Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brand experience versus customer experience

Recently I was having a conversation with a good friend regarding ‘brand experience’ versus ‘customer experience’. What I thought would be a 10 minute conversation turned into an hour long debate!

After our discussion, I tried to think back on what sparked this debate. It may have had something to do with me saying, “brand experience is really part of the total customer experience”. Not to mention my friend is a brand manager at a fortune 500 company and my company, Delvinia, is focused on architecting digital customer experiences.

Anyhow, I won’t get into all the details however the main point of our discussion was that brand experience and customer experience both effect a consumer on an emotional level. The big difference however, is customer experience is broader. Wikipedia defines customer experience as “the quality of the experience as apprehended by a customer resulting from direct or indirect contact with any touch point of a company, including marketing, branding, customer service, support, in-store experience, product design, service or Web site, etc. Customer experience in this broader sense also includes "User Experience", which as the name suggests, is concerned with, and limited to, direct usage of a product.” Whereas the brand experience touches the product, look & feel, communications and service.

Ok fine, so there are differences, and I believe the customer experience very important, but really what is the end goal here? Is it not to make our customers happy so they continue to use our product or service? I mean really, is not that simple? Let the debate continue.

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