Every once in awhile, a brand comes along that knocks you off your feet, and leaves you saying “Wow! I wish I would’ve come up with that!”… Or in my case especially, it makes me think, “They MUST have a killer marketing team.”
I look at everything from a public relations and marketing perspective. I can’t help it. It’s what I do, but it’s also what I’m genuinely passionate about. So, needless to say, I tend to be a little critical when a brand isn’t reaching its full potential. On the flipside though, when a brand is doing something RIGHT, I can be the biggest fan, shouting its praises from the rooftop, bullhorn in hand.
…Ok, shouting may not do all that it used to, but I guarantee I’m definitely tweeting, “facebooking” and pinning anything from that brand I can get my hands on. In some cases, I’ll even blog about it, which is why you’re here today. I have to tell you about THE Roku.
Roku is one of those brands that “had me at hello,” – for those of you Jerry Maguire fans. It’s a product I can’t stop talking about, and if you’re wondering, yes, I do own one. My experience with Roku has been phenomenal, and it shows how successful a brand can be when research, public relations, social media, customer satisfaction, and operations and development all converge in perfect unison to create the “ultimate customer experience.”
Each of these elements was instrumental to the sales funnel, but they also contributed to meaningful interaction with the brand. It’s important to remember that optimizing the sales cycle will sell product, but focusing on enhancing your company’s customer experience is what will turn customers into fans for a lifetime.
What is Roku?
Roku is a streaming media player that allows you to stream entertainment on your T.V. directly from the Internet. Like Apple TV—for you Mac lovers —with Roku, you can connect to your online media accounts like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora Radio and more in a matter of seconds.
Why do I like Roku so much?
The answer is simple. As I said before, from the beginning to the end, every interaction with the brand was orchestrated perfectly.
The most important word in that last sentence was “orchestrated.” Contrary to popular belief, your company can and should control the customer’s experience. With Roku, there was a definite plan for how I was going to find, buy, interact and share Roku’s product. If you’re company hasn’t mapped out the ideal process from start to finish, you’re missing a pivotal opportunity to turn your customers into brand ambassadors.
Let me briefly tell you about each experience I had with brand engagement that has converted me into an unofficial brand ambassador and die-hard Roku fan.
I no longer had cable.
I determined that a streaming media player would the best, most cost effective option for me, but I didn’t know which one to get.
Step One: I Turned to Google.
As we all do when we need answers to life’s dilemmas, I Googled it. Not to mention, I am positive I probably entered the most ridiculous search statement Google has seen. I was something to the effect of, “Reviews List of Best Streaming Media Players Apple TV vs. …others? News…Help!” I’m sure SEO played a large part in making sense of that convoluted statement. Luckily, it led me to several articles, including this one from CNET, that addressed all my questions (including price, channel options, features, user interface, etc.).
This is a perfect example of how public relations plays a big part in the sales process. Because of Roku’s targeted media relations, several journalists had even labeled Roku as “The Editor’s Choice,” which, as a consumer with little technical background to speak of, was as good as gold. I didn’t know enough about streaming players to understand everything I was reading, but I knew if the technology editor recommended it, than that was definitely a good sign.
Now, I didn’t want to spend tons of money, but at the same time I wanted the best option. I was conflicted, so I turned to my coworker for advice.
Step Two: I Asked a Friend.
From all the years of communication and public relations theory, there is one concept that has always stayed with me. If you want to create a behavioral change in your target audience (i.e. to buy something) you first have to affect your potential consumer’s awareness and attitude toward your product.
- Awareness: I was aware that Roku existed thanks to a Google search and several news articles.
- Attitude: I believed Roku was a good option based on its features and that it was several editors’ top pick.
- Behavior: When it came to buying something, I wasn’t sure yet. (According to research, when it comes to purchasing decisions, word-of-mouth is the most powerful influence).
So, I leaned back in my chair and asked my coworker, Jenn Tsang, if she knew of a good streaming media player. Without hesitation or even looking away from her computer, she said, “I heard Roku is really good.”
I hadn’t even told her the brands I was deciding between. I was sold. I instantly went online and ordered one to be delivered.
Step Three: Ordered It Online.
The process was easy, and there was a visual chart that helped me quickly identify which Roku model was best for me.
Step Four: Delivery.
An email was sent to confirm my order, and it explained exactly when I could expect my package to be delivered. It arrived on time.
That last part was crucial. I was surviving without cable, and although I had mentally prepared to wait until the delivery date, more empty days without Grey’s Anatomy or Mad Men might have pushed me over the edge.
Step Five: Packaging.
The box was compact and didn’t feel excessive or wasteful. This was something I noticed and appreciated, especially since I’ve been trying to live a greener lifestyle. On top of that, the directions provided were easily understandable, visually appealing, and actually worked when you followed them.
By far though, the best part was that my remote came with batteries, meaning that even though it was 10 PM and all the stores in my area were closed, I could still set up my Roku and catch up on a few shows before bed.
Step Six: Set Up and User Interface.
After following the clear, concise instruction manual, I turned my Roku on, and it guided me through the process to connect to the wireless Internet, set up channels, and create accounts step-by-step. The whole process was painless and took five to 10 minutes at the most. I loved everything from how seamless it was, to how the buttons on the remote felt, to the way the channels were visually displayed. It all felt right, which spoke to how thoughtfully engineered the product was and Roku’s high level of quality control.
Step Seven: Sharing
I was so pleased with how simple the set up process was and thrilled to have my new Roku. I wanted the WORLD (or at least my Facebook friends) to know about it. I instantly went to the Roku Facebook page to find something to share. Not only did I find the perfect image for my status update, but the creative on the Roku fan page was engaging and hilarious. This is the image I decided to use because it spoke to how I felt, but below are a few more pictures that had me cracking up.
Life is but a stream. :)
How does the customer experience translate into profit?
An article by Janko Roettgers from Gigaom.com stated some facts Roku CEO Anthony Wood shared at the TV of Tomorrow show.
- Last year, Roku made $100 million in sales.
- The number of devices sold tripled year-over-year.
With figures like that, I don’t doubt that Roku will continue to take off as the streaming media device market expands. More over, by creating a fantastic customer experience, Roku has poised itself for success. It’s fans and the impending word-of-mouth campaign is far more powerful than any kind of advertising or marketing effort alone.
What does this mean for my business?
Roku is one example of many brands I admire for how clearly defined and polished the strategy is. That being said, there’s no reason why you and your company can’t do something similar. Zenzi specializes in helping businesses understand the needs of their consumers and develops plans to engage with consumers in a personalized, unforgettable way. Whether you are going to create a customer experience yourself or hire a company to help you, my best advice is to look at the brands you love the most and use. Figure out why and how they’ve made you a fan and consider how those tactics could translate into your business.