For all the chest-beating by some retailers about their unbeatable low prices, you'd think that the race to the bottom was the only game in town. The reality is, competing on price is not a sustainable strategy for most businesses; after all, it's a cinch for the competition to copy your prices as soon as you change them.

So, instead of asking "how low can I go?" ask "how high can I set the bar to deliver an experience that connects with my customers?"

Today's consumers want to buy from businesses that acknowledge their preferences and desires. They like to buy from brands that forge an emotional connection with them. And they want to take a rewarding journey as they explore, shop, and interact with you.

The foundation of a successful and integrated commerce strategy calls for nothing less than communicating your brand's value and differentiators in a compelling way across all your customer touchpoints.

Know what makes your brand stand out and engage your customers through immersive brand and product stories that create excitement and stir their imagination. As you create experiences that inform, delight, entertain and inspire, you will, in time, build likability and trust that lead to sustained affinity and brand loyalty. The watchword is experience, and the key is sustained engagement.

Here are five tools for building engaging customer experiences.

1. Build your brand with compelling online content

Marketing today is much more than just customer acquisition. It's also about nurturing relationships that create loyal customers who will buy from you over and over, in spite of cheap alternatives that are just clicks away. The ability to continuously provide timely and relevant content is a must for sustained engagement.

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image of Loni Stark

Loni Stark is director of product and industry marketing at Adobe Digital Marketing Solutions. She leads a team responsible for defining solutions and go-to-market strategies essential to CMOs and digital marketers worldwide.

LinkedIn: Loni Stark