A consumer’s sweet spot is when a brand hit strikes resonant emotional chords with its targeted consumers. The average consumer is exposed to a plethora of marketing messages from brands a day and in order for a brand to cut through the clutter, its message has to be of emotional resonance. The Brandberries has exclusively interviewed Remie Abdo, Head of Strategic Planning at TBWA/RAAD to get her take on how brands can design seamless experiences for their consumers.


BB: Consumer insights are mostly referred to as the tiny motivations that prompt people to choose brands over others. In other words, they’re ‘breakthroughs’ for brands. How can brands generate shopper insights?

Remie Abdo

RA: In the age of data, we all sit behind our desks crunching numbers, deciphering graphs, and translating them into … drum roll please … ‘consumer insights’. We often forget that we are, ourselves, consumers as well, and have been through the same shopping experience many times most probably. While data is available for everyone, empathy is what sets us apart. For brick and mortar shopper insights, the old methods of ethnography et al. still apply and can be even more revealing. For e-shopping, Facebook and Instagram taught us a lot about new-age-empathy, we just have to apply the same methods of observing our ‘friends’ to observing the shoppers.

BB: A customer journey is not mapped by how customers feel at any given point in the journey but rather how they feel over the course of the entire journey. How can brands effectively evaluate their customer journeys ?

RA: While the sum of emotions is what matters at the end and not the single emotion at every touchpoint, there are key moments where emotions can’t go wrong as these might jeopardize the continuation of the journey. Identifying these moments is key, and data can help us turn these moments around in the most relevant manner to the different consumers.

BB: With the rise of e-commerce, big brands shouldn’t ignore the online sphere and work on mirroring a pleasant and empowered customer experiences in the cyber world. Can you shed some lights on how e-commerce has reshaped the way brands design customer experiences ?

RA: Using data to find opportunities that add value to the experience. Knowing consumers. Personalizing the communication and the offering. Offering friction-less paths to purchase. Remembering consumers’ choices. Understanding their taste. Promoting loyalty. Offering infinite choice. Allowing a well-informed comparison. Being more transparent (a double edge sword leading to the next point). Offering better quality. To sum it all up, designing a seamless experience.

BB: With the rapid growth of multicultural customers all over the world and their unparalleled influence on the marketplace, brands should consider strategies that are inclusive to appeal to these critical consumers. Please comment.

RA: Mass personalization to the level of one, is a key strategy to meet this challenge. We can’t come up with a one-size-fits-all strategy in the ‘youniverse’ in which we live today. The more multicultural the audience, the more we shift from strategy to strategies. Luckily, multiculturalism applies to everyone. So, the more global consumers get, the more we do too allowing us to develop and adapt simultaneously rather than play catch-up.

BB: As technology revolutionizes shopping, it’s creating a new consumer demographic, the one that’s always plugged in and ready to spend. Can you shed some lights on how should brands engage with this digital savvy consumer base ?

RA: Sooner than we imagine, we won’t need to engage with consumers, but with their personal-assistant-machines and bots programed to buy for them.  Meanwhile, in order to engage more with the digital savvy consumer base, brands can make the shopping experience entertaining. Digital consumption is partly driven by the fun part of it.
Also, they can make it even more easier – it’s still a challenge to return items bought online.

I wouldn’t like it, but brands can also be everywhere, making it even more accessible, and impulsive, for consumers to purchase. Think voice activated purchase, chatbots, automated ordering, hashtag ordering, you name it.