Top five brand experience trends for 2014

Boston – The top five brand experience trends for 2014 include retail relevancy and “small data,” according to brand experience agency Jack Morton. The company predicts the following five trends will prove dominant in brand experience during the upcoming year.

1. Relevant Retail: Last year there was a lot of talk about showrooming and other presumably negative consumer behaviors that were seriously troubling to retailers. This year, the brands that are growing are the ones that embrace consumer needs, for example promoting their in-store experience as mobile-friendly. According to research released by Jack Morton in 2013, consumers are looking for differentiated retail experiences, but less than half (46%) think retail brands are doing enough to stand out.

2. The Rise of the CXO: A big opportunity for brands is elevating brand experience within the organizational structure. Jack Morton advises clients to appoint someone to champion excellence in brand experience, whether they're called a Chief Experience Officer or a Chief Customer Officer, their role is to centralize and lead experience. Elevating experience represents a growth opportunity for brands: according to research by Jack Morton, nine-out-of-10 consumers worldwide say that they choose brands on the basis of experience; six-out-of-10 say they'll pay more for a brand that offers a better experience.

3. User Experience Writ Large: The user experience trend is reflective of the higher standards that consumers have for brands: almost six-in-10 (57%) consumers surveyed worldwide say they hold brands today to a higher standard, according to agency research conducted in 2013.

4. Owned Media Strategies for Content Marketing: In 2014 brands will invest in owned media strategies that give consumers experiences that create intrigue, fuel conversations and foster engagement. Research indicates that experience fuels consumer word of mouth, still one of the most trusted ways people learn about brands and products.

5. Big Data Gets Small: In 2014, the big opportunity for brands is using information to enhance customer experience, to 'get small' with big data. Also relevant are consumers' shifting allegiances to and behaviors on social platforms, from the growth of Twitter to the decreased value of a "like" evident in 2013 agency research.

"As marketers continue to respond to increasingly empowered customers, a laser focus on brand experience trends is vital to success. We hear all the time from clients that one of their biggest challenges is staying on top of what really matters, separating out signal from noise,” said Josh McCall, chairman and CEO of Jack Morton. “At Jack Morton, we think that the trends that matter have a few things in common: they're about elevating brand experience thinking, they're about integrating experience with new technologies and media channels, and they're about experience fuelling business results, especially at retail."