It has been almost 20 years since Joseph Pine and James Gilmore introduced the business world to the idea of the “experience economy.” This idea—that audiences buy experiences over products or services—is more relevant today than it has ever been. Experience drives business and buying decisions regardless of whether you are selling to other businesses or to consumers.
Experience is your brand whether you realize it or not. The person answering the phone, the technician who fixes the glitch, the way you send an invoice, or the shelf your product is currently sitting on are all aspects of the overall brand experience and they are all working together to impact the relationship you have with your customers.
We believe people drive the experience
So, what makes a great brand experience a great experience? It isn’t the big things, but rather the small details that customers remember long after the experience has passed. We like the idea that someone else is paying attention to everything that is going on. When brands commit to this level of attention they can shape perception and cultivate the positive feelings that lead to loyalty and the creation of brand advocates.
The personalization and the human touch required to execute to this level of customer intimacy is not something that can be manufactured, process-ized or mandated. Yet, look at the American corporate landscape and it is largely based on efficiency, consistency and the belief that process will save the day. These values drove the manufacturing and serviced-based economies of the last century, but they will never be drivers of the experience economy.
But let’s face it, those old-school, command-and-control management systems still dominate companies today, even though they are in direct conflict with the independence and individual resourcefulness that is the heartbeat of any great brand experience.
Instead of focusing on the lowest common denominator through limiting and engineering-out the imperfections of a delivery system—effectively reducing the impact of the people that run the system—companies and leaders should be finding ways to empower the people that are such a huge part of delivering the experience.
Culture inspires behaviors that drive great experiences
There can only be one focus for leaders who want to create truly great brand experiences: CULTURE.
The foundations of brand culture exist in every company. But, is yours functioning with a purpose? If not, your culture should be working harder for you.
Culture should motivate, inspire and empower. It is not about control, but rather building a framework on which this organic, living, breathing thing—your brand—can grow. This isn’t about creating new things, but about cultivating the best that already exists in your company. Leadership’s job is to tend to the roots that already exist so that culture can take on a life of its own.
Culture building the Intrinzic way
So how can you codify and activate your culture to drive unforgettable and magnetic brand experiences? At Intrinzic we have 4 steps that we believe are essential to understanding, documenting, framing and directing brand culture.
Dig deep to truly understand commonalities and conflicts within your organization. Get past the rational to discover emotional drivers, both good and bad.
What is the potential of the culture? How can you paint an inspiring picture of the direction of the company?
Simply put, culture is built and fostered on what you do every day.
A culture is not static, it’s organic and will be forever growing. Tend to it, fertilize it and prune it as needed to encourage healthy growth.
Culture starts with you
Great brand culture originates from within. It has to be identified and clearly defined by the brand’s founders, leaders and dedicated employees. At Intrinzic, our process for discovering and celebrating brand culture is designed to inspire your employees, who will go on to inspire your customers. If you’d like to learn more about how your culture can serve as a North Star that informs and directs the decisions and actions of the people who work for your brand, I’d love to talk to you about it. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.