BY B. JOSEPH PINE II & JAMES H. GILMORE
The big lesson readers will take away from this book is to have a passion for what they do and be willing to look at their industry with a broader, more open mind. The book teaches readers that by customizing each part of a customer experience, a product or service increases in value. Using key points from theater and stage, the book teaches readers how to make each step in the customer experience a bit like a mini-performance. The Experience Economy is the new state of the business marketing and readers will learn how to turn their product or service into an experience instead of just another commodity.
The authors describe their concept as “Companies stage meaningful events to engage customers in a memorable and personal way."
The Experience Economy isn't just about adding value; it's about transformation. The example of how the Rawlings company transformed baseball is a good way for readers to understand this game-changing concept. For a company that is the exclusive baseball manufacturer to the Major Leagues, the thought of improving upon a seemingly perfect product seems like a waste of time. But Rawlings realized that most of its customers aren't Major League players, they are people who enjoy baseball and a good game of catch.
By rethinking the simple baseball, and the customers who buy it, Rawlings designed a baseball called the ”radar ball.” Using simple information technology, they created a baseball with a microchip that digitally shows how fast the ball is thrown after each throw. The result is a fun, inexpensive alternative to costly radar guns. But more importantly, Rawlings found a way to increase social interaction, taking a game of catch to a different level and creating a different experience.
Readers will learn the principles used in successful transformations, such as Rawling's, and learn to create their own product transformations. Using the four tenets of theater, the book teaches readers how theatrical principles apply to the business world to create new and different experiences.
Platform Theater — The most traditional type of theater, Platform Theater is typically a staged performance with a set script. In the business world, this would work well in presentations and advertising to create a specific experience.
Street Theater — Think of mimes and jugglers. The script stays the same, but the audience is constantly changing. This type of theater brings the experience of excitement to product launches, public meetings, and any other venue where the goal is to create some buzz.
Matching Theater — Television shows and movies are shot at different times and in different locations and then edited to form a consistent presentation with a common theme. Successful customer experiences require that same consistency from each department and each person they interact with in a company.
Improv Theater — Just like an unrehearsed comedy sketch, Improv Theater is all about “winging it” while performing for an interactive audience. Creative meetings, telephone interviews, and other similar situations in business require this quick thinking to keep the customer experience consistent.
In the competitive world of commodities, a good product and good service just don't cut it anymore. Readers of this book will learn how to stand out in a crowded marketplace by focusing on the customer experience and bringing out their inner showmanship.