Culture is the Differentiator – A Conversation with Bond Brand Loyalty

WM Circle Logo

By: Mike Giambattista, CLMP |

Posted on August 8, 2019

Bob Macdonald, CEO of Bond and Morana Bakula, VP of Customer Experience talk about organizational culture, and how aligning it with brand and company values can transform everything that leads to the bottom line.

One of the great benefits of working within the customer loyalty space is that, from time to time I end up talking with some of the brightest minds in the business.  Case in point - Morana Bakula, who is Vice President of Customer Experience at Bond, and Bob Macdonald, CEO of Bond spent some time discussing their latest offering: SynapzeCX, which was announced formally a few weeks ago.

For context, although The Wise Marketer is the global voice of customer loyalty, the intersection / overlap between loyalty and CX is a very strong one.  We see our mandate as inclusive of the various technologies and disciplines that inform loyalty and CX is certainly one of those - so we value opportunities to talk with people such as Morana and Bob.  What follows is a condensed version of that conversation.


Having worked with the Bond team on various projects I’m impressed with how much your company seems to have going on at any given point in time.  The fact that you’re debuting SynapzeCX – a significant addition to your platform only underscores that fact.  What can you tell us about SynapzeCX?  What, in layman’s terms, is it – what space are you looking to occupy within CX?

Morana Bakula (MB):

Thanks Mike, we’re pretty excited about this and, yes, it is a significant announcement for us.  This augments our Synapze engagement platform with capabilities that are game-changers in CX – specifically in the realm of employee experience (EX). 


So, tell me about the offering.  Is this more of a technological expansion or is this more of a service offering from Bond?


It’s actually both.  Bond already operates one of the most robust customer engagement platforms – Synapze.  SynapzeCX – offers a suite of features that enable organizations to take the same principles that guide their loyalty operations and tie them into EX.  The result is a holistic approach that builds bonds between brands, customers, and employees.  We have seen that the synchronization of brand, customer and employee experience produces strong business outcomes. SynapzeCX facilitates this.  

Bob Macdonald (BMAC):

With SynapzeCX we’ve built out functionality that combines loyalty mechanics, human centered design and real-time data to help brands deliver on their promise through one employee engagement hub. The platform allows clients to engage, motivate and measure impact in ways that meet the unique needs of their front-line employees and channel partners.

From day one at Bond and really, from day one with any of our clients, we’ve leaned heavily on the belief that culture is the differentiator.  We see it in our own organization first.  When you can create a culture where the brand, the employees, and the customers are all aligned, you create an extraordinary set of forces that are mutually enabling and results driving.   


Talk to us about how that plays out at Bond.  What does “Culture as the Differentiator” mean there?


A couple of years ago we set out to re-align our already very strong culture by identifying our strengths and focusing on the value we create for our clients and employees. We executed a plan to mobilize against those strengths and the process included client co-creation sessions and development of an employee playbook to bring the Bond Experience to life throughout the entire client relationship journey. When you support that experience with strong technology that is designed for today’s people and real-time business needs you start to see meaningful results.

Also Read: Brand Loyalty Survey: The Most Innovative Tech Brands


SynapzeCX is that technology, it enables a CX culture by taking a page out of the customer loyalty playbook and applying it to an organization’s internal and frontline structure.  Points and rewards certainly have their place but what we see over and over again is the difference that experiences are making in the customer relationship dynamic.  Customers want experiences that are effortless and emotionally rich – in fact, I would go so far as to say that they demand experiences.  We’ve built a platform with SynapzeCX that allows organizations to see and effect employee experiences so that they positively impact the customer experience.   


We’ve developed something that, because it enables this kind of cross-discipline alignment, is truly unique in the marketplace. Aligning brand, customer and employee experience is when brands start to unlock differentiation, and in today’s fast changing landscape, investing in your people through real-time communications, learning, and feedback is critical to this alignment. The results of which produce growth in revenue and create true brand loyalty.


Brilliant.  We’ll keep our eyes on Bond, and of course, on your new SynapzeCX offering and hopefully connect later this year for an update.  In the meantime, thank you both for your time!

Mike Giambattista is Editor in Chief at The Wise Marketer and is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).