The Connection Between Brand & Customer Experience
Your brand and customer experiences are intertwined. Discover the details of this connection in our comprehensive breakdown.
Every brand wants to deliver top-notch customer experiences to its target audiences. However, not every business owner realizes the brand itself can have an outsized impact on CX and vice versa. Understanding the connection between brand and customer experience is crucial if you want to maximize your business’s growth for years to come.
Today, let’s take a closer look at this connection and explore how you can leverage your brand’s identity and other factors to ensure excellent customer experiences for your target audience.
Brand, in a Nutshell
Brand, put simply, is the holistic, overall idea of your company. It's more than any one brand element, like a logo, slogan, font, or aesthetic. Instead, it's all of those factors combined that represent the soul or spirit of a company.
For example, Apple has one of the strongest brands in the world as an IT device manufacturer and software developer. Apple’s brand encompasses many different feelings, ideas, and concepts, like:
- Techy devices
- User-friendly interfaces
- Computers for computer geeks
- “Cool” tech gadgets instead of corporate or nerdy gadgets
- Mobile devices with cutting-edge developments or technology
Each of these things factors into Apple’s overall brand. When someone decides whether or not to shop at a given business, the brand plays a heavy, if subconscious, role in their ultimate decision.
Brand Experience Explained
Brand experience or BX is heavily related to the brand. Without getting too technical, brand experience is any feelings, ideas, or reactions that a customer experiences as a direct result of being exposed to a brand or branded interaction.
Let’s simplify this idea: Imagine a customer sees an ad for your business. Based on your brand and its power in the market or niche of your choice, the customer will have an experience. That experience can be positive or negative depending on things like:
- How well the advertisement is made
- Whether the ad directly speaks to the customer (i.e., if it’s designed for them or some other target audience group)
The initial brand experiences you provide can be thought of as first impressions. They can also impact the overall customer experience a future shopper might have when they decide to patronize your business.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is the deeper, comprehensive experience that a customer has when they patronize your store (retail or e-commerce). It includes:
- What a customer feels when they interact with your store and its branded items for the first time
- How a customer feels about customer support interactions, like help ticket sessions
- Whether a customer enjoys the products or services you provide and what they feel as a result
Think of CX as the overarching sensations, feelings, and ideas that customers receive when they shop at your business. Naturally, customer experience is one of the most important things for brands of all sizes to consider.
After all, customers who have excellent experiences at your business are more likely to make initial and repeat purchases. They are also more likely to spread the word about those positive experiences to their friends and family members. In this way, a strong, positive CX is an effective marketing and revenue tool.
How Do Brand and CX Affect Each Other?
Brand and customer experience are heavily integrated. Indeed, they affect each other far beyond what many business owners initially think.
Initial Impressions & the Decision To Investigate
Firstly, brand affects customer experiences because it imposes initial impressions on prospective customers and clients.
Most new clients learn about a brand from social media, an advertisement or commercial, or from word-of-mouth. Whatever the case might be, they automatically and subconsciously form an initial impression of that business before they visit a website or step into a store.
Thus, the brand impacts that initial impression in a variety of ways. It can impact what a customer thinks of the brand's price level, the brand's reputation or goals, etc. That, in turn, may affect whether a customer decides to investigate that brand and possibly become a buyer.
Shape your brand initially (and on an ongoing basis) while keeping this in mind. If you know that a customer’s first exposure to your brand can impact whether they’ll stop by for a look at your products, it’s clear that you need to ensure that first exposure is as impactful, honest, and attractive as possible.
Brand Reputation & Growth Rate
Brand reputation can heavily impact your overall business growth rate. That’s because your reputation directly affects:
- How likely someone is to visit your site if they haven’t tried your brand before
- How likely current shoppers are to come back for repeat purchases in the future
Imagine that you want to revamp your website for a better customer experience throughout. You rework the landing page of your site, make sure every button leads to a solid, engaging product or piece of information, and completely redo the checkout process so it’s fun and interesting rather than slow and confusing. Awesome CX helps you design an intuitive and navigable CX from the start.
As a result, customers can navigate your sight easily and hopefully buy some new products to try. When happy with their purchases, customers become the most powerful (and free) advertising strategy. Word-of-mouth reviews are far more trustworthy to consumers. When your clients pass the word on, you gain a bunch of high-value leads with hardly any extra work at all.
This is merely one example of how a brand reputation — if it’s positive — can highly impact your overall growth rate. Of course, the reverse is also true. If your brand reputation sours because of bad customer experiences, you can bet that you’ll have a much tougher time drawing new customers to your brand, let alone keeping your current ones.
Customer Perceptions Drive Brand Evolution
On the reverse side, customer experience can impact brand. How? In aggregate, customer experiences drive your brand’s evolution, oftentimes in ways that you don’t anticipate or expect.
For example, imagine that you start a software company providing SaaS for business clients. Your business does well, but over time, you incorporate a lot of customer feedback that gradually changes your product offerings, your customer support sequences and processes, and so on.
Given enough time, the feedback and the customer base you cultivate influence and shape your brand. Maybe you lower your prices to attract new subscribers, which necessitates a slightly different marketing theme. Or alternatively, maybe you change the product that you offer, resulting in you focusing on a different customer base than initially targeted.
Whatever the case might be, customer perceptions of your brand can — over time — change how a brand behaves, changes, and acts. This isn’t a bad thing! But it is an important fact to consider. Don’t get too attached to your brand’s factors or characteristics, especially if it looks like it should evolve in a way you didn’t plan for.
The best businesses evolve and adapt. Businesses that can’t do that eventually wither on the vine and die.
How To Leverage Brand for Excellent CX
With the right strategies, you can leverage your brand to provide excellent customer experiences for your target audience. In many cases, you’ll already be practicing these steps. If you haven’t, Awesome CX can help you get started.
Create Intentional Experiences
First and foremost, you need to create intentional experiences for every customer that stops by your store or visits your website. “Intentional experiences” aren’t as vague as they might sound – it just means you need to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and understand what they might experience if they try to buy something from your business.
For example, imagine that you want to revamp the new shopper experience at your e-commerce store. To do that, you’ll create an intentional experience by:
- Redesigning your landing page to make it more attractive and intuitive to navigate through.
- Creating personalized product recommendations for new people so they immediately feel taken care of and “seen.”
- Ensuring that new shoppers know how to contact your customer support team if needed.
All of those factors together create an intentional, supportive experience that will do a lot to make your brand’s first impression positive.
Gather Data on Your Target Audience
Naturally, you’ll also want to gather tons of data on your target audience. The more data you have, the better you’ll understand the clients most likely to buy things from your business. That’s always a good thing!
With this in mind, be sure to gather data from social media platforms, marketing materials, and your brand website. Put all that data together and perform comprehensive data analysis. As you analyze the data, use it to determine what your target audience wants and needs from your brand, where they spend most of their time, and what marketing materials are most successful.
Make Strategic Improvements
Gathering data isn’t enough, nor is performing data analysis. You then need to make the strategic improvements revealed by that data.
Ongoing iteration and improvement are vital for any brand that wants to succeed these days. Strategic improvements might include:
- Changing your website’s layout or load time to offer a better experience to visitors
- Adjusting your marketing to better attract your target audience members based on their desires and needs
- Altering your pricing based on which products sell the best and which don’t
The exact changes you’ll need to make will depend on your industry, niche, and current brand shape.
More than anything else, remember that your customers’ wants, needs, and feedback should influence how your brand evolves rather than the reverse. You might try to use your brand to change what people think of your industry, but you’ll find that it’s impossible.
Instead, it's best to go into your business with an open mind. Let your customers' experiences change how your brand operates. In time, you'll provide even better customer experiences, and both you and your audience will align in a profitable, successful way.
Use Awesome CX To Deliver Stellar Experiences
Ultimately, brand feeds into customer experience, and customer experience can gradually influence how your brand grows and evolves with the market and your customers’ needs. As you focus on providing good CX, it’s important to keep this in mind.
That’s why Awesome CX always incorporates your brand’s identity, tone, aesthetic, and other factors when building CX solutions for you from scratch. With our experts’ assistance, you’ll be able to provide phenomenal customer experiences to your core customers going forward.
Reach out to our team to see how we can help.