Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google, today’s consumers are more connected than ever before. It takes experience. The Internet allows them frequent and direct access to retailers, product developers and distributors, reviews, brochures and those all-important ratings from other consumers. More than ever before, consumer purchasing decisions are influenced greatly by what they see and hear about brands from their family, friends, church groups, hobby enthusiasts, consumer advocates (think Angie’s List), brand influencers and other avenues of social interaction. People love to share their experiences – whether good or bad – and are motivated to become a guiding force for others. In fact, Google encourages people to share feedback on brands by making them local guides! With all these forces and sources in play, brands — regardless of size — are under tremendous pressure to meet rising consumer expectations for quality, reliability, value and, of course, price.
Welcome to the EXPERIENCE ECONOMY!
More than 20 years ago, in an article for the Harvard Business Review, authors and thought leaders B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore coined the phrase ‘Experience Economy,’ using it to describe what at the time they saw as an emerging new economy they differentiated from services and goods. They underscored that in our time-constrained modern era, consumer buying decisions are greatly influenced by the quality of the experience they receive from a brand. In today’s digital world, the term is more relevant than ever. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that a significant factor driving consumer behavior is what other people of influence are saying about a particular brand. It’s not about one specific product or service provided the brand, but how that brand as a whole resonates with the individual consumer’s societal and cultural values.
Surviving in the EXPERIENCE ECONOMY
Today, suppliers of goods and services are all part of this experience economy. For a brand to survive, thrive and leverage the tsunami-like deluge of personalized experience, companies must evolve from their existing state to that of an ‘intelligent enterprise.’ This is accomplished through the strategic and organizational leveraging of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud and Predictive Analytics.
Companies are quickly realizing that positive, meaningful and influential experiences must be embedded into the organization’s processes and transactions, so that the flow of information is fed directly into the systems or applications use most frequently touched by consumers.
Delivering a truly holistic consumer experience involves making the internal processes intelligent enough to maintain consistency in how consumers experience brands, products and services day in and day out. Understand this: We are not talking here about accidental spikes in customer experience; Instead, we are talking about the intelligent application of science and technology in a manner that puts internal and external processes in charge of delivering that holistic brand experience.
Here’s something to think about: Since consumer decisions are based primarily on the personalized experiences of other people in their same consumer category, is it not the organization’s responsibility to ensure that processes are made intelligent enough to provide that seamless experience in a consistent manner across all channels and platforms? If so, the challenge then becomes triggering the organizational evolution from its current state to that of an Intelligent Enterprise. In future blogs, we’ll explore together that transformational journey.
Do you agree? Please let us know.
At Phoenix, we help companies become Intelligent Enterprises. Reach out to me if you wish to learn more about our services.
By: Venkat Nanduri