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What is the Ownership Experience (OX)?

To say that the term “customer experience” is ubiquitous is like saying there are quite a few stars in the galaxy. A simple Google search returns two trillion eight hundred fifty billion search results. Yet, as much as customer experience, or CX, is discussed, analyzed and prioritized, many companies still struggle with inferior customer experiences, as evidenced by poor reviews, low customer engagement, high customer turnover, and decreased customer LTV.  

In our work with durable product brands around the world, we have witnessed the focus on improving lifetime customer experience – in this case, the Ownership Experience – rapidly gain momentum and has become a top priority for senior executives, as evidenced by our diverse client base. This has led to quantifiable and valuable outcomes in customer experience KPIs. 

For these brands, offering a well-planned, personalized, and relevant Ownership Experience has led to a number of tangible benefits. Identifying and engaging with more of their product owners has led to increases in opt-in rates, communication touchpoints, and positive reviews. Many have improved customer support metrics and reduced customer churn. Additionally, many have opened a new revenue channel, or have enhanced existing channels, that serve existing customers, proving the old adage that it’s more profitable to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. 

So, what exactly is the Ownership Experience (OX for short)? And why is it important for brands to prioritize OX as part of a well-balanced customer experience initiative?


What is the Ownership Experience


The Ownership Experience encompasses the emotional and physical aspects of owning a product – from the moment of purchase to the end of a consumer's desire to own the product. The Ownership Experience includes every interaction that a product owner has with a product including the way it looks, feels, and performs, as well as the support, perks and services provided by the brand after purchase. 

A positive Ownership Experience can create a strong connection between a product owner and the product, leading to increased brand loyalty, repeat purchases, and positive word-of-mouth. Conversely, a negative Ownership Experience can lead to frustration, disappointment, and ultimately, a loss of trust in the brand. 

A hallmark of an exceptional Ownership Experience is one that fosters two-way engagement between brands and their product owners. By making it easy for new owners to set up, register, and use their products, brands collect valuable first-party data. From the customer’s name and contact information to the specific owned product, first-party data is the lifeblood of a personalized and value-added Ownership Experience. This type of customer data is often only available during product registration, especially for companies that sell primarily through retail stores or online marketplaces such as Amazon.  

In addition, brands can secure opt-ins during the registration process that open the door to future communication initiated by either the brand or the product owner. For consumers, this means easy access to information and resources they may need down the road. For brands, it’s a new channel to connect directly with their actual customers to keep them informed, engaged, and open to additional offers.  

Alternatively, imbedding product model information within QR codes is another way to personalize resources and offers to product owners. Without requiring consumers to self-identify, brands can seamlessly connect product owners to product specific resources, FAQs and offers. Although brands will miss out on valuable first-party data, this is a great way to improve the Ownership Experience. 

By focusing on the Ownership Experience, brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors and build long-term relationships with their customers based on trust, satisfaction, and mutual benefit, which ultimately leads to enhanced customer lifetime value.

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Getting the experience “right” requires an understanding of your customers – not only what products they own, but also what they value, what frustrates them, and what expectations they have. This customer-centric view enables brands to forge a new path to sustainable revenue growth. McKinsey calls this focus on existing customers “experience-led growth” and reports that this strategy can lead to improved customer engagement and satisfaction, as well as increases in cross-selling and wallet share. 

For durable product brands, there are numerous ways to improve the Ownership Experience and realize the benefits of experience-led growth. Some of the approaches that work for our clients include: 

  • Options for product registration including mobile, on-screen, web, email, and card
  • Clear instructions for registration, getting more information, or obtaining support
  • Personalized and timely sales offers directly related to owned product(s)
  • Digital product information and resources available on demand
  • Product protection and care plans offered directly by the brand
  • Easy and efficient claims submission and management
  • Proactive maintenance reminders and recall alerts
  • Survey and feedback opportunities to learn more about customers
  • Direct invitations to rate and review specific products 

These owner journeys, and many more, encompass the entire Ownership Experience lifecycle. To help brands manage the myriad number of journeys, we have identified three main categories.

  • Onboarding - The Onboarding Journey consists of the initial customer identification and data gathering through digital product set-up (product registration), as well as the opportunity to deliver product resources or special offers. 
  • Care - Care Journeys include customer support via traditional and self-serve channels, claims management, proactive maintenance and product reviews.  
  • Commerce - Commerce Journeys enable brands to offer protection plans, accessories, subscriptions, and other offers that expand customer lifetime value.

Brands can choose which journeys work best for both their owners and the brand’s own goals, and can implement them in stages. As we have learned over the years, creating an exceptional Ownership Experience isn’t so much a destination as it is a journey in itself – one that reaps significant rewards for both brands and their customers! 

 Significant Benefits of the Ownership Experience

We have covered some of the high-level benefits that companies can expect to achieve by prioritizing OX, such as increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention rates. The chart below shows specific outcomes that our clients have realized across a variety of industries.  


As you can see, there are direct and tangible benefits to investing in existing customers by optimizing the Ownership Experience. Across industries, for brands of all sizes, a customer-centric, experience-led strategy enabling direct relationships between brands and their owners is becoming pivotal to growth and sustainability.  

Want to learn more about the Ownership Experience? Check out our Smart OX page for more information and resources. Want to have one of your team members learn about the outcomes an OX investment can have specifically on your brand? Schedule time to meet with an OX expert today