A Fuzzy Relationship

Reconciling Brand + CX

Over the years I have had countless discussions on the blurred lines between Brand and CX. Often the disciplines claim similar spaces and tell near identical stories as the ‘sum of all interactions’. At Idea Couture, our approach integrates practitioners across both disciplines, which means we’ve had to crystallize our view on how these two practices work in harmony.

Here’s the 60 second spiel I typically use to help clarify:

Brand and CX are two sides of the same coin. Taken together, they are the sum of all experiences with a product, service & company.

Brand sets organizational direction. It establishes a common purpose. And gives a company a sense of self.

CX designs through the eyes of the customer. It accounts for every interaction across the end-to-end journey. It’s an ecosystem approach to customer engagement.

Brand is both a company’s intention and the public’s interpretation. CX is the set of customer interactions that delivers on these notions.

The best initiatives embed the Brand in the Customer Experience and bring a company’s promise to life.

Brand and CX exist within a virtuous cycle that moves from employees to customers, back through to employees and so on. Once headed in a given direction (virtuous or otherwise), it can be hugely challenging for an organization to shift course. To do so can be a large-scale undertaking in engagement and experience design — one that spans internal and external interaction and begins with a nuanced understanding of how these close concepts piece together.

The Experience is the Brand, and vice versa.

*Note: Clearly this is a very high-level view of two disciplines that can be hugely complex to action against. The intention is simply to help bring clarity to how these concepts work together in the hopes that we as an industry can start to align how we talk about their relationship.