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The Four Phases of the Customer Journey

Jul 1, 2021 | Brand Strategy, Business Strategy

We’re walking through the four phases of the customer journey so that you can create a consistent brand experience tailored to your customer.


The way you communicate your brand with someone who is well within your circle of influence is different from someone who is coming in contact with it for the first time.

For example, the person who just happens to come across an Instagram post of yours is going to have a different experience than someone who has been regularly reading your weekly newsletter.

Why?

Because they have different expectations and understanding of what you’re communicating.

The person who has no experience will not have any expectations. Their knowledge of your brand’s personality is limited. They may not know your commonly-used jargon. They’re starting with a blank canvas.

Compare that to the person who has been in your circle for several months – they have an understanding of your communication style, the information you share and your brand’s personality. You as the brand can use different language with this person because they’re more familiar with what you share. They know the common jargon and have a better understanding of how you communicate.

So, how do you speak to both the newcomer and the seasoned audience member?

Say hello to the Customer Journey.

In this Article

>> What is the customer journey?
>> Why is it important?
>> How to use the customer journey in your business
>> What are the four customer journey phases?

 

What is the customer journey?

I define the customer journey as a four-step flow a customer goes through with a company, from the first point of contact to transformation, and beyond.

At Witt and Company, the journey starts when they first come across my business (whether that’s a blog post, a social media post or at a networking event) and ends when they are at a stage in their business where they no longer need brand support.

 

Why the customer journey is important

Friends, if you don’t know where you’re taking your clients, how can you expect them to buy into you? Whether that’s with their email address or their credit card, people like to know what to expect.

Yes, there may be some variation between each person – some may skip a phase and some may spend weeks or months in a phase – but everyone is different and that’s okay. The point is to understand the general flow each customer will take when connecting with your brand so that you can provide the best possible experience AND put some intention behind your marketing efforts.

 

How to use the customer journey in your business

Let’s say you’re getting a lot of people coming to your website (aka, the awareness is there) but they aren’t signing up for your email list (the buy-in). This information allows you to pinpoint what language needs updating or what opt-in might need to be swapped in for something new. Or, perhaps you’re getting a lot of people to sign up for your email list but they aren’t converting (step three, the purchase). You then know to focus your efforts on the conversion from email to buyer, and can put the phase one and phase two steps on autopilot.

When you understand how the four phases operate within your business, you can better serve a potential/current client and understand with more clarity where you need to optimize your communication.

 

The four phases of the customer journey

Phase One: Attract Your Ideal Customer
Whether the person comes across you via a Facebook group or meets you at a networking event, this phase is all about the initial interaction. It is all the possible “touch points” someone could have with your business.

Phase Two: Buy In To Your Message
When someone buys in to your message, they’re giving you something important; more often than not, it’s their email address. They’re telling you that they like what you’re saying and they’re willing to give up something important to them. It’s not as valuable to them as money, but it’s the first step. They’re opening the doors to their inbox, which should not be taken lightly.

Phase Three: Make a Purchase
Once they’ve bought into your message by giving you their email address or phone number, the next step in the journey is to make a purchase. They’re so compelled by what you have to say that they are willing to take the next step and hand over something of even more value than their contact information: money.

Phase Four: Retain Your Business
When someone makes a purchase and literally buys in to your business, they’re giving you a gift. This phase is all about delighting that person and exceeding expectations. There’s a saying out there about how it costs twice (?) as much to find a new client compared to keeping an existing one. This phase is about spending the time and energy into making your current clients feel like a million bucks and building a rock solid relationship with them.

 

A Few Final Thoughts

As with all things in business, this framework is meant to be a guide. It’s not the be-all-end-all when it comes to operating your business. Use this as a tool for reference!

All my best,

 

Additional Resources

Want to create your own customer journey? Click here to read the full process.

Learn how to intentionally increase brand awareness with your messaging in this post.

Not sure how to communicate with your audience at each stage of the customer journey? Read how to tailor your brand message for each phase.

 

 

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