Creating better consumer experiences starts with the realization that everything is an experience. What we need is to qualify what kind of experience, and through which channel, we are looking to design.
The majority of ‘experiences’ are actually ordinary parts of our daily lives. What differentiates great experiences is expectation. Take for example how FinTechs accelerated a shift in the banking industry by transforming an experience that we expected to be slow and bureaucratic, into something we can solve with a few clicks in an app; it became a great service experience. Or how Apple introduced its now-famous iPhone packaging, transforming what we expected to be an ordinary package into a great unboxing experience, leaving us with a higher perceived value of the iPhone – to the point where we even keep the box for no real reason.
A good starting point, to qualify the experience you want to create, is your brand; what kind of emotions do your consumers associate with your brand and how can you elevate them? Another is jobs to be done and elements of value. Do you want to create an experience that reduces effort, in one extreme, or that provides hope, in another?
As great consumer experiences are about expectations, remember that if you try to delight without meeting the basics of consumer expectations, your experience will backfire: no one cares about a chocolate under the pillow if the sheets are stained.
Finally, don’t stop calling your products “products”, your stores “stores” or your services “services” only to start calling them “experiences”. They already are experiences: good or bad, ordinary or unexpected.