The Strategy of Experience

by Paul Williams

The Strategy of ExperienceWhen someone says they have had a good or a bad experience – whether they’re talking about their summer holiday, buying online from Amazon, or grabbing a latte at their favorite coffee shop – they are referring to the overall impression delivered via multiple qualities.

“Experience” isn’t one single thing… It’s a combination of qualities. This is what allows companies – when something may go wrong with one aspect – that the entire experience isn’t ruined.

The writing team behind the book Subject to Change: Creating Great Products and Services for an Uncertain World spell out the following qualities.

Motivations – What piques their interest about the offering and their own “what’s in it for me?”

Expectations – You thought it would be easier. You expected the air freshener to work for a longer period. You’re surprised at how quiet your new car is.

Perceptions – Does your product make me look more hip? Taste better than the other burger place? Make me smell better? Improve the way my iPod sounds?

Abilities – I can stuff and build my own teddy bear at Build-A-Bear Workshop!

Flow – How customers engage with your offerings over time. Is the experience consistent? Do you keep surprising me? Surprises can be good or bad.

Culture – How closely do the values of the company match with yours? As much as you may like hot wings, you find the overtly sexual women at Hooter’s intolerable. You only eat burger’s made from grass fed beef.

When crafting products or services, new programs, or examining the culture of your organization consider these six qualities and be sure you’re considering each.


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Paul WilliamsPaul Williams is a professional problem solver at Idea Sandbox. He can help you create remarkable ideas to grow your business. You may read more at his website and find him Twittering as @IdeaSandbox.

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