What It Means When the Experience is the Brand

Office of Experience Co-Founder Stratton Cherouny on the Journey from Expectation to Reality to Customer Loyalty

Design is everywhere.

Virtually everything you see and touch has been designed. It’s the result of a choice made, by someone somewhere, for one purpose or another. The food you eat. The buildings you live and work in. And yes, every product, service, app and message you experience.

“The experience is the brand” is my mantra, and at OX, it’s our reason for being. Our teams create experiences that redefine industries and put the customer at center stage.

We do it so that our work can mean something. We do it because we want to solve problems and create something bigger than ourselves.

But mainly, we do it because today’s customers are empowered by choice. We all choose what, when, where and how we buy and believe. And since nothing is safe from commoditization, it’s how a customer experiences a brand – and what it makes them feel – that makes the difference.

Brand experiences are made or broken by the reality we meet on the other side of our expectations, which, in turn, affects business performance.

At the Office of Experience, we use the term “design” very liberally. What some people might limit to its traditional meaning, we extend into everything we do, from strategy and UX to content and code.

At every moment of interaction with a brand, customers bring a set of expectations with them about that interaction. Those preconceived notions do not arise out of thin air. They have been shaped—consciously or not—by prior experiences, by the opinions of others and by the brand in the form of owned, earned and paid media, among many other factors.

While the people, processes and systems required to manage brand experience holistically are complex, the principle is simple. It’s about seeing your brand through your customers’ eyes and being curious—about what’s really valuable, about what’s possible and about how other brand experiences might be successfully applied to yours.

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