Editor's note: Based in New York, Fiona Blades is president and chief experience officer at MESH Experience, a London research firm.

Everyone is talking about customer experience. But what do we mean by this? I expect it means different things to different people.

For many it is the experience people have with the brand’s core product – driving the Mercedes-Benz, flying Delta, drinking a Pepsi, using an LG laundry machine. For others it is a direct interaction with the company – going into a bank’s branch, using the mobile app, calling the call center or exploring the brand’s website. At our firm, we believe the customer experience encompasses every single brand interaction, whether this is seeing a neighbor’s Mercedes-Benz or noticing a poster featuring the latest model.

Mark Pritchard at Proctor and Gamble recently described customer experience in this way: “What we think about is every aspect of the consumer experience and trying to make it better – the product, the package, the communication, the in-store, the online, the in-use, the after-use and how it all comes together.”

And five years ago in an article in Harvard Business Review Keith Weed said: “Companies are increasingly enhancing the value of their products by creating customer experiences. Some deepen the customer relationship by leveraging what they know about a given customer to personalize offerings. Others focus on the breadth of the relationship by adding touchpoints. Our research shows that high-performing brands do both, providing what we call ‘total experience.’” 

In fact, we believe that the most important marketing metric will soon change from “share of wallet” or “share of voice” to “share of experience.”

One of the quotes that inspired my perspective comes from advertising industry veteran Jeremy Bullmore: “People build brands like birds build nests, from scraps and straws they chance upon.” Whether it is s...