Customer experience is the new brand
I'm not referring to a brand as a logo and a typeface. I'm referring to the new kind of brand, the one is formed by the entire experience of a customer's interaction. That experience gets branded into his or her memory and leaks into the buzz of modern culture. If you can't make a good customer experience from start to finish, you've failed to generate brand value that will attract customers to come back for repeat business and tell their friends to come back, too. That's how good customer experience directly affects the bottom line.
In what was an interesting experience with American Airlines' website, Curtis came up with the above paragraph (it's worth reading the post and the earlier one which prompted it for the AA story) which nails an idea that most marketers don't yet understand – you don't "build" brands anymore; they are built by the people interacting with and experiencing them.