Listening to futurist and digital technology expert Chris Riddell’s keynote this morning about society moving from a revolution of technology to a revolution of experience, reaffirmed for me the importance of businesses applying a customer focus rather than a product focus when it comes to their marketing.
People don’t buy products, they buy an experience.
Business has never been about the product or the service; it’s about how the product or service will make the consumer’s life better in some way; how it will make them look, feel or live better.
People are looking for more meaningful experiences. Leaving a chocolate on the pillow of a hotel bed, creating mood lighting in a restaurant, upgrading an aeroplane traveller from standard seating to business class, placing a jelly frog in the envelope containing an invoice, placing a silk blouse upon a bed of scented tissue paper in a plain black box and offering an exclusive “behind the scenes” tour, are all examples of businesses giving their customers an experience and not just selling them a product.
In addition to wanting an experience, people also want to be treated as individuals. People want more tailored solutions, flexibility and convenience. In the retail environment, for example, there is growing demand for mobile retailing, faster retailing and experience retailing. A customer loyalty program, with varying levels of membership and corresponding levels of benefit, is an example of responding to consumers’ desire for individuality.
So, how do you respond to the age of personalisation? By putting your customer, rather than the product, front and centre when it comes to every business decision.