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The Difference Between Brand Experience and Customer Experience (Part 1)

When you think of dogs (given you aren’t afraid of them), what comes to mind? Trust, loyalty, dependability, joy? No matter what the breed, dogs are pretty easy to love. However, each dog, and each breed, was designed for a different purpose. Some dogs are show dogs, others are guide dogs, and some are just loyal companions who provide unconditional love. Now, I know you’re probably wondering, “What do dogs have to do with brand and customer experiences?” 

Well, for this example, let’s think of the brand experience as “the show dog”, and the customer experience as “the guide/service dog”. Each are loved and admired, however, both have a different, yet important purpose.

See how these two experiences differ, and how they work together to compliment one another.


The Brand Experience Dog

The brand experience is the show dog. It represents the very best qualities of the entire breed, conveying a strong message about what the breed is all about. Like the show dog, the brand experience makes consumers understand exactly who the brand is. For businesses, the brand experience gets communicated through a number of channels – paid media, web sites, product offers, tag lines. The brand experience goes much deeper though. All external communication including social media, customer service, culture, is part of the brand experience. The key element is a focus on a consistent design, one that customers can recognize anywhere. With the help of marketing and media, this experience can attract new loyal customers.

This is where the customer experience enters…

The Customer Experience Dog

This is our service dog. Trustworthy, dependable, and your faithful tour guide. The customer experience depends on a strong service culture for success. It is a well-mapped journey (UX) that guides customers through every transaction. The customer experience is the ease with which customers interact with your channels, and the effort required to interact with your brand.

Notably, the customer experience comes after the brand experience (after people already know who you are). This is integral to customer retention and revenue because it ensures a clear path through the customer journey (just like our reliable guide dog). Digital channels have given the customer experience room for great improvement, however, not all brands are taking advantage of this.

How Brand Experience and Customer Experience Work Together

It’s impossible for any organization to function without either of them. The brand experience is nothing without a seamless experience to support and serve customers. Additionally, without proper branding and marketing, it’s unlikely your business will have any customers to deliver a strong customer experience to. Both are integral to any strong business strategy.

For example, Walmart invited customers to text and sign-up for its new grocery pickup service, and receive $10 off their first order. This campaign combined the power of the customer experience with the marketing savvy of brand activation. For customers to enjoy the luxury of a grocery pickup, they first had to sign-up, and in order to drive sign-ups, a $10 discount was included in the offer. Although this experience seems intuitive, oftentimes business offer services that customers are completely unaware of. Why? Because they’ve neglected the brand experience, leaving little to nothing to be desired.

Don’t leave your service dog out in the cold, let the show dog captivate audiences first, then send in the service dog for guidance and support.

We’ll dig deeper into how organizations marry brand and customer experiences, in Part 2 of our 4 part series. Be the first to see it by subscribing to the blog, and to get the latest content roundup.

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