The Difference Between Brand and Customer Experience
Successful companies know the difference between the brand and customer experience. Read this to find out how you can use both to increase customer loyalty.
January 17, 2024
These two buzzwords run rampant in the world of business strategy. Yet, both play a critical role in a brand’s success. In this post, we will explore the key differences between the two and how to develop each to fuel business growth.
What is the relationship between a brand and customer experience?
The brand experience is how a person feels about a brand based on everything they see, hear, and use related to that brand. Customer experience encompasses interactions with a company, from purchasing to support. When both are positive, a brand can increase customer loyalty and advocacy.
Brand experience (BX): The perception
The brand experience is the overall impression consumers have of your business. This impression evolves from a collection of brand signals and touchpoints.
BX represents the who, what, and why of your brand. Examples of visual brand experience elements are:
Marketing assets (i.e., brochures, business cards)
Other elements are intangible, such as:
Why is the brand experience important?
A study by InMoment shows that 77 percent of customers have stayed loyal to their favorite companies for over a decade.
The impact of a successful brand experience extends far beyond external perceptions. It can influence an organization’s culture, employee productivity, and performance. Employees who believe in the company’s brand values and mission are more motivated. They are also more committed to delivering on the brand promise. This alignment fosters a sense of unity and purpose, driving productivity and innovation. Studies show companies with high employee engagement are 21 percent more profitable.
A strong brand experience creates clarity, which reduces internal confusion about roles, responsibilities, and expectations. It also aids in attracting and keeping top talent. BX is not just an external marketing tool. It is a critical internal resource that shapes the organization’s identity, culture, and performance.
Customer experience (CX): The Fulfillment
While the brand experience is about perception, the customer experience is about delivery. This process begins with brand awareness and continues indefinitely.
In a recent survey, one in three consumers said they would quit doing business with a company after one bad interaction. Trends suggest that brand loyalty will become more difficult to develop.
Customer retention has always been challenging, but keeping them happy now takes more effort than ever. Outstanding service isn’t enough anymore. Companies must do more on all channels to meet customer expectations.
The customer experience is the end-to-end journey people have with a business.
A great customer experience focuses on delivering solutions to their problems. Like the brand experience, it begins with understanding their needs and wants.
For instance, good website design helps someone find and understand your offer. Content that tells a story and backed by statistics can show that your product is the solution they need. Effective use of industry-specific terminology reinforces your brand’s authority. Efficient and empathetic customer service can make a positive impression.
Each interaction builds on the others. Yet, if someone has just one poor interaction, it undermines the entire customer journey.
The impact of CX on retention and revenue
A strong customer experience plays a key role in reducing buying friction. Recent research showed improved CX can increase company revenue by 10-15 percent.
Statistics highlight the correlation between CX, customer loyalty, and revenue growth. It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. And repeat buyers are likely to spend 67 percent more than new ones.
Customer experience examples at different touchpoints
Every interaction between a company and a potential customer is an opportunity to build a long-term relationship. Here is how businesses can make an impact across various touchpoints:
- Online: Having a user-friendly and intuitive website makes navigation easy. Live chat support can provide immediate help, enhancing the online experience.
- Offline: Exceptional customer service, on the phone or face-to-face, makes a positive impression.
- In-Store: An enjoyable shopping environment can elevate the in-store experience. This includes the proper layout, signage, and friendly staff interaction.
- Delivery: Prompt and reliable delivery services show respect for customers’ time, which enhances brand perception.
Customer experience and branding
Your company’s branding is a part of its customer experience.
Let’s start with the visual aspects of branding. These include your logo, website design, product packaging, and social media graphics. A visually appealing brand is essential in creating a positive first impression, but visual branding that is inconsistent or outdated signals a lack of professionalism.
Your brand message communicates your company’s values and promises. Companies that communicate a compelling message build trust and credibility. For instance, Patagonia’s sustainability messaging has made it a favorite with eco-conscious consumers.
A consistent identity is essential to the customer experience. Consumers value transparency and authenticity. You can use each touchpoint to show them that your brand has both.
Strategies to improve CX
CX design requires more than just a customer-centric mindset. There are specific strategies businesses should adopt:
Personalization: Experiences based on individual preferences build affinity. This could range from personalized email marketing to AI-driven product recommendations.
Omnichannel Strategy: Consistency across all channels (online, offline, in-store, or mobile) reinforces the brand’s value.
Listening to Customers: Routinely getting feedback keeps organizations in touch with their customers.
Leading by example: Excelling in customer experience
The marketing, sales, and service processes contribute to a company’s success. But often, businesses manage these processes independently, with minimal interaction among them—an approach that often results in disjointed experiences.
Imagine this scenario: A potential buyer discovers your business through an ad campaign (marketing). From there, they decide to buy your product (sales). Then, they receive excellent post-purchase support (service).
However, there is often a disconnect between marketing, sales, and service teams.
These three teams usually operate in silos, each focusing on their specific goals. For instance, someone may receive promotional emails for a product they have already purchased. A sales rep may lack crucial information about a customer’s past interactions with the business, which can lead to frustration and a bad online review.
The solution is a collaborative approach. Collaboration allows for the sharing of valuable customer data and insights across teams. The result is effective marketing, informed sales reps, and proactive customer service.
Let’s look at how teams can collaborate using one touchpoint.
An e-commerce website is a marketing touchpoint. The website should enhance the visitor’s experience and communicate the brand’s value proposition. This influences how consumers perceive the business. In this way, the website contributes to an organization’s brand identity.
However, an e-commerce website is also a sales tool that drives revenue. That means the site must also perform well to generate new customers. Therefore, the company should plan for the website’s user experience before development, not after.
Meanwhile, your service team should ensure a responsive process for post-purchase queries. The result? A holistic website that keeps people coming back.
Measuring and adapting: The key to continuous improvement
Tools like surveys, user testing, and analytics can provide valuable data. Metrics, such as Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) and Customer Effort Scores (CES), can help measure sentiment.
Remember, improving the brand and customer experience is not a one-time initiative. It is a continuous process of learning, adapting, and improving.
Merging the brand and customer experience
The brand and customer experience do not exist as isolated concepts. They are two sides of the same coin. A compelling brand experience attracts customers. But without a solid customer experience to back it up, the initial allure will fade.
Businesses need to weave these processes together. This synergy creates a firm foundation for engagement and boosts repeat business. The process goes beyond making a sale. It builds enduring customer relationships rooted in trust and mutual benefit.
Improve the brand and customer experience with an audit
Assessing your organization’s current health is essential to experience design. A brand audit helps you identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth.
Here is how:
- Develop your brand: An audit helps you align your company with the target audience. This creates stronger connections with potential buyers.
- Gain audience insights: Learn more about your audience’s needs, wants, and preferences. This will help you exceed their expectations.
- Become more competitive: Learn more about your competitors to improve your market position.
- Develop a better growth strategy: Develop a strategy with higher ROI potential.
Do you want to build a better brand and customer experience? Click the button below to connect with a strategist.
Are you ready to find out how a brand audit can transform your business?
Our brand audit process is a comprehensive analysis designed to help companies optimize performance.
- Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
- Reduce marketing expenses.
- Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.
We guarantee satisfaction or get your money back! Schedule a discovery call with a brand auditor to find out more.
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