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Relationship Between Brand and Customer Experience

Importance of Branded Customer Experience

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Storyteller, author Jonah Sachs once said, “Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints”. And I believe, that story starts with ‘brand’ and is sustained by ‘experience’. These two disciplines, brand experience, and customer experience should not be considered as separate concepts or silos. They need to work together from the beginning/as early as possible to create and sustain a branded customer experience from the customers’ perspective. Branding without customer experience lacks an important piece -Interaction- and customer experience without brand alignment lacks -Strategy-.

For years, brands desired to create ideas and emotions to be associated with the minds of customers. Those associations are mostly created by consistent and repetitive memories which are experiences. Memory, created by those experiences, is the most important element for branding and “brand loyalty”. This is why brand and customer experience should work together to manage what people will remember.

Where is the starting point in working together? And which one of them comes first is a question I always come across. Although they are very much connected, branding makes the promise first and customer experience delivers that promise.

Brand experience is a long-term strategy that guides customer experience strategy and activities. It grows in time with business and encourages engagement & behavioral shift. On the other hand, customer experience is immediate, rapid, you can see the reaction immediately before a behavioral shift happens. You need to control that reaction as soon as possible in order not to affect the brand. Brand experience highly depends on that reaction if you lack customer experience management.

Since digitalization is an important part of our lives, all customers/people are highly connected with each other, and you cannot control their behaviors anymore. If a customer experiences something unfortunate with your brand, thousands, even millions can hear and start to protest your brand before you even learn what happened. This is why being a good listener, an active listener is important to meet and exceed the expectations of the customers, which is the golden rule of customer experience. Quarterly, monthly consumer research is not enough today. You must listen every moment and be able to see what is happening with your customer — before she/he goes and tells anybody else. Global connection makes every brand vulnerable as thin glass. Brand loyalty is not something you can rely on. A consistent, persistent, and positive experience is very much needed in order not to break that relationship with your brand.

When working together, the starting point is the translation of brand promise into experience principles or in CX terminology — ‘Customer Promise’. Then, improvement of customer interactions/experiences in line with those principles and then making sure every touchpoint is delivering this brand promise and customer promise consistently. Most importantly, this is a brand experience journey that the total company must be involved in all the way. Customer experience needs to be in constant collaboration with marketing, brand, research, or even finance in order to make sure that every moment of the customer journey articulates the brand promise.

Because customer experience is the practical application of the brand.


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