The Magic Formula to BRAND: The Brand Experience Map
What is Branding Anyway?
I spend a lot of time explaining branding to CEO’s. Its no wonder why there is so much confusion. Branding is an ambiguous term that can mean many things to many people. Out of frustration, I began to draw the below diagram/formula that demonstrated how a brand comes across in all aspects of a business’s operation. I call it the Brand Experience Map.
I developed the Brand Experience Map as a way to explain to non-marketing oriented CEO’s how branding is not just a marketing department function, but rather a discipline that touches all aspects of the business.
What’s the secret formula?
For you engineering types (most of my followers), the Brand Experience Map has a formula:
BrX = Vx + Ux + Bx + Cx + Ex + ChX
Let me explain the formula in a slightly expanded way (for us non-engineering types):
Brand Experience is the summation of: Visual experience, User experience, Buyer experience, Customer experience, Employee experience and Channel experience.
Let me unfold this formula even further:
There are six key elements to how a brand is the fabric of the internal and external aspects of any business.
- Visual Experience (VX) – this is the most common thing we think of when we hear the term brand. Our primal brain wants to recognize the logo, the color palette, the shapes or even the movement of logo/visuals. This is also the area where creating the valuation of a brand is most important. It is the visual identity of a company.
- User Experience (UX) – while not associated directly with the brand impression, a user experience of a product or service will clearly leave an impression. involves a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. User experience includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of company interaction and product/service ownership.
- Buyer Experience (BX) – the area that most marketers spend their time – when done right, companies understanding the motivations of their buyers and create a buying journey that maps to that buyer’s needs and wants. This is both at the practical and emotional attraction level. This will typically include awareness, demand generation and sales enablement. Personas go a VERY LONG WAY here. This is where the brand story needs to be strong and on-point.
- Customer Experience (CX) – A customer who loves your product or service will keep coming back for more. Ever met a Saab owner who didn’t have a passion for their Saab? They love that brand of car, they are emotionally connected to the brand (at least until it was bought by GM). Sometimes great customer experiences feel like cult followings. Other times, products just work really well, or services delivered leave a person feeling like they
- Employee Experience (EX) – Welcome to the world where each and every one of your employees has their own social thread of loyal followers. Their experience as employees of companies can change (for better or worse) an impression of a brand. This is an area where Glassdoor has truly stood out. Not only can you rank your experience with the company as an employee, you can evaluate the performance of the CEO. It does for recruitment what Yelp does for making choices for restaurants.
- Channel Experience (ChX) – whether you sell your products/services direct or indirect, there are many people who touch the buyer experience, user experience and visual experience. Make sure you’re incorporating the brand into your routes to market/go-to-market strategy.