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Building Brands

What is Brand Experience?

June 07, 2021 · 5 min read

What is brand experience (BX)?

Once upon a time, there were brands and there were consumers, and their relationship was clear. Brands told stories and consumers would evaluate their purchases based on a limited number of factors — “Do I identify with this message or not?”

Then the internet was born. With it came a huge power shift and a new focus on community building and authentic connection over old school advertising. Brands were no longer the only ones telling stories.

Today, instead of just consuming marketing communications, we source opinions on brands from friends, social media, blog posts, and review sites. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for businesses — the honesty these third parties bring to the table theoretically leads to better quality products and services down the road — but it does require a new way of thinking and operating. To cut through the noise and make an impact, teams need to consider all the ways a consumer might interact with their brand. That’s where brand experience comes in.

This article is part of Air’s Ultimate Guide to Branding. Click here to explore the rest!

BX = brand strategy + CX + UX

Brand experience is the combination of brand strategy, customer experience, and user experience. It’s the emotional, sensory, and tangible experience a customer has before, during, and after interacting with any facet of a brand. It’s how your customers experience your brand identity on a holistic level, and in the digital age, it’s more important than ever.

Brand experience / Customer experience / User experience
Brand experience / Customer experience / User experience

Remember that consumers are not only deciding if they want to buy your product, they’re deciding if they want to buy into your brand experience — your differentiation, your identity, and your community. How does your product fit into their world? What will it say about them? You need to truly speak to your target audience.

“In an ever homogenized, codified, templated world, a unique brand experience is critical. Brands are defined by the experiences that they give.” BX is everything a consumer comes into contact with, and it guides their purchase decisions, for better or for worse.

For an example of a fantastic brand experience, look to Apple. They’ve been forming emotional connections between customers and their overall brand for decades. This is due in part to their beloved products, but also their advertisements and their in-store experience. They’ve achieved a level of customer loyalty that brings the same customers back to buy new products year after year.

BX is everything from brand image to sensory experience. You’ve probably visited an Apple store. Think about how those stores feel: clean, spacious, smooth surfaces, well-chosen music. It simply feels good to be there. It feels like an iPhone. The goal is to build trust in the brand name with every visit.

Who manages your brand experience?

Crafting that perfect BX takes a village, and we believe that there are five primary departments that play point: Marketing, Sales, Creative, Product, and Operations. 

Marketing designs the messaging and strategy; Sales champions your brand; Creative makes the assets that define your brand image; Product ensures that what you’re selling lives up to your brand’s promises; Operations makes sure everything and everyone moves in sync.

Showing different teams in brand experience. (Marketing, Creative, Operations, Sales, Product)
Showing different teams in brand experience. (Marketing, Creative, Operations, Sales, Product)

Your brand experience champions inhabit roles such as:

  • Marketing Manager

  • Brand Director

  • Program Lead

  • Product Manager

  • Social Media Manager

  • Account Executive

  • Content Producer

  • Designer

  • Partnerships Director

Once you develop an understanding of the various places your brand lives, you’ll quickly realize the larger impact each of these roles has on BX.

For example, let’s say your company creates a video for social media. Yes, it originates in Marketing, but there’s a good chance this piece of content will be repurposed and redistributed by the sales team, producers, executives, and even HR. More often than not, it will also be seen in documents like sales decks, pitch materials, advertisements, welcome letters, and press releases.

None of those examples fall under “marketing,” and yet all of them have an effect on BX. These outputs are either contributing to or deviating from the story that you set out to tell. So, how are you ensuring that all of these moving pieces are in line with your brand’s messaging goals?

Your brand identity lives and dies with every member of your company, from the CEO down to entry-level marketers. Even retail employees, if your company does retail, play a crucial role — they represent your brand on the front lines. Have you ever been in a Nike store? All of their employees contribute to a great brand experience, with even the cashier decked out in Nike gear, looking like they’re about to run a two-hour workout class. That’s not to mention the often jaw-dropping store buildouts.

Using Air to create a memorable brand experience

An estimated 75% of US businesses used Instagram in 2020. That same year, 70% of marketers were actively investing in content marketing, and 77% of companies in 2019 said they had a content marketing strategy. Air believes that every company is a media company — something that only grows more true by the day. Some companies just haven’t realized that truth yet.

It’s clear that modern-day businesses depend on visual materials in everyday operations. To acquire new customers and maintain relevancy, brands have started to operate like media companies, and the primary way they do that is by creating content.

All the tools a media company uses.
All the tools a media company uses.

We want Air to be the home for that content and all of the adjacent work that comes with it. Centralize your images and videos, and establish a source of truth for feedback and creative discussions. By making it easier for your team to access and collaborate with the creative work that drives your business, you’re also increasing the likelihood of authentic, consistent brand experiences with your customers.

The team at Air created the product with brand experience in mind, to provide users with the tools to best manage their own BX. The different ways different companies prioritize BX remains a constant fascination and inspiration at Air, as the team continues to build new, ever more helpful features.

You can use Air to manage all the visual assets that help your team achieve a stellar brand experience. Plan, review, and deploy marketing campaigns, all within Air. Make your company name synonymous with positive experiences. Build that strong brand. Hit those customer satisfaction numbers. You’ve got what it takes and we’ve got just the tool to help you do it.

Click to return to Air’s Ultimate Guide to Branding.

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