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4 steps to building lasting loyalty with unified experiences

Brian Browning
Person falling into metaverse wearing VR goggles and holding shopping bags

In a world where we are constantly bombarded by new brands and ideas, loyalty is the holy grail for organizations. But how can companies ensure that their customers feel valued, remain committed, and even act as brand ambassadors? The answer lies in delivering unified experiences. Here, we explore what it means to deliver unified experiences, their impact, and how organizations can leverage them to drive customer loyalty.

What are unified experiences?

Unified experiences involve providing consistent, on-brand experiences to customers across all touchpoints, both digital and physical. When customers have seamless and cohesive interactions with a brand, they are more likely to feel valued and develop a sense of trust and loyalty. 

To create truly unified experiences, a brand must deliver connected moments. This means using a common design language and tone across channels and shaping journeys that reflect the identity and needs of their customers. Recognizability and uniqueness are also essential, and customers expect a brand to have a distinct tone and aesthetic at every touchpoint. Brands like Apple, Starbucks, and Nike exemplify unified experiences — interacting with customers in a predictable way that builds trust and recognition. 

Unified experiences deliver value to their audience while driving sought-after customer behaviors, such as new customer acquisition, improved conversions, and customer retention.

What do unified experiences look like?

Imagine you’re booking a flight to a vacation destination. Commercial airlines rely heavily on unified experiences to drive trust and loyalty. From searching for prices to planning in-flight meals and even checking in at the airport or online, each step of the process should feel connected, intuitive, and distinctly recognizable as the brand you’ve chosen. If any part of the experience feels disconnected or difficult, you may quickly decide never to use that airline again. Even the smallest misstep can impact customer loyalty, so it’s vital that brands stay connected across all of their physical and digital touchpoints. 

We work with global brands to build unified experiences that not only deliver seamlessly for their customers but actively drive brand loyalty. Want to know how we combine service design thinking with a frontstage/backstage framework to build out unified experiences? 

How do you create unified experiences?

To offer meaningful unified experiences, organizations need to go beyond jargon and understand the key elements that delight customers to leave a lasting positive impression. Here are the essential building blocks of unified experiences:

1. Data

Data serves as the connective tissue that links customers to products and solutions throughout their unique experiences. By harnessing customer data, organizations can anticipate customer needs, personalize experiences, and drive customers forward in their journey.

2. Experience design

Unified experiences require a solid understanding of a customer's context and needs. Organizations must develop a common design language and create experiences that are recognizable yet unique to their brand. By focusing on both the front stage (customer-facing) and backstage (supporting tools and capabilities), organizations can anticipate needs and deliver for customers in ways that appear seamless.

3. Multi-channel orchestration

Unified experiences can happen across channels, both digital and physical. Regardless of the interaction point, consistency, knowledge of the customer, and understanding the context of their journey are key. Agile technology that can be deployed in real-time is crucial for executing unified experiences.

4. Experimentation

To continuously improve and deepen customer relationships, organizations must commit to data-driven optimization. By capturing data at each touchpoint, mining it for insights, and experimenting, organizations can refine and enhance the unified experience, driving customer loyalty.

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