XD Modelling and Experience Strategy — an Introduction

Marja Annecke, Studio Lead Product Design at SinnerSchrader Swipe, shares her insights on XD modelling in our upcoming series on experience strategy.

Experience Design Model, by SinnerSchrader Swipe

Today’s markets and products are changing more rapidly than ever before. As complexity and digitisation advance, traditional brand and marketing models cannot keep pace. Increasing complexity leads to the atomization of brands. With the fragmentation of touch points, brands now compete everywhere — and increasingly in close interaction with their fans. In the “Experience Economy”, customers have shifted from being passive consumers to active participators. Experiences with the product must be as finely crafted and precision-engineered as the product itself. The new paradigm for designing those experiences is customer-centricity. Customer-centricity is in the focus of a new experience management approach that brings user, customer and brand experience in a holistic correlation. At SinnerSchrader Swipe we developed a new model, called “Experience Design Model” (“XD Model”) for customer experience management. At the heart of every user-centric brand is a service ecosystem of different products that successfully converts users into life-long customers through an outstanding user experience.

But talking about experience strategy: do we all mean the same?

The term “experience strategy” is buzzing around marketing departments. We often talk to companies about their apps, their user-centric products, their mobile strategy, but rarely connected to a brand purpose or customer insights. Human-centered design is mainly a mindset and far from having arrived in other company departments. They are missing the holistic view of the experience their customers might have with their brand, including touchpoints, products and services. What is the customer’s journey, his/her context, motivation and situation? What are their “Micro-Moments” with your brand? Our XD model breaks down the design approach of user-centric products and services into the components of customer experience (CX), brand experience (BX), and user experience (UX). “Customer experience” describes the experience of the customer with a company and its product or service across all touch points. It reveals valuable insights about behaviour, needs and barriers, motivations, and lifestyle. “Brand experience” stands for the customer’s perception of the values of the brand and its touch points. By anchoring a purpose in the mind of the customer, brands can make their services even more successful. Without a purpose, we might end up designing human-centric services that all look and feel the same. “User experience” means the experience of the user in touch with interfaces, reflecting information access, interaction design, and joy of use.

Experience strategy is only successful if it is applied holistically

In other experience models that we value and often refer to, the terms customer and brand experience are described as the same (particularly referring to Andreas Baetzgen and his fantastic book: “Brand Experience. An jedem Touchpoint auf den Punkt begeistern” — in German). We agree. In our XD model, we want to break it down first and then bring it back together to a holistic view of experiences. In fragmenting the components CX, BX, and UX, it becomes clear what competencies are needed in which area and where they also might be buried in the organization. At the same time, dismantling the view on experience strategy into individual components makes clear that experience strategy is only successful if it is applied holistically and in collaboration with all departments in your company.

In our upcoming series on our XD model and experience strategy, we will take a closer look at what happens at the intersections of CX, BX, and UX. We will take a deep dive into branded interactions, the intersections of UX and strategic design, and how service design is driving the customer experience.

Author: Marja Annecke


Google Micro-Moments: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/micro-moments/

Andreas Baetzgen, Brand Experience. An jedem Touchpoint auf den Punkt begeistern (2015): http://mw.hdm-stuttgart.de/~baetzgen/brand-experience/