Adding value beyond the checkout line to create authentic, trusting relationships with consumers is imperative for acquiring and sustaining customers in today's market

Customers are more than just consumers of products and services. To create more meaningful value and integrate a brand into customers’ daily lives, understanding their personalities, lifestyles and passions is crucial. One way of doing so is by building a “surround-sound” environment for products and services, extending their reach into customers’ lives to areas outside of their first or primary function to envelop users in an entire ecosystem. This is step two of three in becoming a purpose-lead brand, following strategies from PSFK’s CX Playbook

Extending brand engagement beyond the point of transaction to offer ownership experiences such as product support, partner services, education and convenient renewal is key to engendering customer value and inspiring loyalty. In fact, research has shown that 70% of millennials feel that their favorite brands played an important role in their life and 64% expect that to continue throughout their lives, highlighting that filling an important place in consumers’ everyday existence is paramount. Here are three ways that PSFK has identified to build rapport and longevity with consumers:

Become a lifestyle partner

Before initiating a relationship with a brand, customers not only look at a brand’s products and services, but also at how a brand shares its expertise. Harry's, a digital-first razor brand, did so by creating an online magazine called Five O’Clock to discuss what masculinity means today. Following from the brand’s belief in everyone deserving a great shave at an honest and fair price, the magazine centers around the topics of Culture, Community, Conversation and the Cornershop. In addition to the digital publication, Five O’Clock Magazine created a monthly playlist called ‘Shower Sessions’ on Spotify to further enhance audiences’ daily routines and stay connected to them.

Extend product value

Brands are adding value beyond the checkout line by offering personalized interactions like repairs, educational support or providing tangential assistance as consumers integrate a product or brand into their daily lives. The e-commerce giant Amazon has done so by partnering with vehicle manufacturers, including General Motors and Volvo, to deliver packages directly to the trunks of vehicles, seeking a new delivery method for Amazon Prime members who may be wary of leaving packages outside or allowing couriers into their homes. The app-based service lets car owners provide delivery agents with keyless access to their trunks and allows them to track it in real time, extending the value of customer's purchase beyond the item in question with attentive, convenient service.

Let consumers lead R&D

Brands can help customers feel that their opinion matters by inviting their trusted members and loyal fans into the research and development process. Spotify, for instance, is lettings users add data by creating a music metadata editor tool called Line-In that allows its 160 million users to offer input about the music data it has on file, like genre, mood, explicit lyrics and more. Users of Spotify’s desktop app can access Line-In by clicking on the three dots next to any song, album or artist, and select “suggest an edit.” Additionally, Line-In crowdsources users’ knowledge of music to correct, confirm and expand Spotify’s library. Through these methods, users contribute data and strengthen the platform’s algorithms and search term experience, fostering ongoing collaboration with users while allowing the company to improve listeners and artists’ product experiences.

A recent study revealed that 79% of consumers feel brands must actively demonstrate that “they understand and care about me,” a statistic that proves that the product and brand experience alone are not enough—now people value their personal experience and how a brand can fit into it more than anything. For a complete look at the strategies and trends beyond creating a customer ecosystem that allow brands to better engage consumers, download the CX Playbook report, now available for PSFK Premium Members.