the customer experience lifecycle of a social brand

With the definition of customer experience lifecycles, marketers can calculate the most strategic influence points on the path to purchase. What interests me is the multiple touchpoints in a customer’s lifecycle where brands who use social media marketing can make a difference to a customer’s experience. I found inspiration in this post on How to define social media strategies by using the customer experience lifecycle

A standard customer experience lifecycle includes the following stages:

  • Realisation – Recognition of a problem or need
  • Awareness – Connection between need
  • Evaluation -Consideration of product
  • Transaction – Money is exchanged
  • Consumption – Product is used
  • Service – Post-purchase support

When using social media marketing we can add another layer which relates to social influence:

  • Influence awareness of need
  • Influence  connection to product
  • Influence  awareness of benefits
  • Influence  perceived value of transaction
  • Connect sharing of product experience
  • Connect sharing of service experience
  • Build ongoing relationship


Around the points of the connection to the product and awareness of benefits, we are likely to receive (or we reach out and ask for) brand feedback. And finally there are key points around the product and service experience (if great enough), will create brand advocacy. Or conversely, if the product & service experience is not so good, we still have opportunity to to respond with reactive customer service in response to negative feedback.


Its a simplified process, of what is essentially a two way conversation throughout the entire customer experience lifecycle.  If it works properly, we build ongoing, social relationships with our brands. Are there any brands you feel that are doing this particularly well?

  • Excellent addition of “Build ongoing relationship” to the construct I created. I wish I would have thought of it!!! Brilliant!

    I'm glad to see people starting with the CUSTOMER before throwing a Social Media tool in the water. The important point is to STUDY what your customers need at each point in the lifecycle.

    Depending on the industry, your brand may or may not need to engage at each of the stages you presented. It's important to partner with your Customer research groups to learn the details!

    I also like how you pointed out the positives and negatives. It seems like 1,000 positives = 1 negative. Great thoughts, feel free to email if you want to discuss more.

  • Ben thanks so much for your lovely feedback. I must say that your post was such an inspiration to me because I had been looking for that information for months before I found you. Keep up the great work!

  • Mac

    This is an interesting way to look at the social branding experience. Social seems to get grouped with viral a lot, in a sense that social marketing automatically has legs to reach the masses. It certainly does have that, but it's the interactive aspects of social marketing, not the viral ones, that create a great customer experience.

  • Great post on the social aspects of marketing, but you've missed a major component of the customer experience.

    Post purchase dissonance.

    How the customer feels about your product once the have purchased, and comparing to potential alternatives, and then how this can tie in to social marketing, especially sharing of product/service experience.

    I'm not meaning to be overly critical, but post purchase dissonance is where social media is obviously tapping into consumer feedback.

  • Thanks for your comment. You're not being critical at all. I did actually cover “post purchase dissonance” as you put it but only in the text underneath the diagram.
    “Or conversely, if the product & service experience is not so good, we still have opportunity to to respond with reactive customer service in response to negative feedback”
    Social channels such as Twitter make it easy to share bad experiences along with the good ones.
    I have seen some really great cases of negative feelings towards companies being turned around through customer service type contact in social media channels where the dissatisfaction was originally expressed.

    The key learning for most companies is they need to listen just as much as talk.

  • Absolutely, but post purchase dissonance applies regardless of whether you are you a social or traditional model, but it's where social marketing has opportunities and leverage to engage with customers

  • Yes that's what I said.