Connected Measurement: About the Journey and the Destination

by Chuck White

It is not a new notion that companies who align their brand promises with the experiences they deliver are ultimately most successful in the marketplace.  We have seen many brands feature experience as their primary innovation, from Uber to Airbnb to Warby Parker to Zocdoc.

Despite the principle’s wide acceptance, it has been less widely explored as a mechanism for maximizing brand success.  All too often, organizations think about brand and advertising as customer acquisition activities, while retention goals are the domain of customer experience and service delivery.  In reality, a brand is an important driver of retention, and customer experience is an important driver of a brand’s equity to customers.  It is important that organizations pursue more aligned, connected measurement given this dynamic.

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As the global economy begins exploring potential post-pandemic consumer behavior, this may be a relevant time to consider the alignment of brand perception and customer experience.  As consumers and businesses reset behavior, brands that understand and leverage connected measurement for both their brand and overall market will gain an advantage.

It Starts with a Clear Brand Strategy

Brands need to convey a meaningful position in the minds of their customers, one that offers a clear promise and vision.  This vision not only provides reasons to consider the brand, but also sets customer expectations for assessing satisfaction and becomes a platform for further connection as they become customers.  Most importantly, brand strategy serves to establish brand purpose.  As consumers face the combined challenges of the pandemic, political unrest, inequality, and climate change, they are looking to align with demonstrated purpose.  In fact, 8 out of 10 global consumers rank purpose at least as important as customer experience (Source: The Business of Experience, Accenture, 2020).

Growth from Brand/CX Exchange

A simple framework for understanding the interplay of brand and customer experience is to think of their interaction as the engine for brand growth.  Brands expand by acquiring new customers through a clear strategy and then delivering at or above that promise.  While it varies by industry, this repeating cycle is generally the heart of brand growth and the focus of assessing brand and customer experience alignment.

Measuring Brand/CX Alignment

The assessment of brand and CX alignment can involve multiple dimensions, including both a total market view of brands and an individual view for any given brand.

Market-Level Assessment

A market-level assessment examines a market’s brand positioning and provides a framework for understanding where to explore opportunities and/or to defend a brand’s position.  A starting point for that view is to review brands at the aggregate KPI level to understand the overall landscape of alignment for brand and customer experience.

An Example Market-Level View

Attribute-Level CX Brand Assessment

A more granular view of an individual brand’s attributes across brand and CX measurement can provide deeper insights for both acquisition and retention goals.  Comparing perceptions of the total market, those who are aware and/or those considering a given brand compared to the ratings of actual customers, can reveal disparities including both under and over-delivery on particular attributes.  Those disparities may represent opportunities to change brand, advertising, messaging, and promotion strategies as well as service delivery priorities.  Difficulty aligning attributes measured in brand and customer experience programs may suggest a more fundamental flaw in brand and/or measurement strategy, though often similar metrics can be compared as an initial view.

When competitive brand and CX attributes are available, additional attribute analysis by brand can help complete the assessment of opportunity and defense strategies established by the market-level view.

Modeled Linkages

When program architectures include sufficient coordination, or as an exploratory analysis, a more formal modeled linkage may be desired.  The primary goal of this approach is to understand how brand and CX fully contribute to supporting acquisition, retention, and ultimately financial success.  These linkages offer validation of a measurement framework as well as a roadmap for investment and optimization strategies.

Challenges to Aligned Measurement

For a variety of reasons, achieving these goals is not without challenges.  Frequently, the primary challenges to integrated analysis and measurement are organizational, including departmental and measurement silos, access to required data, overlapping measurement, program design, and operational conflict.  Secondary challenges may result from a lack of depth or frequency of measurement in either customer experience or brand measurement programs.

A Journey Towards Connected Measurement

Connected measurement is more likely to be a journey than an immediate outcome.  This journey begins by examining brand and CX strategy to understand the current measurement landscape. Completing the process with a team of appropriate stakeholders can often reveal immediate low-hanging fruit to better align future thinking and approach.  With a better understanding of the program structure in place, data exploration can begin and inform additional steps and outcomes.  Finally, formally linking programs requires aligned objectives and measurement programs to achieve the greatest level of success.

If you’re interested in learning more or are ready to begin the journey to connected measurement, contact Chuck White.

Chuck White has worked in market information for over 20 years and is a thought leader on the alignment of brand and customer experience.  Chuck is a VP of Client Services at Burke and works with clients across various industries to improve customer engagement, brand strength and drive strategic innovation.

Interested in reading more? Check out Chuck’s other article:

Building Authentic Brands in Inauthentic Times

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Sources: Feature Image – ©EdNurg –


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