It’s all about the brand at the end of the day. We see very strong brand guidelines within companies, but they crumble. Do they crumble because of the customer?
Let’s have deeper look into what’s Brand Management about. It has different directions and the focus can differ from brand to brand. We see 5 main directions.
Brand management is mainly focused on the brand and less on the customer. Wrong? Yes and no. It is always about “implementing” something into the customer instead of looking into his interests, needs and pains. There is less focus on helping customer on the point where he is. It is just about building the right point for the brand.
On the other side we have Customer Experience Management (#CXM) which is placing the customer in the center. This is shaping the brand around the customer, not vice versa. Compared with Brand Management which has several different directions, Customer Experience Management has just one direction.
One word about the often used “Customer Journey” and the “Funnel”. This are constructs used by marketing to idealize it. In real there is not only one journey, there are millions. Each customer is acting different and he is jumping forward, backward and crosswise. Brian Solis named it: “CX is absolutely vital. Customers are most likely hacking your journey to work for them or worse, exploring more intuitive journeys of your competitors.” 1)https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/funnel-doesnt-care-customers-only-cares-brian-solis/ You should read his article “The Funnel Doesn’t Care About Customers; The Funnel Only Cares About The Funnel“
Coming back to Brand Management vs. Customer Experience Management. Two big directions… Are they fighting against each other? If so, who will the winner? Can someone whin such a fight?
For sure there are fighters for each of these directions. If you follow this blog since a while you know which direction is my one. Customer Experience Management is currently getting a huge power but should we throw away everything we have done great in the past within Brand Management? Fore sure not!
Looking into the topics we see that we a often talking about the same, just from a different angle and with a different final goal. Both for example are about trust, it’s just the way reaching it is different. The final goal is growing the brand vs. growing the customer. Long term both goals will save the company revenue stream, but this should be the focus within Brand Management and Customer Experience Management.
Can we do a hard switch from Brand Management to Customer Experience Management?
The answer is no. First of all brand Management is set in mindsets (within marketing departments) and we need to pick people up where they are coming from. They wouldn’t throw away what they have done for many years and do it different now. It’s a transformation and both sides have great advantages, so why not combining them? The wave of CXM is great to implement CXM in mindsets, but the wave will go down and then we need to develop something new with the best out of both.
So whats the next evolution?
Lets see what we have and find a common topic to comb them and stop acting in channels. I have played long time around with cards and the mind mapping technology to visualize it.
What we need is a solution to bring these topics together and build a common experience…. and here we have it:
Solution Experience (#SX) and Solution Experience Management (#SXM) will be the direction of the next decade.
We see the topics Customer, Company, Brand, Market and Competitor. The topics around are not that important, we all know them and can extend them. Some are important and some are the same, these I have named. For the others I have placed placeholder.
Important is the real common solution for these 5 topics and that it is not just a solution with a common denominator. What we need is to build a great experience for all parties with this solution.