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When a brand goes the extra mile to make sure its customers are happy, it can be a game changer. Brands that put the customer first drive revenue 4-8% higher than their competitors.

But delivering a remarkable customer experience with insights and innovation at the forefront requires bravery, effort, and ingenuity. And not every company is up for the challenge.

Every day, we're saying, 'How can we keep this customer happy?' How can we get ahead in innovation by doing this, because if we don't, somebody else will.

Bill Gates

These five brands dared to go there in 2022 to connect with customers and deliver experiences. Let's take a look at these standout brands and what they're doing to put customer experience first.


Insights from customer experience research show that 89% of companies that lead with customer experience outperform their competition on key performance indicators. And Target continues to be at the forefront as a trusted brand among consumers.

The flux of the economy and continued inflation concerns have many retailers caught in a tailspin. They're doubling down on convenience, online shopping, and the transactional aspects of the business. Meanwhile, Target is hanging its hat on prioritizing the needs of customers.

How's Target evolving the customer experience?

Well, firstly, they are making customer service a priority from the top down. In 2022, they introduced a new C-Suite role, "Chief Guest Experience Officer," to gain insights into the customer experience and lead their customer-centric strategy. They're focusing on minimizing customer frustration and kickin' it up a notch when it comes to delighting customers.

But also, Target is ponying up the cash and scaling operations to the tune of $5 billion to provide a better sales experience with renovated stores, digital investment, and more robust fulfillment and distribution capabilities.

Ultimately, the big-box retailer wants customers to have a seamless and enjoyable experience, whether shopping in-store or online. So, going into 2023, Target has prioritized the customer experience, and insights show that it's paying off. The company had more than 19 straight quarters of growth and is ranked number eight of the one hundred best global brands by Comparably.

smiling young couple

02—Happy Money

Can money buy happiness?

The customers from Happy Money might say...yes.

Listed as the #1 most customer-centric company in finance by Forbes, Happy Money is a financial technology company that helps customers with fair or good credit scores pay down their debt and reach financial wellness. In the U.S., access to personal loans is limited to certain people—primarily those with excellent credit. And for everyone else, the options can be predatory and exploitative—but Happy Money offers a third option—lending options for a wider range of credit scores.

But Happy Money's excellent customer experience goes beyond fair loans. Happy Money puts the customer at the center of its company culture. The choices it makes for its brand are based on insights about its customer experience and driven by its mission to expand opportunities for more people to use money as a tool for their happiness.

To scale awareness, Happy Money recently partnered with leading audio media company iHeartMedia, to educate customers on financial literacy and open up access to people who may have been misrepresented by typical credit score models.

Named to the 2022 CB Insights' Fintech 250 List, Happy Money's customer focus is on empowering their customers with the knowledge and options to make financially sound choices for a happy tomorrow.


IBM Institute for Business Value reports that in 2022, 49% of customers have paid a premium for a sustainable brand or product—costing upwards of an average of 59% more. So, it's safe to say that sustainability is top of mind for customers and a priority for successful, customer-centric brands.

Enter ThredUP, the largest online marketplace for secondhand clothing with a customer experience focused on the circular economy. While selling used goods online isn't groundbreaking, ThredUP's focus on accessibility for all consumers sets it apart.

Partnering with major retailers like Macy's, Adidas, and Gap, ThredUP makes it easy for customers to shop sustainably at their favorite stores without breaking the bank. And for those who want to clean out their closets, ThredUP offers a simplified way to recycle clothes and make a little extra cash with the "360-resale" program—the company provides US-based consumers with prepared shipping labels so they can easily thredUP unwanted clothing items.

As customers seek sustainable shopping alternatives, ThredUP is continuing to create a customer experience formed by insights from their customer's demands, benefitting both the environment and their wallets.

person creating a listing to sell clothing online


As the world's second-largest e-commerce platform, Shopify has focused on customer experience by empowering small business owners—many of whom have never had an online presence before—to establish and grow their online storefronts.

So, it's safe to say Shopify understands a few things about the importance of a phenomenal customer experience.

This Canadian e-commerce platform supports over 1 million businesses, from small mom-and-pop shops to huge corporations like Kraft Heinz and Red Bull. They've built a culture and company around developing better tools and the best customer experience for entrepreneurs.

Named the #1 most innovative company by Fast Company in 2022, Shopify has proved its knack for ingenuity by designing a plug-in to create shoppable ads on TikTok. This upgrade offers Shopify customers the opportunity to reach a whole new consumer base and sell their products on a rapidly growing platform.

Shopify's customer experience strategy is about anticipating what its customers need to reach their business goals and providing them with the tools and support to do so. And it's clear that their customer-centric approach is paying off as they continue to expand into new markets and industries.

05—Red Bull

"Red Bull Gives You Wings" has guided Red Bull's customer experience since its inception in 1987. Red Bull's customer experience is defined by its epic content––whether it's through its hit Reality Sports TV platform or its action-packed social media campaigns. They've used marketing to proactively push all the right CX buttons to please customers.

Gone are the days of only being known as an energy drink company. As Red Bull has expanded over the years, it's taken a customer-centric approach to everything it's done, from hosting art fellowships and sponsoring sports teams like football clubs and ice hockey teams (not to mention their Formula One team and skydiving camp). Red Bull's customer-centric mindset has helped them develop a global community where people come together to experience the extreme-sports lifestyle that Red Bull cultivates. As a top brand for Gen Z, Red Bull has been recognized with 81% customer loyalty.

But why are Red Bull fans loyal?

Well, largely, it's because Red Bull knows its customers inside and out. They've connected with customers on an emotional level, from their adrenaline-boosting content to their customer support offerings that cater to their customer's needs. They show this by using customer data to fuel personalized customer experiences and developing content that speaks directly to their customers' needs.

Red Bull is a prime example of the benefits of consumer research and strategy, and it's this customer focus that sets them apart from its competitors. Whatever customer experience innovation lies ahead, we're sure Red Bull will lead the pack.

consumers smiling and having a great consumer experience

What's the Customer Experience Outlook for 2023?

As customer experience continues to be a critical factor in customer retention and brand loyalty, there's no doubt that we can expect to see more companies prioritize CX in the coming year.

How will brands ramp up customer experience in 2023?

Expect to see a continued focus on personalization and customization and an emphasis on customer feedback. And don't be surprised to see creative ways brands tap new consumer markets and impress customers.

One thing's for sure—2023 will bring new customer experience challenges and opportunities, but businesses that put the customer first will come out on top.

Looking to gain more insight into your customers to improve your customer experience? Research and brand strategy are kind of our thing, so if you have any questions or are interested in seeing what our team can do for your brand, let’s chat.