A couple of interesting snippets on the evolution beyond a product economy to an experience economy:
Four blades in your razors are enough. In the language of Clay Christensen’s disruptive innovation framework, the product economy overshot the mass market’s needs.
An economy of experiences is emerging in its place. Experiences make people happier than products (a fact that scientific studies support). The popularity of experiences like music concerts has skyrocketed compared to corresponding products like music recordings. Apple, the most valuable company in the world, maniacally focuses on product experiences, down to minute details like the experience of unboxing an iPhone. Customers want to know where their food and clothes come from, so they can understand the experiences surrounding them. The emphasis on experiences also helps explain other large trends like the migration to cities. Cities have always offered the trade-off of fewer goods and less space in exchange for better experiences.
Tofler ‘Future Shock’ 1971 prophesising the ‘Experience Industry’
Companies need to start thinking about the holistic relationship between their brands, products, and services. Crafting an experience requires design that considers these 3 elements of brand, product, and service in order to generate successful results. Any company can be analyzed through these lenses to evaluate the experience it creates for its customers.
Many organizations face structural challenges that prevent these 3 elements from working together harmoniously. Many brands deliver products and services across hundreds of channels to millions of customers, but few of these are truly integrated. In theory, the brand and its products and services should be designed to work in tandem; a brand’s voice and promise should inform the products that are built and the surrounding services that are delivered to customers.
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