What was the last big purchase? Do you remember why you bought it? Was it a logical choice based on getting the best value for your money, or was it an inexplicable gut feeling that made you choose that product over another?
If we’re being completely honest, I think we can admit that most of our buying decisions are not driven by logic but rather by emotions that we may not fully understand. So what exactly motivates us to make a purchase?
Our perception of a brand and our past (or anticipated) experiences with the product play a crucial role in the way we make purchase decisions. In this article, we will explore how the brand and user experience (UX) work together to influence us to choose one product over another. Let’s dive in.
Before we talk about how brand and UX work together, let’s discuss what it is not first, so we can all be on the same page.
Many people mistakenly believe that a logo is a brand and that a good-looking User Interface (UI) is UX. They think that stamping their logo on an app or website will automatically create a memorable brand—or that a beautiful UI will make their product easy to use.
A logo is just a symbol—not a brand. Ideally, people should be able to remember your brand even without the logo. Also, UI is not UX UX; it’s just the interface of the UX. In fact, sometimes UI is not necessary at all if the UX is done right. Voice control and haptic responses serve as good examples of this.
So what are the brand and UX and how do they work together?
Brand is what attracts people, while UX is what keeps them engaged.
A brand is a collection of values, emotions, and ideas that people associate with your product or company. While you can’t control how people feel about your brand, you can influence them through your unique brand personality.
UX refers to the overall experience users have when interacting with a product or service. This experience includes everything from the interface, usability, functionality, and emotions that arise from the interaction.
Brand is what people feel before engaging with the product, while UX is what people feel after engaging with the product.
A brand focuses on pre-engagement and is designed to evoke emotions in people. Brands engage with people through a collection of visual and verbal representations (called Brand Identity) that brand designers create to influence how people feel about the product and company.
UX focuses on post-engagement and aims to create positive emotions in users. UX engages with users through form and function, which UX designers create to drive user delight and help users achieve their desired outcomes when using the product or service.
Brand strategy is a plan for making an impact, while UX strategy is a plan for improvement.
A brand strategy aims to create brand awareness and customer loyalty. This involves defining the brand’s positioning and anticipating how it will evolve over time.
UX strategy focuses on creating a seamless and enjoyable usage experience. It anticipates how users will navigate through the product or service and plans for iterative improvements over time.
Brand impacts people’s perception, while UX impacts people’s behaviour.
A brand evolves slowly but makes an impact quickly. Just as people judge each other within a matter of seconds, they do the same with your brand. While it takes time to build a brand personality, first impressions can sometimes be the last impression.
UX evolves quickly but makes an impact slowly. Thanks to the iterative design process, it only takes a matter of sprints to iterate or launch a new app. However, it may take a while before your app can drive change in people’s behaviour.
Brand is measured by people’s hearts (qualitative metrics), while UX is measured by people’s heads (quantitative metrics).
Measuring brand awareness can be challenging because awareness is intangible and difficult to track with quantitative metrics. However, we can evaluate brand performance and its positioning by measuring qualitative metrics such as social listening, surveys, or customer feedback.
Measuring UX is more straightforward. We can track various metrics, such as conversion rate, retention, and engagement, to evaluate the success of the UX. Measuring UX success helps UX designers ensure that the needs and expectations of users are met for a designed hypothesis.
Brand utilises creativity to establish a new perception, while UX leverages creativity to create a new experience.
A brand uses creativity to showcase its uniqueness and establish brand positioning. This involves a distinctive visual appearance and communication style that differentiates it from competitors.
UX uses creativity to find new and more effective ways to solve a problem or to entirely create a new problem statement with a new solution.
Charlie Munger once said, “Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.” I think the same principle applies when it comes to brands and UX. We can learn a great deal about a person based on the products and brands they choose.
When the brand values reflected in the way we use the product, it not only influences why we choose one brand over another, but also shapes who we are as a person.
The synergy between brand and UX is the reason why we love the products we love and share them with our friends.