There’s an oft-quoted piece of research from Havas to the effect that consumers wouldn’t be bothered if three quarters of brands disappeared tomorrow. Whether that’s because they really don’t care about brands at all or because marketers are doing a terrible job is a moot point, but there is evidence that points to the latter. When surveys ask marketers how well they think they are delivering against the brand experience, more than 80% generally think they are doing a great job; ask consumers the same question and they’re far less impressed – maybe half think expectations are being met and few would regard them as being exceeded.

That was the starting point for Karmarama to explore this “experience gap”, chairman Jon Wilkins told the Mediatel Future of Brands conference (London, February 2019), where he outlined what he considers the important aspects of creating a consistently good experience. As an aside, he remarked that the term ‘customer experience’ has been banned at Karmarama. “We think that brands fixate on themselves anyway, and then they fixate on the customers and they forget that all of their customers spend the vast majority of their time – 95% to 99% – outside of even the consideration set of their brand, let alone thinking about their brand.