Customer experience is critical to business success.  But customer experience simply for customer experience sake can leave businesses chasing customer whims that don't align with operational goals or brand identity. (See Figure 5 in Thriving In A Post Digital World).  Forrester Senior Analyst Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha tackled this difficulty of balancing customer experience and brand experience in her after-lunch presentation at Marketing Europe 2016. 

Her research identifies four ways to avoid brand and customer experience dissonance:

1) Paint a vivid picture — This is not about building a 60 page static brand strategy, but rather determining the key emotional moments a customer goes through and identifying how to meet those needs with on brand experiences.  AirBNB storyboarded critical moments for both their hosts and guests and uses these storyboards to focus the efforts of marketing, customer service and employee training.

2) Interweaving tools and techniques — Marketers use segments and the customer lifecycle, while customer experience folks rely on personas and journey maps.  This to-do means to dovetail the tools that each of these constituents uses.  For example, Virgin Atlantic integrated ethnographic studies, voice of the customer data with traditional competitive research and brand health metrics to create a functional and emotional understanding of key traveler segments.

3) Co-create and co-locate — This means literally seating customer experience and brand managers together so that everyone understand the brand identity and how to deliver experiences consistent with it so that employees can understand the role they play in connecting customer and brand experience. Porsche offers employees immersive training at its experience center in SilverStone Technology.  And where it can Porsche colocates teams; for example service agents sit with technicians. 

4) Connecting brand and customer experience metrics — Smart marketing leaders will add customer experience  measures to their brand tracking studies, and likewise will use brand metrics like emotional connection to gauge customer experience health. For example Sage Software gauges how well its customer experience creates "peace of mind," not just customer satisfaction.

This also dovetails well with the research I'll be sharing tomorrow which defines a new post-digital mindset for marketers.  Post-digital marketers take a much broader approach to their jobs than just managing advertising.  The new marketing mindset must be a horizontal one which collaborates with customer experience, ebusiness, product colleagues to demonstrate your brand promise everywhere.