Measuring CX for Success: Are You Missing the Mark?

Measuring CX for Success: Are You Missing the Mark?

Explore agile branding with Greg Kihlström, Speaker, Author, and Advisor at The Agile Brand. Gain insights into Martech, AI, sustainability, and F1000 brand challenges in this engaging interview.

In a recent interview with Greg Kihlström, Speaker, Author, and Advisor at The Agile Brand, he shares insights into the evolving branding landscape. Emphasizing the significance of agility, Kihlström explains how brands can adapt to changing conditions while staying true to their values. Customer experience emerges as a pivotal differentiator, with an agile approach crucial for sustained engagement and loyalty. Kihlström delves into the transformative role of Martech and AI in shaping the future of branding, highlighting the convergence of big data and artificial intelligence.

The interview explores Kihlström’s “House of the Customer” concept, offering a structured approach to analyzing and improving customer experience. Addressing the challenges faced by F1000 brands, Kihlström discusses the complexities of large organizations and the importance of change management.

Finally, Kihlström debunks misconceptions about branding in the digital age and emphasizes the growing importance of sustainability in branding strategies. As a valuable resource, he recommends his podcast, “The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström,” featuring industry experts shaping the branding landscape and customer experience.

Excerpts from the interview;

What’s the core message behind The Agile Brand? How does it differ from traditional branding approaches?

An agile brand can adapt to changing external and internal conditions while adhering to its values and principles. The world is changing too fast for brands to be stuck in what worked in the past at the expense of innovation, yet brands need to stand for something to gain the support of their employees and customers.

You emphasize customer experience as a key differentiator. How can brands adopt an agile approach to optimize CX?

Nothing, including customer preferences and expectations, stays the same for too long. Thus, an agile approach to optimizing CX is the only way a brand can ensure it engages customers, builds loyalty, and consistently increases its lifetime value. The only constant is change.

Martech and AI are central to your expertise. How are these technologies shaping the future of branding?

You could say that all marketing has some type of technology and data component to it these days, and therefore, all marketing is MarTech in a sense, even in the brick-and-mortar retail or in-person events space. 

Additionally, as data has continued to play a bigger role in decisions and marketing, AI’s importance and role will continue to increase. It is sometimes hard to look beyond the hype that terms like “big data” or, more recently, “artificial intelligence” are getting and see that these two trends are now converging into what will be a game-changer for marketers’ ability to understand their customers and personalize the content, offers, and experiences they deliver to them.

The “House of the Customer” is a foundational concept. Can you explain its role in building agile brands?

I created the House of the Customer construct. I wrote the book of the same name because I needed to find a way to illustrate to large organizations the different aspects of the customer experience and the internal people, processes, and platforms that needed to be organized to serve them.

So I decided to use the concept of a house, which most audiences could relate to in some way and which also had the benefit of breaking down very complex and often conflated concepts and ideas into separate component areas.

In doing that, I could simply illustrate these areas while allowing readers to consider how each independent component could be analyzed, measured, and improved without building the whole house simultaneously.

I am thrilled at the response I’ve received from the book and have heard from many readers that they have been able to apply the concepts, including the maturity model and the prioritization model included in the book, into their work.

The Agile Brand caters to F1000 brands. What are the unique challenges and opportunities these companies face in today’s branding landscape?

While F1000 companies often have access to more resources and talent than much smaller organizations, they are often challenged by the complexity of being a large organization, often with legacy systems and processes that make it difficult to make quick changes. Much of my work with F1000 companies, while centered on helping them adopt MarTech platforms, is related to change management and helping people adjust to changes in their work and how they do business.

What are the biggest misconceptions about branding in the digital age?

Some of the biggest misconceptions about branding have existed for a while and perhaps have only been exacerbated in the digital age. For instance, the idea that a brand can change its logo, identify, and somehow change its business trajectory has never been true. Still, perhaps now, in the age of social media, online reviews, and an overarching skepticism about advertising from younger generations, this has only been made more true.

Another misconception is that getting one or two channels branded well is all that matters, which, in our omnichannel world, is simply not the case anymore. Brands must be great communicators and on-brand on any channels their customers try to interact with them. This puts increasing strain on brands as channels proliferate, but it isn’t any less true.

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for consumers. How can brands integrate sustainability into their branding strategies?

When sustainability is done well, it is something that consumers can appreciate, but it is also something that the brand and business benefit from. I like to think of sustainability as a driver of innovation and better ways to do things for both today and the future. When sustainability is more than something approached simply for branding and considered a critical part of business operations, it can be much more impactful.

What recent books or resources have you found particularly insightful on branding or customer experience?

While this is admittedly self-serving, I would highly recommend that readers listen to my podcast, The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström, not because of me but because of the amazing guests I am privileged to be able to host and whose thoughts and ideas continue to shape my ideas and insights.