Say hello to the Experience Age
It’s not really anything new. It has actually been around for a while now – the age where we as consumers look beyond aesthetic products or practical services and expect an experience where we can interact and is some cases even influence the brand we choose to engage with. We, the consumers, have long moved away from being content with brands presenting us with features and benefits and it is time that we as marketers do the same. Say goodbye to the Information Age and hello to the Experience Age.
Mike Wadhera writes on Tech Crunch that in the Information age our identities are the sum of our accumulated profile information while we now, in the Experience age, are the sum of our experiences, online and offline integrated. New technology have made it possible for brands to evolve from building customer profiles and push out targeted information to building a more authentic relationship with consumers based on joint experiences and interests.
Think about it, as consumers we are tired of all the information that is moving around us. It’s like a summer storm of content, benefits and features that never seems to end. We love to be in charge, having the power to make the right choices based on our needs and desires. But admit it, we also emotionally connect with brands that make this information gathering more of a hassle-free walk in the park than a mud filled maze that gets more complicated the more you move. We love brands that make our lives easier and I believe we stay loyal to the once that deliver a friction free experience that not only resolves a problem but enriches our life’s.
Experiences are born from collaboration
So how do we create these experiences that consumers now expect from us to stay top of their minds? Well first I believe we need to change our mindset of where experiences are born. It does not come from one department, role or person as icing on the cake (read: products), they are born from people, teams and departments within an organization working together towards a common vision, with a clear purpose. Unique brand experiences that drives consumer value, engagement and loyalty can only come from collaboration, consumer insights and experience evolved and built over time.
Many brands have understood this. Look at Tesla, Uber and Snapchat, all who are experience age natives, and how they form their products and services around the experience. Experience, products and services are one. But also more traditional brands such as Volvo, Nespresso and Adobe have understood the need to change their business model where the customer experience is at the hart of everything they do.
I believe ongoing consumer insights gathering, agile collaboration and a clear purpose are key building blocks to create extraordinary customer experience in the Experience Age. They are all there, they just needs to be put together for your brand. Simple but not easy.
It is for sure an exciting time to be a marketer!