Brand Experience Strategy & UX Design

 Brand Experience

There is a lot of confusion around brand experience and the misunderstanding has caused some businesses to have a brand experience gap, which is the difference between the brand promise and the actual customer experience, i.e. when the experience does not meet the customer's brand expectation. 

Brand experience encompasses all the experiences online and offline a customer has with a brand, from the initial brand awareness to complex brand interactions and touchpoints. Businesses that have a fragmented approach and the lack of integrated framework for designing, delivering and evaluating the brand experience creates a gap between the brand promise and actual customer experience.   

A recent research by Kingston University explored how brand experience is developed and managed by practitioners and identified the challenges faced in brand experience management. 

Consumers seek brands which provide them with unique and memorable experiences. The experience provided by brands is considered to be an important means of achieving sustainable competitive advantage but this research field is still far from maturity owing to the lack of structured frameworks to support the development and implementation of experience-based strategies.
— Patricia Harris, Caroline Kluppel-Strobel and Raida Shakiry

Based on the research findings,  a conceptual framework was proposed to assist managers with brand experience strategy development and implementation. For more information about this research, please see, An Exploration of Brand Experience Development and Management, by Patricia Harris, Caroline Kluppel-Strobel and Raida Shakiry.

In a recent Brand Experience research report by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), revealed the following survey findings:

Customer experience is overwhelmingly believed by marketers to be a stronger driver of brand performance than communications.
— CIM - Brand Experience Report
  • Challenges: culture and resources are the biggest internal challenges for marketers to deliver a consistent brand experience.

  • Customer Insights: The customer insights gained by marketers are not being communicated or shared with the rest of the organisation which can have an effect on how the business delivers its brand experience.

  • Brand and the internal customers: Less than half of the marketers surveyed believe that employees understand the brand vision. This lack of brand knowledge can effect how the employees deliver the customer experience.

  • Leadership: Only 50% of the marketers surveyed agreed that their leadership team use the brand promise to guide their strategic business decisions.

  • Measurement: Many marketers are failing to measure the right brand experience metrics.

In a digital world, a brand is defined by the user experience it delivers, so having similar websites that deliver a standard user experience (UX) differentiated only by the visual brand identity elements is not enough to differentiate your brand against your competitors. To succeed, your business needs to deliver great and memorable brand experience that meets your users’ brand expectations based on your brand promise.

To create a great user experience that delivers on the brand promise, your business needs to have a clearly defined brand experience strategy and needs to adopt a user-centred design process in order to design and deliver consistent brand experience. So, to bridge the gap between the band promise and actual user experience, there needs to be closer collaboration between marketing and user experience professionals. Working closely and ensuring that UX Design is considered at a strategic level will help to design and deliver a consistent brand experience.

To ensure that your branded user experience is successful, all of the branded user experience elements need to reflect your brand and its values, in order to meet or ideally exceed your users’ brand expectations. 

Related:
Branded Customer Experience >