The Experience Economy in the Context of Design to Production Process Chains
Today’s consumers expect to feel personally and emotionally addressed by products and services, and digitalization can confirm that expectation. In this article we outline the challenges that the so-called experience economy holds for manufacturing.
The term experience economy sounds very modern, but it actually dates back to the late 1990s. In a 1998 article for the Harvard Business Review, authors Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore suggested that product features per se are less and less decisive for consumers and customers, and that as a consequence they are not necessarily prepared to pay higher prices for supposed differences in product characteristics.
Sentimental rather than rational choices: Experience as a motivator for purchasing decisions
Instead, say the authors, the chief distinguishing aspect is whether a customer associates positive personal experiences with a product, a service, or a combination of the two.
In principle, this means that product perceptions, previously related merely to specific but dispassionate services, are changing in favor of true emotion. Thus, people will only become satisfied, loyal customers if one can truly touch their hearts and minds.
Numerous companies have successfully followed this idea. One renowned example is Starbucks. The company’s founder, Howard Schultz, wanted to offer customers an overall experience, staging the numerous coffee variations against elegantly designed interiors and just the right background music. Anybody can brew a cup of coffee. Starbucks, however, gets to its customers at an emotional level.
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