How should you treat customer experience and brand together?

How should you treat customer experience and brand together?

Anne Frantsi // November 23 2022

Usually, services and customer experiences are developed based on customer insight, and today service design is a widely used discipline for that. Brands on the other hand are designed and developed mainly to distinguish a company’s offering from others on the market, and they are aiming to evoke emotions and feelings toward the brand, thus making it attractive to customers. Even though both of these are aiming to provide added value for customers, they are still usually owned and developed separately. This leads to a gap between the brand- and customer experience, which might lead to a situation where they are not just distant but even conflicting.

To better understand how you should approach customer experience and brand development together, we organised a few breakfast events during the fall. At the breakfasts we brought together people responsible for customer experience and brand from different fields of business, to exchange ideas and experiences. Thanks to our active participants and inspiring atmosphere, the events turned out to be a real success. We had such lively discussion and ideation going on, that our guests and we felt like we could have continued on for many hours more!

At the latest breakfast on November 17th, we started the morning with a thought-provoking presentation from our Service Design Director Mikko Koivisto. In his presentation, Mikko opened up the relationship between customer experience and brand and pointed out that the brand often gets forgotten, when designing customer experiences. In most companies, the brand appears in the visual identity and to some extent in marketing and communications, but that’s where it stops. However, if you want your brand and experiences to be meaningful and memorable you should take it to the next level.

When you want to utilise your brand on a more mature level in your customer experience development, you need to think about how you can bring your brand attributes alive at every touchpoint throughout the customer journey. Your brand should be expressed everywhere; in your design system, user experience design, experience system, customer service manuals, tonality guides, and in the feelings you want to create, to name a few good starting points. To be able to successfully make this happen, Mikko pointed out that you have to start with creating a solid customer experience strategy.

We also did a really fun design exercise to showcase the impact the brand can have on a customer experience. Two teams designed and presented the hotel registration experience and customer journeys through the lens of a well-known brand. This was an eye-opening and inspiring way to get a more concrete understanding of the relationship between these two disciplines and how unique the same experience can be for different brands.

Do you know how well your customer experience and brand are intertwined? Have you ever analysed the gaps between these two in your organisation? If not, maybe it would be time for that! We would be happy to come to visit you and your CX and brand teams and discuss our time-tested best practices towards the integration.

We will also organise another breakfast event on the same topic in January. If you would like to join, please leave your contact details; you will be the first to get an invitation.