Utilizing the concept of touch points in your brand platform to determine where a brand intersects with customers and prospects is a good way to evaluate the importance and priority of different branding strategies and tactics, signals and messages.
I believe the first time I was introduced to the term “Touch Point” was in the book Building The Brand-Driven Business by Scott Davis and Michael Dunn, both executives of Prophet.
Here’s just a couple of highlights about touch points according to Davis and Dunn (don’t you like the alliteration of that combination?).
You first brainstorm to identify all the relevant points at which a prospect might encounter your brand. That’s everything from ads and other obvious promotional exposures to customer service and telephone sales; from event sponsorship to third-party product evaluations.
Then you divide those touch points into three groups: pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase experiences. Then you prioritize within each group those that you feel (or have researched) are most influential to your objectives.
Later, Allen Adamson, Managing Director of Landor Associates, expanded the touch point idea in his book, BrandSimple.
Mr. Adamson suggests arraying the touch points on a “map” of the entire customer/company experience.. So you’d have a road map with the touch points positioned along various routes that would take customers from first exposure through various paths to sale, repeat purchase, referral, etc.. He proposes this as an effective way to introduce and engender brand “buy in” by employees so they will more naturally represent and champion the brand.
I propose using both approaches in building a model of interactions between customers, prospects and influencers and the brand and its allies, employees, distributors and retailers.
I would certainly incorporate this concept, whether it be the pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase plan advocated by Davis and Dunn, or the Brand Journey espoused by Adamson, in your brand platform.
And later I’d introduce the Brand Journey Map to employees as Adamson suggests.
Here is one more “plank” in your brand platform, one that will help clarify and prioritize the touch points along your branding path.