Monday, April 6, 2015

Brands, Services and Experiences

In developed nations in which citizens have almost every creature comfort and material possession, additional “things” often do not make people any happier. Increasingly, people are paying for services and experiences rather than products or for products that are delivered with unique services or experiences. Products tend to be tangible things that can be owned and that will last for many uses. Services and experiences generally cease to exist after their delivery except in the memory or as captured in a photographic image.

According to Robert Kuttner, “Our workforce has gone from 28 percent factory workers and 72 percent service workers in 1978 to 14 percent factory workers and 86 percent service workers today (2012).”

Examples of services/experiences are spa visits, massages, balloon rides, amusement parks, concerts, wine tastings, spiritual retreats, personal concierge services, personal trainers, miniature golf and botanical gardens. Examples of products wrapped in services/experiences are Build-A-Bear, unique dining experiences, upscale hotels with upscale services (Ritz-Carlton’s “Ladies and Gentlemen Servicing Ladies and Gentlemen”), dry cleaning that is picked up and dropped off at your house and valet parking.

Experiences tend to stimulate one or more of your senses for some period of time and often create fond memories. Services usually make your life easier or more pleasant.

The point of this post is that increasingly brands are about services and experiences as much as they are about products.  So you must design, monitor and actively manage the service or experience that your brand is delivering.

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