Brand Experience vs Customer Experience: What's the Difference?

You’ve probably heard of brand experience (BX) and customer experience (CX) before, but you might not be sure about the difference between these two. Both of them play an important role in the success and reputation of a business. They’re closely connected, but they’re two different things.

Brand experience and customer experience depend a lot on each other and go together hand in hand. But if you want to understand BX and CX fully and know how you can use them in your business strategy, you need to learn the difference between them.

What Is Brand Experience?

Out of all the different categories of experience that a customer can have with a business, brand experience is certainly the broadest. It includes both customer experience and product experience. It’s a representation of your business’s best qualities and it helps customers understand what the brand is and who it’s for.

A business can communicate brand experience through multiple channels such as their website, paid media, tag lines, and product offers. The key elements of BX are consistent and recognizable design and voice, which are then used to create marketing campaigns around them. The goal of this is to create a loyal customer base.

Customer Experience Definition

Customer experience revolves around building a strong service culture that leads to success. CX is a well-mapped journey that follows the customer through all stages of the customer journey. It represents the ease with which your customers interact with your business’ channels.

Brand experience comes before customer experience because people first need to be introduced to your brand and know who you are before you can provide them with CX. Great customer experience is essential for customer loyalty; if you don’t treat your customers right, they won’t come back to your business.

Brand Experience vs Customer Experience

The difference between brand experience and customer experience can simply be explained with one word: promises. Brand experience is all about making promises while customer experience is about keeping them.

Your brand team is there to deliver promises to the market with a great brand experience strategy and draw in new people to the business. When those people convert, your CX team comes in and gives them the best possible experience, delivering the value that was promised by the BX team.

Another big difference between the two is that BX is a long-term strategy that evolves and changes over time. Customer experience, on the other hand, is much more immediate as it creates instant reactions from the customers.

Within the long-term brand experience, there are UI, marketing, activation, and engagement. On the other hand, the immediate customer experience includes UX, service, support, and satisfaction. 

Let’s take a look at all of these terms side by side:

  • UI vs. UX. UI or user interface describes the design of an experience. Since brands heavily use design to communicate their message, UI is a big part of the brand experience. UX, or user experience, describes the journey customers go through and is heavily related to CX.
  • Marketing vs. service. With marketing, you attract consumers to your brand and with great customer service, you keep them there.
  • Activation vs. support. Experiences with a brand can activate a customer who might not have been familiar with it. After the initial activation, the user experience is there to provide support through the journey.
  • Engagement vs. satisfaction. BX and CX aim to evoke certain feelings in a customer. For brand experience, that feeling is engagement and good BX will cause consumers to engage with your brand frequently. CX, on the other hand, is measured with satisfaction and a thorough customer feedback strategy.

Combine Brand Experience and Customer Experience for Best Results

At the end of the day, if you want to achieve the best results for your business, you need to combine brand experience with the latest customer experience trends. This is essential for a good marketing strategy because it’s impossible for a business to find success without both of these components.

Brand experience marketing doesn’t mean anything without a seamless customer experience that serves and supports each customer. And vice versa, great customer experience doesn’t mean anything unless you have an amazing brand experience that attracts those customers.

When consumers are trying to make a purchasing decision, they take every relevant interaction with a brand into consideration before deciding. Even if it’s done subconsciously, all of this information is woven together in their minds.

To combine BX and CX right, you need to have a clear understanding of what your brand stands for and its purpose. Your core belief system should directly translate to your emotional benefits and personality attributes your customers can distinguish, recognize, and appreciate.

Your experience design should be built around this belief system and align with the customer segment you’re targeting.

However, it often happens that companies run into problems if their marketing team creates a brand identity that looks amazing but in reality doesn’t reflect the organization’s belief system. If customers fall in love with the BX but the organization doesn’t live up to the promises it has made, it will damage the brand’s reputation.

Keep in mind that your brand and the relationship it has with your customers is the most valuable asset you have. It’s essential that you only make sincere and coherent promises while combining your brand experience and customer experience perfectly.

Final Thoughts

Even though not many people understand the difference between brand experience and customer experience, as a business owner, you need to understand both of these concepts perfectly. While they’re intricately linked, they’re also different in various aspects and aren’t interchangeable.

For a successful marketing campaign, not only do you need to understand these concepts but you also must know how to use them. For great BX examples, take a look at some of the most famous brands, and see what they promise to their customers. And to see how they link with CX, just take a look at how they keep those promises.