Forrester: Maximising brand value with BX and CX

Brand experience is as much a part of a strong brand as customer experience, but many businesses fail to align the two, according to Forrester analyst Dipanjan Chatterjee

Making promises and keeping them is the intertwined linked between brand and customer experience, Forrester's Dipanjan Chatterjee says.

Speaking at this week’s Forrester Asia-Pacific Summit, the VP and principal analyst expanded on how to maximise brand value at the intersection of BX and CX.

“Promises. Making promises and keeping promises,” Chatterjee told the audience, are key to a brand. “An unfulfilled promise sets the brand up for failure,” he said. 

Chatterjee explained the feedback loop that happens from promise to experience to perception. When a brand makes certain promises to us, we form certain perceptions of that brand. Based on that perception, we make certain expectations of that brand. We then go and experience that brand through customer experience. Once we experience the brand, we reset that expectation and this process continues in a loop.

“When a brand delivers a poor experience, it doesn't deliver on that promise. A poor experience breaks a great promise. And a poor experience that breaks a promise hampers retention,” Chatterjee explained.

On the flipside, a brand with a poor promise will starve itself of a great experience. For instance, delivering a great experience is limited to the set of customers who are affected by it, Chatterjee said. If a brand does not create a perception among its prospects that matches this fantastic experience it’s delivering, it’s essentially starving the brand of oxygen. 

“Your acquisition pipeline is drying up because the promise does not reflect the experience. So if you disconnect brand and customer experience, you hurt acquisition, you hurt retention and because of this, you are hurting the financial value of the firm,” he claimed.

The key is to align the brand experience (BX) and the customer experience. According to Forrester, the convergence of BX and CX has four key components. The first is brand strategy and ensuring it flows through to CX strategy, while the second is enablement to make the brand promise a reality. Third is structure and having an effective organisational structure to ensure it can be delivered, and fourth is measurement and ensuring brand measurement is aligned with CX measurement.

“If you look at the difference between a weak performer and a strong performer, there's a 27 per cent variance in performance," Chatterjee said. "You can have a strong brand and drive value. You can have strong CX and you will drive value. But if you are able to put the two together, then you can create a much greater impact through that combination."

4 pillars of aligning BX and CX

Finally, of the four elements integral to align BX and CX for maximum impact and growth, strategy is the most important, according to Chatterjee. It’s about having a brand purpose and clearly articulating the brand promise.

“The purpose of your brand is the reason for your existence,” he said. “Google will tell you that it exists to organise information for every person. Netflix will tell you that it exists to entertain the world. These are clear brand promises."

To get there, the entire organisation must be committed to delivering on that brand purpose and understand what they do to bring it to life. Strategy is also driven through the emotional benefits provided by the brand and customer experience, Chatterjee continued.

“When you create your brand promise, when you find ways to articulate that and transition it to your customer experience, and when your organisation manifests that experience to its customers, is the emotion coming through? Are you communicating the emotional value and benefits of that to your customers and your prospects?” he asked.

“Branding is hard work. Customer experience is hard work. And to make the most of all of that hard work, it’s critical to make sure brand experience is tightly interwoven with customer experience."

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