Brands Transforming the Future of Customer Experiences

Brands Transforming the Future of Customer Experiences

Brands Transforming the Future of Customer Experiences 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” His words don’t just apply to the court, but also have very real application to the evolutionary world of retail today. Brands that are disrupting the market and transforming the future of customer experiences are analyzing those little details to find the pivotal point of differentiation.

Uber: Solving a Common Problem

It all started in 2008 when two friends had trouble hailing a cab on a wintry evening on the streets of Paris. So, they came up with a simple idea—tap a button, and get a ride. What started as an app to request a ride became a powerful technology vehicle to create convenience for people in other areas of their lives.

UberCargo was born, delivering packages for you with all the convenience of being on-demand and monitoring the process along the way. Then UberEats resulted as another translation of their services, actually delivering food orders at the speed you need, from a service that many have now grown to love. But as Uber expanded into the market, they recognized the opportunity to connect with other brands to bring an otherwise almost unattainable experience. Through a partnership with Goodwill they ran an initiative to help make spring-cleaning easy as the press of button. All you had to do was select the items to donate and Uber picked up for free from your front door and delivered directly to Goodwill. They also teamed up with Animal Planet and non-profit organizations in major metropolitan cities to help bring awareness about pet adoption. Users could request a pup delivery for 15-minute playdates. All the pups were eligible for adoption and proceeds of the initiative went to the partnering organizations.

AirBnb: Seizing an Opportunity

Two broke roommates in San Francisco, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, couldn’t afford to pay rent. So, with three air mattresses and promises of a home cooked breakfast they rented out the loft of their apartment at the cost of $80 per person resulting in three successful renters. After setting up a website and forming the company AirBed & Breakfast (now known as Airbnb), along comes the summer of 2008 and the Democratic National Convention. They needed funding to grow the concept so they put together special edition cereal boxes “Obama O’s” and “Cap’n McCains” to sell at the convention. At $40 each and 800 boxes later they raised $30,000 for the company.

It took several years, partnership and investments to gain momentum but they kept working at it. There are now 60 million users, and 20 million listings in 34,000 cities. Not to mention one of the most admired and disruptive companies in Silicon Valley with the evaluation of $34 billion dollars. Though for all that to happen in eight years they had to have their sites set on a purpose, which was a sense of belonging. They wanted to provide a great customer experience through a peer-to-peer interaction, giving it a truly personal touch. This lead into how they thought about the customer journey from a holistic experience, both on the host end and the customer end, and tasked individuals with managing that customer experience at every one of those touchpoints. They focused so heavily on just making sure that it’s a positive experience all of the time, and if something goes wrong then they act very quickly to turn that around to maintain their great reputation because word of mouth in today’s age obviously spreads a wild fire.

Tesla: Looking Towards the Future

Telsa was started by a group of engineers in Silicon Valley who wanted to prove that electric cars could be better than gasoline powered cars. What’s interesting about the Tesla story is how it unfolded. It was more than just a story about cool, innovative cars. They wanted to accelerate and transition the world into an environment of sustainable energy. It went from lets just make some really advanced model cars to creating a sustainable ecosystem.

In 2014 they broke ground on a Gigafactory to make cheaper battery technologies and bring down the cost down on all of their products, which makes it more affordable to everyone and a better alternative to using fossil fuels. The factory itself is even covered in solar panels making it a zero emission factory. Most recently, the brand announced the development of glass roof tiles that aesthetically look like slate or Tuscan roof tile. They will be available at Home Depot and other major retailers because Tesla realizes the need to appeal to a mass audience.

CoverGirl: Creating the Face of Acceptance

Because something has been done one way for so long doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right or the only way. Progressive fashion and beauty brands today are now moving in a genderless direction focused on equal opportunities. Taking this into adoption, CoverGirl just signed their first male ambassador.

The beauty brand selected James Charles, a 17-year old high senior and an amazing makeup artist. With millions of social followers, CoverGirl knew millions look to him for inspiration. Does it matter that he’s a boy? No, he absolutely knows what he’s talking about. We can thank Millennials and Gen Z for this “No Normal” open mindedness. It’s not so much about traditional ideology; everything is now about the individual. Pop culture shows and celebrity icons pushing the boundaries are bringing these concepts mainstream, allowing for greater acceptance and providing for a better understanding of individuals and their unique identity.

Dick’s Sporting Goods: Listening, Really Listening

Due to social media and the direct connection to brands, customers now own the conversation. No longer are the days of the one-way dialogue, but instead a continual conversation. But the critical part for brands is truly listening.

In 2014, a twelve-year-old Arizona girl noticed there was a lack of female representation in the Dick’s Sporting Goods basketball catalog. As not only a spectator of the sport, but also a female athlete, she wrote them out of frustration to say, “Hey, where are all the girls? We play sports and have dreams too, and we’re not just sitting on the sidelines. ” Her father, a media professional, then tweeted a screenshot of the letter. In response, the Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO, Ed Stack, apologized directly to her and her family with a personal call suggesting that his letter got them thinking that they need to start to do things differently. Moving forward they’ve proactively injected more of a female focus into their marketing presentation.

Transformation is natural and necessary in order to stay relevant. How will you transform tomorrow?

Photo Credit: Airbnb


A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

Be the first to know about the latest POV releases. Sign up for The Gist quarterly newsletter.

455 South Ludlow Street
Columbus, OH 43215 USA
+1 614 469 1001
sign up for The Gist quarterly newsletter
Our website uses cookies in order to optimize the experience. By continuing you agree to our use of cookies.
Privacy Policy