The new Age of Differentiation – Part 1: The Experience

There’s a new competitive strategy in town, and it’s called ‘The Experience’.

Experiences create emotional connections. If you can surround your offering with experiences, then your clients are more likely to feel engaged, and less likely to have a distant transactional view of you.

The best Experiences go beyond the familiar ‘try-before-you-buy’ or extended trial period, approaches, and are about bringing like-minded enthusiasts together, creating strong emotional connections, and fostering loyalty and advocacy.

I’ve seen it with:

  • My favourite local bike shop, arranging regular group cycle rides.
  • A specialist wine importer I know, who holds wine tasting evenings.
  • A local fabric shop, opening in the evenings to hold upholstery classes.
  • A friendly business consultant, who brings like-minded business owners together to pool experiences and share their challenges (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Your Experience will be most successful if:

  • You make it inherently fun and enjoyable.
  • You don’t let it turn into a sales pitch.
  • It’s supportive and relevant to your business (as in examples above).
  • It’s delivered personally, rather than being outsourced, say, to an events company.

And the best thing about creating Experiences is that it is extremely difficult to do impersonally, or at scale. That’s how you tackle the internet discounters, and better-known national brands; with genuine personal and community engagement.

Welcome to the age of Experience… What’s yours?

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