the fall of 2013. Keep an eye on the website and the LinkedIn Group for the latest details!