customer experience

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There are a number of brand strategy consultants out there I hold in high regard. They totally get insights and market conditions, are quick studies in business categories, have keen understanding of meaningful metrics, and possess indefatigable bullshit barometers. Sadly, I’m seeing a trend among this crew where they are reinventing and repositioning themselves away from pure brand work into other aligned areas. Customer experience. Team optimization. Digital transformation. Culture plotting.

Why is this?

Well, that’s what the market sparks to. Most marketers and business owners don’t think they need a brand strategy. They want measurable results on sales. Higher top line and lower bottom lines.  What they don’t understand is that those things are directly tied – or can be tied – to a smart brand strategy. When you define brand strategy as “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging” you begin to understand how brand strategy can impact bottom lines. And top lines.

Tomorrow I’ll share some business metrics side-by-side with brand metrics. I encourage you to tell me which are more actionable.



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Experience More.

The University Medical Center of Princeton redesigned some hospital rooms so they were more friendly, accommodating, and less hospital-like. A funny thing happened. Patients asked for 30% less pain meds. Less pain meds resulted in more rehab, faster healing and reduced hospital time. Egro lower overall cost. I bet anyone in any country can draw a picture of a typical hospital room. They’re functional, spare with chairs that squeak as moved about the linoleum. Only now is room design a topic of the hospital experience. Someone mixed it up. Someone took a chance. And that’s a good thing.

Extend this thinking to your business, to your category. If you change the expected experience what might be the outcome? Imaging a gasoline station with really clean bathrooms. Imagine a deli line with a waitress taking orders and upselling. Think about a doctor’s waiting room with Netflix at every chair or a grocery store with a bag pre-packed with your weekly staples.

The experience is something not changed enough in marketing. It’s expensive. But when you and the category get stuck in a rut it becomes a topline money issue. Think experience and outcomes, think like a customer, think about refreshing how consumers see your product and category. Not everything will work, but that’s okay. You will still be a step ahead of your competitors. Peace.


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