Joseph Pine and James Gilmore noticed this thing they called the Experience Economy. They think we’ve moved beyond purchasing mere goods and services – now, we can purchase “experiences” (hence, the experience Economy). In their newest book, they blend the idea of experience with something they call Authenticity.
But Experience or the Experience Economy isn’t the only thing this notion is called – this post will introduce you to some other similar terms.
For example, when I read their book, I didn’t see much in the way of website experience. Certainly, the underlying ideas were there, but no concrete examples were given (it was written in 1999, so I’ll give them a break). That bugged me enough to write my own book about it, and I called the website version of it the Digital Experience.
Rohit Bhargava, who writes the Influential Marketing Blog, comes from a customer engagement and marketing/PR background. In his book Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity and How Great Brands Get it Back, he calls it personality. Here’s a quote from the introduction that explains what personality is:
“The theory of Personality Not Included is that personality is the answer. Personality is the key element behind your brand and what it stands for, and the story that your products tell to your customers. Every element of your business, from your interactions with your customers to the packaging of your product is an element of your brand personality, and these are the elements that inspire delight or indifference among your customers. In short, personality matters.”
Question – are you in the happiness business? Our primary product soon will be happiness… Happiness is the new capital
Four key principles of happiness:
- satisfying work to do
- experience of being good at something
- time spent with people we like
- chance to be a part of something bigger
McGonigal’s description of happiness sounds VERY similar to Pine & Gilmore’s description of experience and Bhargava’s description of a company with personality.
Ever heard of Touch Points? It’s sort of like usability … but doesn’t focus primarily on how the thing works. Instead, it focuses on the experience customers have during their interactions with the product or service or website.
See what’s going on?
It’s not quite usability (but lives there). It’s not quite marketing (but it lives there). It’s not quite design (but it lives there too). It’s not quite customer service (yep – lives there). Not quite library 2.0 (even lives there).
There’s a convergence in many different fields right now – gaming, marketing, PR, web design, customer service, etc. – that all have, as their utmost goal, providing the customer with a positive experience … an authentic experience … happiness … attracting them with personality … enchanting them … helping them “kick patootie.” (ok, my wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap upbringing just kicked in – sorry ).
Question – how are you working to enchant your users? Not just meet their information needs … but delight them? Are you providing a positive experience, and if so – how?