The Total Brand Experience

Disney is the master of experience. From the first click to the last day at the park, they grew from an animation studio into a worldwide corporation that has redefined exactly how we think of omnichannel experiences. Year after year after year, they underline just how crucial it is to keep customers engaged no matter where they are doing business with the mouse.

The Omnichannel

In its most basic definition, an omnichannel is a multiple angle approach to a seamless experience for the customer as provided by the company. It’s a way that leads to continued engagement through the phone, website and in-person. Even so, that doesn’t mean constant engagement is always successful. There are a few stipulations that have to be followed to ensure the omnichannel experience works correctly.

Unification

Above all, the continued experiences have to be the exact same no matter the medium. Customers that go to a website expecting one thing and are greeted at the door with another will become confused, frustrated and even angry for being lied to. This is why some businesses are portrayed as a villain. Their website paints then out to be a company that cares about its customers, yet any customer that has ever tried to deal with customer service has been met with horrible service.

Disney, on the other hand, has every single channel perfected so that customers expect the same treatment no matter where they run into Disney. Including color schemes, verbiage, content and ease of use, the Disney experience is immersive from start to finish.

Tiers

Once everything sends the same message, the next step is layers of interaction based on how in-depth the customer goes with the company. While remaining unified, each tier builds upon the last one creating a magical journey and rides that delights them with consistency and trust as they become newly converted fans of the brand. Such a technique is what turns a passing customer experience into a lifelong relationship.

Walt Disney said it best, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” Technology has really allowed Disney to adapt to this even more rapidly.  Enter the Fast Pass, where customers now had control over how long they would have to wait for a ride, making the parks a bit more enjoyable. Hotels began upgrading, becoming themed. Hotel guests were treated to special perks and transportation. Now, they have Magic Bands – a tool that has cemented Disney’s success for the next few generations.

This virtually indestructible wristband contains park tickets, acts as a hotel keycard, works as a credit card, orders food and can be used to track a lost child should the worst happen. It also allows guests to choose their fast passes for the day. In short, it has further taken what would otherwise have been a stressful trip and made it easier than ever to enjoy the parks themselves. Customers can literally forget about their responsibilities because all symbols of responsibility – hotel keys, driver’s licenses, credit cards – can now be left locked up in the hotel room. It’s a stroke of brilliance that has proven just how business changing total omnichannel experiences are.

Harnessing Greatness

As a smaller business, the task can seem daunting, but it’s not impossible. Like all things in life, it’s simply one foot in front of the other. Do what you can now and then expand outward. First, you’ll need to determine what experience you want your users to have and how you want them to be treated during the experience. This concept has to be crystal clear in order to be expanded upon successfully.

  • How do you want people to feel when the do business with you?
  • What does the journey look like as they consider you, do business with you and then refer friends to you?

Once determined, decide where you want to start. Will it be in-house with customer service or online where the majority of your audience comes from? Keep on top of customer feedback as either warning flags or signs of success. Following this, continue expanding outward until your brand is recognized and respected for its impossibly seamless omnichannel approach to the customer experience.

The Social City: Social WiFi and Hotspot Marketing

With today’s WiFi capabilities, the practice of social WiFi is starting to seem much smaller on the grand scale of potential. Where the possibility existed with just one store, entire areas are beginning to pop up, uniting once scattered locations under a blanketed network. Even something as small as a shopping center is enough to render data necessary for helping the entire area flourish, not just individual stores.

Social WiFi & Hotspot Marketing

It’s no secret that the more famous social WiFi generators, such as coffee shops, offer free internet with a purpose. Though you are gifted relatively fast, free internet upon ordering your drink, what you give back far outweighs any monthly bills. After all, this “free” internet is paid for with your data. From the sites you visit to your path around the store, everything businesses can collect and analyze is information they can use to make themselves more appealing by making your experience even better.

Taking this a step further, this connection to all customers within the store means that companies can immediately connect and interact without interrupting or being too pushy. Simple things such as “thank you” text messages or immediately sent emails with coupons in them all serve to attract the customer to come back one more time, improving customer retention and conversion.

Expanding to a Social City

Sometimes storewide reach isn’t enough. Take Hinckley town center, for instance. As the second largest town in Leicestershire, it boasts an extremely popular market full of high end fashion, fine dining and department stores. According to the case study put together by Purple WiFi, this collection of shops just wasn’t enough. The “Hinckley Town Partnership hope[d] that the new free WiFi [would] enhance the online experience when out and about in the area.” Simply put, Hinckley aimed to make technology the core of the city’s shopping experience.

The goal was to connect visitors with unrestricted WiFi at all major areas in the city, combining a system that could deliver real-time updates with the collection of visitor data. For this project, they turned to the engineering prowess of Purple WiFi. Because the demands were so unique, the solution was actually specifically built for the city. With the longest distance being 1.2km, it was challenging coming up with a continuous signal that would envelope the entire area. The answer came by “mounting Ubiquiti hardware to various lamp posts.” The traffic is then collected and sent to a central, managed connection.

Embracing the City

Moving from a store-based approach to a city-based strategy comes with added benefits. First and foremost, stores in Hinckley no longer need to worry about setting up their own WiFi for customers. Instead, they can use what’s been set up by the city, making the area even more appealing to the brands that want to get in on the WiFi hotspot action without investing the time and effort it takes to determine how to make it happen on an individual basis.

Beyond this store appeal, it’s a tactic that benefits the entire area as a whole. Those in charge of the city can now interact with their locals and visitors on an unprecedented scale, sending out SMS messages regarding various sales around the area or events going on. There are even social media portals that can be accessed to vastly increase chatter on places like Facebook and Twitter. The other side of this is that the entire area can then receive immediate feedback on what the populace is thinking about their various events, helping them further tailor the area to the wants of the customer base.

In the end, though, it all comes down to how much data your WiFi hotspots can gather. As in Hinckley’s case, they decided to go with Purple WiFi because of the type of data it offered them. Instead of restrictive options that could only place the footfalls, it’s the more advanced options that really make free WiFi across an entire city worth it. Including what stores are visited, what sites are visited, social media popularity and even gender and age, this information is pivotal for the city to continually enhance its attraction to users. By playing to the preferences of those that visit, Hinckley can expect to see unprecedented growth by using citywide WiFi to not only promote the city and its stores but encouraging more than one return trip.