Does Your Customer Experience Strategy Influence Your Brand Strategy?

A recent Forrester study indicates that only 8% of marketers surveyed can define customer personas and identify the fundamental customer needs to help shape their marketing strategies.  The same study shows that 63% of CMOs are still focused on gaining new customers over satisfying existing customers.  The metrics that are valued most are transaction based.  (Source: MediaPost MarketingDaily).  It is true that net new customers are important to continue to drive new revenue cycles, but it is also proven time and again that the cost of gaining a new customer is much higher than the cost of retaining and growing existing customers.

What is most interesting in the Forrester study however is the connection between customer experience and brand that is made.  Billions of dollars are spent every year by marketing organizations trying to position, build, and extend brands.  The brand strategy, as Forrester points out, can often offer guidance as to how to implement meaningful customer experience strategies and how the brand should be experienced.  But the above data begs the question—if only 8% of marketers can really define a customer persona then what is the basis for the brand strategy?  Are brand strategies being created in vacuums with no customer engagement at all?

Even Steve Jobs—who touted that customers don’t know what they want—believed that you have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to get to the right product.  Shouldn’t brand strategies begin with customer experience as well?   Why couldn’t customer experience help to set the brand strategy?   After all it is your customers who determine whether your brand is in fact what you think it is…

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