Designing experience for competitive advantage

07Jan10

In 1998, Pine and Gilmore in the Harvard Business Review wrote an article called “Welcome to the experience economy” where they explain that companies need to shift focus from the provision of merely goods and services to the provision of consumers with experiences. They later wrote a book about the subject called:“The experience economy: work is theatre & every business a stage”. They describe experiences as distinct, personal and memorable offerings. They allude to experience as a commodity and a unique economic offering, essential to attaining a competitive advantage in today’s market. Since 1998, there has been much written about the economic importance of creating products and services that provide consumers with a positive user experience. Today the need for providing consumers with a positive experience has become crucial.

Today customer experience is holistic spanning both multiple touch points and multiple media. A customers experience of your brand is influenced by not only your products or offerings but also by it’s packaging, the process of obtaining the product or service, putting it together, how it fits in with your other services, ease of finding it, all of the personal experiences with your staff or yourself etc. Think about how many different individuals and teams are involved on the delivery of experiences to your customers. These could include the folks on the phone, marketing people, any advertising agencies you may engage, graphic designers, distribution staff, product managers, that is all your staff and all of the orgnisations that you engage. In order to give your customers positive experiences all of these individuals need to deliver a consistent and positive experience to your consumers to ensure their loyalty and indeed their advocacy.

Since the days of the village markets, word of mouth has played an important role within business. Remarkable experiences leave a mark, whether the experience is remarkably good or remarkably bad! These days consumers have so many different ways to share their experiences about your business with each other.

Below is a schema adapted from one by Adaptive Path:

Can you see how important experience design is for a sustainable competitive advantage?

Shouldn’t the creation of your experiences warrant careful consideration and time?

Shouldn’t they be granted some informed and intentional design?

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