The Experience Economy

written by Melina

The experience economy is not a new concept, but increasingly brands are capitalizing on this trend to deliver more than just goods and services to their customers: They’re now creating memories via participatory events, targeted consumer activity and experiences which live both on and off line.

The opportunity is mutually beneficial; such events facilitate long-term brand loyalty and customers increasingly seek to connect with more than just a company’s products. Digital natives are the most active group within this area, with a renewed focus on having experiences, not just things. Experiences are critical to connecting with consumers, especially those who have larger disposable incomes.

But how can brands benefit from the experience economy?

Brands need to be clear what they stand for

What do they want customers to feel when they interact with their products or services?  Define that, then show it to customers through products, events, and advertising. Benefit Cosmetics are a great example of this. They create experiences around their products, aimed at making their customers feel fabulous and glamorous.  Through the use of character staff and brand ambassadors they take their products to their customers, creating experiences that their target market has an affiliation with.

Find Ways to Connect with the Target Audience

Gone are the days when brands could just hand out free samples of products and expect consumers to then purchase. Brands need to connect with their target audience in a way that appeals to them. From creating a pop-up experience to showcasing products, through to using social media to create a loyal community or share a campaign – the connection needs to work for that audience.  This is demonstrated in the work Not on the High Street are currently doing. Taking their online business offline in the form of workshops and creative sessions, where their target consumers can participate and meet some of their etailers in real life. This strategy appeals to this audience and the products they are interested in buying, whilst not taking away from the fact that NOTHS is still an online business.

Individual Experiences

Consumers hate to feel stereotyped, they are seeking individual experiences. It’s essential that brands realise this and talk to their target audience as individuals – so that everyone takes away their own personal experience, which they are then more likely to share with others – creating longer lasting brand fans.

Now, more than ever, if brands can get it right, they can really take advantage of the experience economy.