Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Design customer experience

Strategically based design is how you bake in experiences people really care about. A well-designed customer experience is the main event in defining how worthy your proposition is of the love (devotion) customers bestow on your brand.  Think of it this way, if your brand were no longer in existence, would it matter to anyone?
It is no longer enough to “exceed customer expectations” with product / service, quality and price. In the idea economy, those attributes are now the ante. To thrive in this new epoch we find ourselves in, enlightened marketers are shifting their focus from counting transactions to creating scintillating, dramatic, novel, relevant, transformative customer experiences.
More than facts, process management and functional product or service attributes, value creation is a designed based discipline of creating an episode, an encounter, an adventure, a perception, and a sense that there is greater use value in the experience than in the goods themselves. In leading companies, design is a strategic business imperative, not a decorative act. More than designing artifacts, innovation-driven companies use design as an integrated discipline for creating experiences people love. Experiences are somewhat metaphysical. Enlightened marketers know this, and design the experience to be emotionally rich. Harley Davidson does not sell motorcycles, Starbucks does not sell coffee, and Herman Miller does not sell office chairs.
Remarkable brands have a metaphysical presence and deep emotional connection with their customers. They really matter! Strategically based design is the why behind the what.
And let’s remember that small companies can be remarkable companies too. Value creation is an idea that transcends size and scale.  Starbucks is a perfect example how their bigness almost killed their greatness. How remarkable the experiences customers have engaging with your brand, determines how much you matter. Right now, not many people care that much about Chrysler. Do people care about Honda? Probably.
We’re at the dawn of a new economic age, one driven by ideas, not rigid process. The shake-out in our current economy is proof enough that “creative destruction” is a firestorm clearing the way for more innovation in serving people and being of great value to them in their daily lives.  If your value proposition is not of great value to people, it will not be rewarded with a future. This is as it should be.

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