As experience emerges as the number one factor for customers to buy products and services, companies should put it as their number one priority when making strategic marketing plans. The evolution of customer service is going to continue and more customers will want to have a better experience from businesses they engage with.
Developing Experience Economy Through Transforming One’s Business
First, let us be clear that experiences are different from services and goods. Like what Harvard Business Review stated, “Commodities are fungible, goods tangible, services intangible, and experiences memorable.”
Now, transformational growth or the way companies evolve for a better efficiency is, most of the time, a must because being stagnant is not an option. Everything is moving fast and trends are changing almost every month with new things emerging from different parts of the world. May it be about music, traveling, shopping, and eating at restaurants or café, you will find different businesses selling experiences more than the services and goods they offer.
Let’s use KPOP or Korean pop music as an example. The Korean music industry and the entertainment companies that are running it are not simply selling the public and its fans music to listen to, they are selling the people experiences they can have with their favorite groups and singers. They sell their artists differently, unlike any other country, Kpop groups have so many ways of interacting with their fans. They have an official fan club, they attend music shows every week to promote their songs, they post videos on their channels and social media accounts, and most especially, they do fan meets, signings, hi-touch, and even hugging events just to personally meet their fans one by one.
They do those things to stand out from the saturated music industry. They also want to enter the western music market so they think of ways they can give new and unique experiences to their non-Korean fans. And now, Japan and China, plus many other Asian countries are trying to emulate the way Korean entertainment companies sell their music or give experiences to the fans.
But where did experience economy come from? How did it start?
The experience economy stemmed from economic value. From the 1998 book of B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, they explained that after the agrarian, industrial, and service economy comes the experience economy. It is now what the consumer demands from brands and businesses. And they were right because according to Walker, “Customer Experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020.”
On another note, if we are looking at the progression of the economic value, the experience economy started way back in 1970. There is a book published titled “Future Shock” wherein authors Alvin and Heidi Toffler discussed the “Experience Makers” saying that there is a psychological value being created by businesses for the consumers. They are valuing feelings and the consumers’ responses to the products rather than just making it for the sake of producing it and selling it to the public.
Moreover, in 1992, a German sociologist wrote a book about how people want to live nicely and experience life in the best way they can. Because of that, people act differently towards the society and when they are purchasing goods and services from businesses. The book titled, “The Experience Society”, also talked about how people will find goods and services that offer a different life experience rather than just merely serving their purpose.
Going back to the present, the experience economy is much more noticeable, especially in industries such as Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant, and Recreation.
Selling Products And Services With One-Of-A-Kind Experience
Though the phrase “the customer is always right” is not always true, when it comes to experience economy it holds its ground. Molding one’s business to accommodate customer’s taste and needs is important. Though you cannot tail every goods and service to a customer’s preference, you can always offer them something close to it.
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Experience isn’t always about personally meeting a customer and showing them things and making them experience new stuff. Sometimes, simple online transaction and presence are enough. Customers only need to feel like they are being valued and taken care of to have a wonderful experience and be satisfied with your goods and services.