blog post What is BX?

What is BX?

Brand experience (BX) plays an important role in the world of customer centricity. However, unlike customer experience (CX) or user experience (UX) it isn’t solely aimed at (current) customers: it projects a brand promise to the outside world so the company can appeal to everyone and duly develop an affinity for it.

20. September 2023·5min

The findings of Gilmore & Pine in the 1990s confirmed that customers generally not only want to buy a product but are also looking for an experience: they want emotionality and individuality. Nevertheless, one major issue for companies is that the experiences that constitute a vital link with their customers emerge from a variety of its divisions or departments, so for many of them it’s a challenge to coordinate these different areas. “The difficulty lies in the fact that different departments are involved and have to be coordinated,” explains Jan-Erik Baars, LUASA Professor and Managing Partner at Customer Metrics. “The decisive factor is the company’s ability to ensure that what emerges from these areas is consistent.”

“The decisive factor is the ability to ensure that what emerges is consistent”
Jan-Erik Baars, LUASA Professor and Managing Partner at Customer Metrics

The marketing department is usually responsible for brand experience: it positions the brand and develops the brand promise as well as the company’s characteristics and identity. This concept (which actually equates with its corporate identity) ranges from its positioning through to the user experience. Values and principles that are embedded in the brand experience should therefore also be reflected –and relevant – in the CX and UX.

Figuratively speaking, brand experience can best be imagined as wandering along a shopping street with various stores, restaurants and other brands. The positioning and USPs of the respective brands are only superficially noticed as you stroll along because so many brands are vying for your attention. It’s only when you enter a shop or restaurant that the customer experience begins: maybe you look for a T-shirt or study the menu. This is then followed by the user experience when you actually use the product or service, for example by wearing the T-shirt or eating the meal.

Interrelationship: brand experience, customer experience and user experience

However, let’s take one step back: when choosing a product or service, you’ll inevitably pass through the three ‘experience’ worlds, namely ‘brand’, ‘customer’ and ‘user’.

Let’s take cars as an example: a customer wants a blue station wagon with a specific set of equipment. These customer-specific requirements can only be fulfilled via the customer experience and subsequently the user experience.

The role of the brand experience is to position the brand, differentiate it, and imbue it with meaning. For example, BMW’s brand promise is “Sheer driving pleasure”. This promise is aimed at everyone, but only those people who are convinced by the brand will become customers and actively make use of what the brand can offer. In other words, the purchase decision depends on elements of the brand experience. Someone who perceives the brand values, identity and positioning as appropriate and distinctive will become a customer, so perceptions of the brand and its positioning represent a direct response to the (intended) brand experience.

If one looks back at the approach adopted by Gilmore & Pine, the two terms ‘relevance’ and ‘interrelationship’ are particularly important because they underlie the assumption that companies can only gain competitive advantages if they offer differentiated and customer-centered solutions. Whilst the brand experience is responsible for differentiation, relevance is mainly the product of the customer experience and user experience.

The significance of the Customer Impact Score

Companies want to know how they can bring together the worlds of BX, CX and UX. They know that customers assess how coherent these experiences are, and see this as an indication of quality. Companies therefore require an equally comprehensive measurement of how they are perceived by their customers. The key to this is the Customer Impact Score which addresses all three levels: brand experience, customer experience and user experience.

“It’s important that everything should fit together!”
Jan-Erik Baars

Many companies check to see how their brand is perceived or question the effectiveness of their positioning. Such measures are usually very specific, and the results can only be considered in isolation. A person who is addressed by the BX can at the same time be or become a customer too, so it makes sense to jointly investigate these different facets of experience. This is precisely what Customer Metrics does with its Customer Impact Score.


Brand experience is based on a company’s characteristics, identity and positioning. Once all the relevant elements have been established in its corporate identity, the challenge is then to holistically design the brand experience. The brand personality should be coherently integrated from the initial touchpoint right through to the user experience. This can be checked by means of the Customer Impact Score which covers the three levels (BX, CX and UX).