Your brand today is no longer what you tell people it is. Your brand is what your customer experiences, how they feel about that experience, and most importantly…

… your brand is what your customer tells others about their experience.

It used to be that your brand was your promise.

But in the words of Russ Klein in the “Purple Goldfish 2.0” foreword,

“Today’s consumers pay little attention to the promises brands make, believing instead authentic stories about what others have experienced.”

These are stories that you can’t control.  

Klein shares, “While modern marketers can’t control the story, we absolutely can control the experience. And customers will reward great experiences by sharing positive stories about brands that, in turn, become the brand itself.”

It is our responsibility as marketers to find ways to add signature value to our customer’s experiences. Either by reducing effort to make the experience easier or by adding little extras. Doing one or both enhances differentiation and provides customers a reason to share their own stories. 

Russ Klein draws an interesting distinction about experience design,

“Brands don’t design experiences—they design for experiences.”

He reinforces the need to meet your customers where they are already at.

“The ‘dirt path’ a customer is taking is likely there because it’s now permanently etched into their habits. Stop trying to force them onto a sidewalk when they would prefer you plant flowers along their dirt path.”

How are designing around that well-worn path? Watch your step.

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Stan Phelps

o and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at