The Brand Touchpoint Wheel is a framework to view a snapshot of what all points exist where the customer/consumer will come in contact with the brand, and be in a position to create an impression of the brand. For any brand manager, it is important to know what all possible touchpoints are around, (be it the ones he intentionally created or the unintentional ones), so that he can map his response to as many situations as possible.
The representation below is of the Brand Touchpoint Wheel covering the life span of brand interaction with the consumer:
As you can see, the three different segments in the life cycle: pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase behavior are being talked about in this layout:
It could be said that pre-purchase touchpoints are largely in control of the brand manager, because these are all the marketing and sales promotions campaign that the organization runs, and the brand manager can toothcomb through them, to deliver the best possible initial impact of the brand with the customer. All kinds of marketing campaigns, through all channels, from mass media like TV to direct mailers, come under this category. The PR of the firm, its public statements, publicly available information, websites etc also are included under Pre-Purchase.
The second segment is when the customer gets to the shop to buy the product, be it a kirana store or a supermarket. The kind of visibility that a brand enjoys in a store, where its different SKUs are placed, how easily they can be found, whether there are Point-of-Purchase banners or standees around etc., help improving the purchase experience of the shopper. P&G’s A.G. Lafley talked about the purchase phase as the FMOT – First Moment of Truth, because this is the first time the offering is being evaluated by the customer. The retailers and distributors also play roles in improving the FMOT, because they are the ones who help with the arrangement of products on shelves for maximum visibility.
And the last section of the wheel refers to the Second Moment of Truth (SMOT), when the consumer uses the product. The consumer has specific needs to be fulfilled and usually likes it when the product exceeds expectations. Whether the product can match the already inflated expectations is what defines the result of the post-purchase experience. It answers the most important question for a company – will the product be purchased again?
Consumer feedbacks, Service requests, Response time to complaints etc also comprise the post-purchase section. Usually, the higher-involvement a product is, the longer it is in the post-purchase period before the repurchase decision is made.
The Brand Touchpoint Wheel, hence summarizes all the points of interaction where a customer can be intentionally/unintentionally influenced. It aids strategists to plan in advance for the same.