The Experience Economy. Experiential Marketing. Experience Design. The term "experience" has become as ubiquitous as brand. We hear it, and use it loosely in our jargon, but what does it really mean to you and your initiatives?
The Experience is one of the few differentiating factors between products and services offered by competing companies. Technology has leveled the playing field. Companies can no longer compete on price, features and benefits, quickness to market, or even customer service, because technology allows everyone to make it cheaper, better, faster. And the Internet disseminates information at speeds that make it nearly impossible to invent something new. Your product or service can be duplicated within weeks, or even hours.
So how do you sell? The experience.
And a "good" experience is not enough. You have to create an experience that is a seamless part of the target audience's lifestyle and ego. You need to appeal to the emotional beingat a level where your message just "hits them in the right spot."
The Experience in Business to Business
Consumer product marketing has known this for years, but this is also especially true in business to business marketing. For many years in b to b, products and services were sold by features/benefits and a good salesman who could bring them to life. Many people believe it is the relationship with the salesman. While this is true, it's not the "I know you; you know me" relationship. It is the experience the customer has in the presence of the salesman. Good marketing communications emulates this experience and brings it to life in all your tacticsfrom your sales sheets to your web site and beyond.
The Experience in Internal Communications
Internal communications and training materials should be guided by experience design principles as well. Your employees are busy, and, as you already know, they do not read a manual or take a CBT without a compelling reason to do so. Make your job easier by creating an experience in your materials that energizes and involves your employees. Employees are consumers bombarded with messages almost every minute of every dayand you are competing with that. When your employee is faced with an hour of downtime after dinner, he/she is faced with a myriad choiceswatch TV, take a walk, surf the Web or read your newly released Policy Manual. How do you present the manual in a way that your employee chooses to read it?
As marketers and designers, our job is to create and strengthen the experience. Our methodology is rooted in experiential marketing which focuses on how your brand and product/service appeals to the customer's senses, feelings, thoughts, actions and relations (how people relate to the world around them). Brand in the "experience environment" goes beyond the logo to define a lifestyle for your company and how it interacts, on all fronts, with the customer.
Experience Design is a permiating philosophy that we bring to all of our engagements. To learn more about what we do and the talents we employ, please read Services.