Gone are the days that we had to ride our horses for hours to come to the next village where the local craftsman would sell me a saddle. I buy the complete horse online today. In a high speed, technologically fast developing world, people are looking for comfort they are used to, and for the lowest possible price.
Is it that easy? Many companies thought it would be. But as Dan Hill already stated: “When you deal in commodities, there will always be a competitor offering a lower price”. Simply focussing on price is a must-fail strategy unless, if you are still there, you want to be gone in the next few months or years to come.
How about product? If my product is good and I ask a fair price for it, can I conquer the world in such a way? The answer is ‘no’. Even though a good product and a fair price is inevitable, and forms a great base, the third element is unfortunately practically always missing.
THE MISSING THIRD COMPONENT
When I say third component, I don’t mean some sort of process, a trick or a solution that can be scripted. I mean an experience that will long last in our memories. Take for example the young waiter who brings me my coffee in the local coffee shop. If the coffee is cold I’ll give it back to him right away. If the price for the coffee is $9,50 I’ll give it back to him too. But if the coffee is nice and hot and a fair price is being asked, I will drink it. Will I come back the next day? Not necesarily. Why not? Because I didn’t feel anything.
Especially in this fast moving, automized, technological environment we live in today, the value of addressing the part of our brain that is first and for all responsible for any buying behaviour is well underestimated. The emotional brain responds to feelings created around a price and around the product. If the young waiter in this story was to address this section of my brain by putting some authentic emotion into the sale, I might be moved and triggered to come back again. People are unlikely to admit to the fact that we crave human interaction these days. Yet, it’s the human factor that can turn an ordinary sale into an experience. It’s people that make or break the experience.
EXPERIENCE IS THE MAIN LOYALTY DRIVER
Sure enough there are many examples of companies who do great in this era. Is it because they have unique products for the best price or is there something else at stake here? Is Apple really the only computer company in the world, and does Starbucks serve you the best coffee you ever drank? I don’t think so. How come people are loyal to these brands and are not loyal to so many others? How come you are loyal to a person or a local football club? Is it because they have the cheapest tickets available, do they win every match? Of course not. You are loyal to them because your emotional brain gets triggered in a way that steers into loyalty beyond reason. And as you might have heard before somewhere: Not product or price but experience is the main loyalty driver in the human world.
So what are you waiting for? Think reverse instead of spending effortless time and money on only reinventing the wheel, downsizing to cut your short-term-vision costs. Start making a difference. Think about desired experience first. And empower your people via leadership, to contribute any way possible to create such an experience via their genuine behavior. Turn your business into a memorable experience too. Have you got any examples of companies that are leading this experience-economy? Let us know about it!
Want to hear more? Take a look our 90-second Reverse Thinking & Engineering movie!