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Companies are being measured on experience in any moment a customer engages with your brand. This may be an active interaction, such as when they’re shopping for your products.
But this also extends to passive engagements, like the condition of your store’s signage when they drive by it. Every interaction, every touchpoint, both physical and digital, is in some way a reflection of your company and its brand. Thus, it can all be considered a part of your customer’s experience in their journey with you.
We see and interact with examples of this Experience Economy daily. Some create added value to an existing product or service. Others create entirely new ways of presenting a solution to you.
For example, parents of young children could host their child’s birthday party at a number of pizza restaurants. But, for relatively the same price, they will often choose establishments like Chuck E Cheese or Peter Piper Pizza because the overall experience they offer far exceeds that of a normal restaurant given their need. Here they’ve added value (games and entertainment) on top of an existing product (pizza).
In another example, brands like Casper, Tuft & Needle, and Purple exploded onto the mattress scene, disrupting an age-old business. Though they preached how new and innovative their products were, foam mattresses were not all that revolutionary. What was different was that you could now sit on your old mattress, buy a new one risk-free, and it would arrive at your door, all for less money. This was an innovative new way of creating an enjoyable buying experience. So much so that people wanted to be among the first to tell their friends they tried one of these new brands. They’d go on and on about how easy it was and why it’s so much better than going to the mattress store. (I’ve tried one, and I loved it too). Whether it’s added value or ingenuity in your presentation, experience, at the end of the day will always win over the competition.
I think it’s clear, the “establishment” of economies gone by is under siege, and those left standing are continuing to feel the challenge as technology and experience driven companies have merged to challenge the norm and create more customer centric offerings. These new school companies have found their place in our daily lives.
Amazon is the biggest among them. Looking at Amazon it’s easy to see where we found value. It was not in their products, the services they offered, or even their prices. It was in the experience we gained in shopping with them. We gravitate towards these modern day models because they offer us a better way. Convenience, speed, personalization.
So what are the “established” companies to do? Roll over and die? Or, transform themselves.
If you remember anything about the MCX - remember this as the perfect sentiment on where to begin thinking around transformation:
“Buyers will judge your presentation of the product and translate these perceptions onto their view of product quality. The more impressively you present your product, the higher they view the product’s quality to be.”
This powerful statement was relayed to us from a customer who understood the value of product presentation as a part of the journey or experience of acquiring a product.
When you look to improve your experience it’s important to understand that “experience design” is as important to the customer as “product design”. This logic happens all too often negatively when people find friction in the buying process and end up settling for an inferior option purely because it was easier to buy.
Companies should have a mindset of continuous improvement anyways, but the imperative now is greater than ever.
Half of the companies that used to be on the Fortune 500 list have disappeared because they failed to digitally transform.
To be successful it’s time to think smarter, not harder.
An example I love is how grocery chains have moved quickly to combat upstart delivery services. Most chains now will let you order your groceries online and pick them up at your convenience. Other retailers like Walmart and Target have made massive investments in BOPIS, or Buy Online Pick-Up Instore. These adaptations are necessary in the war for the customer, and these are the experience driven battlegrounds it’s being fought on.
Customers will determine the winners of this war with their wallets.
And what’s interesting is that in the age of experience, 84% of customers will actually pay more for a product if it means they get to engage with what they believe is a better experience.
I know I’m guilty of this. And data shows we all are. We shop at this store because it’s “nicer” than the other - even though the other has a lower price and is selling the exact same things. These are the subtle powers of experience.
As you think and learn more about “experience” I’d encourage you to consider how you present your products to the market.
Customers will judge your product quality by how well you present your product.