Do you differentiate using your brand or deliver the basics of your customer experience first?

Paul - 14 th July 2015

It’s an interesting question we often face when we are talking about how we operationalise a brand through the design of their future customer experience. We have debated this a number of times in recent months and my answer is that it depends on a number of factors.

Your business ambitions – IPO, transformation, growth, stabilisation.

The market in which you operate – how good the competition are, your own brand standing.

The current state of the experience you deliver to your customers – bad, reasonable, excellent.

With the answer to the above in mind you can set about considering your strategy. There are a number of options, but first and foremost delivering a random uncoordinated bunch of ideas will appear exactly like that from a customer’s perspective. Therefore you need to think through a roll out strategy from which all ideas should be coordinated. This will ultimately provide the direction for how your future experience is created, ideas are assessed and aligned in your project plan.

You might;

  • Deliver the Basics then Brand Differentiation - Lay all the foundations with the core basics across the journey, then introduce differentiation.

  • Customer Journey Stage by Stage - Basics then Differentiation - Focus on the most important parts of the customer journey first from a customer’s perspective (e.g arrival, product use, key moments of interaction) - lay the foundations first then introduce Differentiation stage by stage

  • Customer Journey Stage by Stage - Cluster Basics & TMs simultaneously - Focus on the most important parts of the customer journey first from a customer’s perspective – lay the foundations first and at the same time develop and dove tail the Differentiators that those basics will support

  • Cluster ideas around Customer Satisfaction / NPS / brand drivers and other key business levers – Drive the performance of the key business metrics using the future customer experience thinking to ensure benefit is delivered to customers and the business simultaneously.

There will undoubtedly be other strategies, but for each business the answer won’t always be the same. Thinking it through carefully, rather than rushing ahead without a strategy, will ensure you are more likely to succeed.

Paul has a customer experience and operational leadership background. Prior to joining Brand Vista Paul was Head of Customer Experience Design at Virgin Media and is a specialist in designing and implementing brand enhancing customer journeys that deliver commercial results.
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