The Experience Economy was written by B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. I read the 2011 revised edition. Their basic theme is that relying on the production of goods and the delivery of services are no longer enough to foster economic growth, create new jobs, grow businesses and maintain economic prosperity. They say we live in a commoditized world and the staging of experiences that lead to transformations must be pursued. My word for transformations is results.
While I do not think the likes of manufacturing companies, engineering firms and marketing firms will disappear any time soon, there is always something to be learned.
Takeaways for the Small Business Owner
Many people and companies want to transform themselves. A healthcare patient wants to go from sick to well, not just have medical services performed. A business may want growth or increased profits, not just programs, advice and education. What types of transformations (results) do your products and services provide? How is this revealed in your marketing message and business practices? The authors stated “with transformations, the customer is the product”. Products and services are simply tools to be used.
The authors also noted that customization is key. Each customer and their transformation desires are unique. Therefore, products and services should be customized to meet those unique needs.
Businesses that transform should consider at least some of their fee being based upon the demonstrated outcome, transformation or result. However, if a business is going to take this approach, then more customer vetting may be required since the results are also dependent on the actions of the customer.
I have used this approach from time to time. Attributes that I review include the type & size of the business, length of time in business, how long we have known each other and general reputation. It really boils down to trusting each other.
When you contact me, please let me know that you read this blog post. That will tell me a lot about your desire to find a small business growth and consulting firm that is a good fit for your company and the research you performed.