In the digital age, marketing is changing: a number of factors are turning the brand into a more powerful asset while at the same time eroding traditional marketing communication channels that have been responsible for the growth of brands in the past. In many cases, customers now control the relationship they have with brands which represents a shift for marketing from company sales cycles to customer buying cycles. Fragmentation of media, changing media consumption patterns, and the selective attention of consumers all affect the ability to acquire new customers.
Despite these challenges, leading brands have adapted and gone from strength to strength by focusing their efforts on building an experience around the brand, thus ensuring that their customers are loyal and profitable. These brands also benefit from high levels of brand advocacy, achieving a self-fulfilling growth cycle, and creating a climate where customer commitment is nurtured and reliance on customer acquisition efforts is reduced.
A branded customer experience is defined as a designed experience that is intentionally differentiated from other brands with consistent delivery across all customer channels in a way that adds value to the core customer proposition (1). For meaningful differentiation in a competitive market, the designed experience requires a deep appreciation of customer expectations, coupled with anticipation of their desired future states to ensure success.
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