The Experience Economy is Here – Are You Ready?

The ‘experience economy’ is here, and it’s not something you can afford to ignore. To quote the Harvard Business Review:

“The next competitive battleground for leading-edge companies, whether they sell to consumers or businesses, will be in creating experiences.
We are now in an experience economy.

One of the biggest and most significant global trends of the moment, the experience economy reflects consumers’ changing attitudes and expectations. Now, people want more – whether that’s attending a big event, going to the cinema (think 4DX), or just popping into your average high street store.

Consumers want to be entertained and immersed within unique, multi-sensory experiences that add an extra dimension to the ordinary – what we’re trying to say is that it’s grown far beyond trips to theme parks or adventure holidays.

So, if you can create a lasting impression on your customers by creating experiences that meet their needs and expectations, chances are they’ll appreciate it – and come back for more.

And with technology ever-improving to offer so many more possibilities and enhanced experiences, there’s never been a better time to take that leap and provide something a bit different – we should know; we’re all about creating memorable and engaging experiences here.

But, if you want to jump onboard the experience economy, you have to think on your feet.

Sell experiences – not just products or services

What we mean by this is that you can have the best, most technically advanced product on the market, or a fantastically convenient service that ticks all the boxes, but if the experience isn’t fun to use, you’ll still fall short. One great example of this can be conjured up whenever we think of what happened to tech giant Sony.

Whilst consumers were starting to focus on the experience they were getting from products such as iPhones and using the software to customise things to suit their needs, Sony were still focused on the product itself, and the technical specifications – rather than what their products were like to use.

The experience economy applies whether you’re selling a product, in retail, have a restaurant or are just looking to reach your customers at a trade show or event. If you’ve seen the Taxi episode where fun-loving-but-usually-terrible taxi driver Iggy decided to become the world’s best taxi driver, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Suddenly Iggy was serving drinks and refreshments, giving tours of the city on his routes, and even serenading his fares with Frank Sinatra songs. This completely turned something that’s often mundane – such as a cab ride – on its head and made it an unforgettable experience.

Why? Because no-one was expecting it – and Iggy reaped the benefits of his efforts by getting bigger tips. The moral of the story here is that if you can provide experiences that are fun, engaging and memorable, then you’ll become known for so much more than just the thing you’re selling in the first place.

So, how can you create a truly stand-out, show-stopping experience? Well, you have to think outside the box.

Create memorable experiences people will love

Now, you may be wondering: what types of experiences can you provide that your customers will want to engage with and remember you for? It could be anything from outstanding customer service, to innovative technology – such as immersive interactive touchscreen experiences, virtual reality, or even engaging interactive presentations in the boardroom.

It all really comes down to what you’re selling, and how you can make it all about your customers and deliver more than they’re expecting – it’s all about their experience and what they’ll take away from interacting with your brand.

For instance, if you’re in retail or have a specific product or service to sell, you may have noticed interactive touchscreens are making more and more of an appearance, and giving consumers the chance to explore the physical with the digital. Touchscreens let people browse your products or services in their own time, and in their own way and can be updated and modified in real-time.

And, as long as you give them features they’ll want to use (think 3D models, object recognition, videos and gamification), they’ll spend more time engaging with your brand and learning more about you. And if you can add a good story into the mix? All the better.

TIP: We’ve actually written a blog on this subject, entitled: ‘How to Enhance Customer Experience with Interactive Touchscreens’ if you want to find out more!

However, there are so many ways to provide enjoyable, memorable experiences and just do something a bit different. It doesn’t need to be all about the tech – or even at all about the tech! It’s really about what’s going to best work for you and provide something that your customers are going to love.

Your next steps (where to start)

The best advice we can give you is to carefully consider how your customers are interacting with your brand.

  • What do they use the most – and what are their interests, likes or dislikes?
  • What do they need from you?
  • How can you best articulate your value?
  • How about their typical transaction with your brand?

Now, think about how can you improve upon that and over-deliver in terms of creating a unique and enjoyable experience.

Perhaps your experience could have a relevant theme. Mix in plenty of positive cues (whilst eliminating negative ones) to ensure that your customers have a consistently good experience from start to finish. And if you can, engage all five senses – or as many as you possibly can!

If you decide to go down the tech route, an interactive touchscreen experience could be a good way of engaging people and exceeding their expectations by showing you’re a forward-thinking, innovative brand. But it also means they can explore your experience with the power of touch, and see and hear what you’ve got to offer in an immersive, fun way.

So, if you think an interactive touchscreen experience might be a good way to go for you, check out our recent blog: ‘Where to Start When Creating an Interactive Touchscreen Experience for Your Business‘. Hopefully, it’ll give you a better idea of some of the main considerations before taking that leap and speaking to a touchscreen specialist or interactive agency!

Final thoughts

The experience economy is here, and it’s huge. Now more than ever, people care just as much about the experience with your brand than they do about the products or services you provide. So, how can you prepare for the experience economy?

Well, whether you decide to provide something innovative and visually engaging to meet the needs and expectations of tech-savvy customers, or you go above and beyond to deliver a personal and unforgettable experience – perhaps even a combination of both – it’s important to think about what your customers want and the best way you can enhance their experience.

What are your thoughts on the experience economy? If you’d like to find out more about interactive touchscreen experiences – to see if they might be a good way forward for your brand – then feel free to get in touch using the handy contact form below. We read and reply to every message we receive!

 

Damjan Haylor
Managing Director
damjan@popcomms.com

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