“Identity is cause; brand is effect.”
Customers experience your brand in numerous ways: products, packaging, price, marketing, sales personnel, etc. Each of these contacts or touchpoints moulds the customer’s impression of the brand. Some of these touchpoints are obvious, like product performance, and one-on-one customer interactions. Other touchpoints, such as the product manual, monthly statements or post-sales support, may be subtler in their brand effects.
Your brand image creates expectations. It defines who you are, how you operate, and how you’re different from your competitors. In essence, your brand image is a promise – a promise that must be kept.
If the brand is a promise you make, then the customer experience is the fulfilment of that promise. The customer experience can’t be left to chance. It should be actively designed and controlled in a manner that enhances your brand image. It must consistently reinforce the brand promise across every customer touchpoint or the value of the brand itself is at risk.
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
Every product or service you bring to market yields a customer experience. Is it the experience you intend? Does that experience fulfil the promise you’ve made to the marketplace?
By identifying the people, processes, and tools that drive your customer experience, you can actively design and control your own, unique, optimized experience. The brand promise you make to the marketplace will be kept, day in and day out, across every key customer touchpoint, building a strong brand.