Every organization needs to understand its touchpoints.

A touchpoint is any place your organization comes into contact with stakeholders—employees, customers, prospects, partners, the media, and so forth.

Every touchpoint is part of your brand experience.

Touchpoints include obvious things, like your call center experience, the reception room reception, whether your location is easy to find and your Web site easy to navigate. They also include less obvious brand-outsider connections, like how easy (or hard) it for a customer to resolve a billing dispute, a vendor to wrest payment from accounting, or a new employee to get on board and obtain a badge.

Every blog post, every guest post, every SlideShare presentation, every YouTube video, and everything else you say and others say about you is a touchpoint. Look, for example, at the consistency of smart brands across platforms.

Touchpoints include whether you respect people’s privacy and preferences. Disney might boast the happiest place on earth, but my takeaway is that they don’t always listen and they endlessly spam you.

It’s also about whether (and how) you are approachable.

Touchpoints are about how your brand intersects the broader landscape and interacts within that.

Improve your brand experience.

To take your brand experience to the next level, you first have to map your touchpoints. This isn’t easy, and you can’t do this work in a silo. Mapping your touchpoints and assessing their impact requires both top-down and cross-functional buy-in. But you won’t have brand consistency, let along brand excellence, until you understand all the ways people interact with your business.

Are your touchpoints consistent with who you are and the impression you want to leave?

Photo by itulu26 (Flickr).