Levelling up CX to creative experience

‘Your vouchers are in’ – the Tesco app notification landed. As I headed nonchalantly into my grocery app, I was met not with a list of discounts and offers, but a ‘scratch to reveal’ screen, taking me through an experience that built up a surprising level of anticipation for something so horrendously mundane.

How? By using digital design and creativity to build an emotion that I will now associate with that notification.

Why? To affirm my connection with a brand and turn the mundane into an exciting – but disruptive – grocery shopping experience, playing on a notion and a device akin to my 90s coming of age. The scratchcard. Clever stuff.

Which begs the question: have we been living in a dark age of digitalised personal disconnection, which we are now awakening from?

It’s all in a feeling

Digital doesn’t need to mean emotionless, and the brands that come to life through digital experiences that play on the senses are the ones smashing through the limitations of online customer experiences.

In the throes of The Drum’s month of creativity in focus, we’re exploring how CX (customer experience) is evolving into creative experience. We’re working across our creative and marketing teams to deliver imagination-triggering touchpoints and interactions to elevate that experience, building trust and recognition quickly, whilst cutting through the digital noise.

Cited by Michael Vromans, chief creative officer at DPDK, as ‘the next frontier of CX’, creative experience plays on the senses, evoking an emotional response and triggering a heightened connection with that brand and its message. The deeper a touchpoint connects with an individual, the more likely it is to provoke an action. Creative experience also builds stark differentiators and generates delight by using a mix of technology, data and big idea thinking.

Levelling up CX means using tech and creative thinking to humanise brands through digital design, video, audio, web and now the rising AR and voice control interfaces. Creative experiences can and should be applied at ad, campaign and brand identity level – remaining a core focus of visual identity. The constant goal is keeping the human at the centre of the product or service and how the brand exists within their lives.

So how can agencies start to embed creative experience across all campaigns and touchpoints? At StrategiQ, we now dedicate an entire day each week to creative thinking. We collaborate, strategise and research markets, to determine the most impactful and innovative ways to communicate brand for clients present and future.

These sessions give creativity a purpose and a mission – employing it first as a tool for problem-solving before escalating its application to really cool marketing campaigns and brand application. The sessions level up CX in a way that marries left and right brain – analysis and logic – with creativity to deliver campaigns that pack more punch.

Creative experience is a levelling-up of what those before us have worked hard to define as CX, which has now left those marketers not employing creative thinking at risk of falling into digital stagnation. Brands and agencies who prioritise creativity in their approach to developing brand messaging, digital presence and customer touchpoints stand to reap the rewards of authentic connections brought to life by big ideas.

Thanks to CX, I’m already looking forward to my next months’ vouchers, am more likely to use them as a result, and associate that moment with a positive point in my day. Well done, Tesco.