Brands provide meaning, services provide utility. A Brand Service combines the two approaches to create a useful service add-on that communicates the benefits of the brand. Our thoughts on integrating Brand Communications and Service Design to create Brand Services are published in this book, in this talk you can learn more about the concept. Our research is based on many different examples of services used to enhance product use, and activities by marketing departments designed to create advertising buzz. In this article we present 30 great examples of Brand Services. It was originally published on the “Brand UX Blog” on www.christianvatter.com in 2013.
We fully agree with Mitch Joel when he writes for the Harvard Business Review Blog “Marketing is no longer just about messaging and brand loyalty. Now, brands can provide a high level of utility with real tools that consumers need to enhance their daily lives.”
Brand Services are a communication tool, because they are an add-on to the core offer, and are usually given out for free. They provide usefulness like a good service should, create awareness be being novel like a good advertising campaign, and build brand reputation by making brand values and promises come alive.
Brand Services have a range of advantages compared to traditional forms of marketing: Brand Services are more relevant to customers, because they are actually helpful. Brand Services are not just giving promises, they actually delivering on it. For the business side they leave a positive, maybe even delightful impression with users, which helps to build the brand relationship.
We collected 30 examples of Brand Services that complement more traditional marketing methods. These examples are highly useful, novel or have a great brand-fit – our formula for highly successful brand services.
KLM’s “Must-See-Map” is a digital city plan of KLM destinations, where your can invite your friends to mark their favorite places and suggestions for you. You then can have the map sent to you by KLM for easy reference at the destination.
The bookstore “The School of Life” offers bibliotherapy, a half hour consultation with specially trained employees about your reading habits and interests. In the end they provide clients with a reading prescription (picture source: flickr.com, Alastair Humphreys).
The Dutch supermarket, Albert Heijn, offers with “Appie” a smart shopping list that can be filled by typing in items, scan barcodes, brows shopping history, recipes or special deals. The list sorts nicely into the order of the mostly used walking route of the store you entered (picture source: fontanel.nl)
Nutricia, the medical nutrition company provides the “Babycare Lounge” at the Dutch airport Shiphol where parents can rest with their child or find facilities to change diapers or heat up the baby bottle (picture source: youropi.com).
Again Ikea offers a free hotel for drivers. In this temporary hotel at a French freeway between Paris and Lyon tired travelers can rest for 20 minutes and test the latest Ikea mattresses (picture source: yahoo.com)