Your Brand Must Adapt to the Experience Economy: Here’s Why

Free photos of Startup

The economy started with commodities. People would barter over fresh food at the market. Entrepreneurs saw opportunities for selling goods and started businesses. fresh market produce became processed food It wasn’t long before companies realized that we wanted ease and speed.

The first pizza delivery happened in 1889 near Naples in Italy. This began when people all over the world started looking for ways to get commodities more conveniently.

Things have moved on since the 19th century. An example of this would be the recent increase in demand for food delivery services. Companies like Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and JustEat have based their entire business model around the fact that people want food delivered to them, providing a digital solution that makes these services even more accessible. And that’s when it happened.

Everyone needs commodities. But not everyone was prepared to wait for them. Since businesses have been around for over 100 years, they have had time to evolve and learn how to provide customers with quick and easy access to commodities. The consumerism culture is nearing its end.

People didn’t just want things anymore. They were spending more money on services than they were on physical goods. The current economic value is based on staged experiences, which are different from the traditional values. In order for brands to compete, they needed to begin providing their customers with a more memorable experience.

People started to prefer having experiences over owning things. It was born of our anxiety and uncertainty The experience economy became popular because people were anxious and uncertain, not because they wanted excitement. We longed for more time, more memories, and an easier life. The experience economy derived from The American Dream.

What is the Experience Economy?

Society started with an Agrarian economy. We harvested, mined, and traded raw materials. The economy has been driven by the supply and demand of commodities for thousands of years. The Industrial Revolution changed the way we used commodities. We began to use them to manufacture goods that we were willing to pay more for.

Soon after, the Service economy took off.

To better grasp the concept, let us examine the evolution of pizza. We started out buying things like flour and tomatoes (commodities), then progressed to buying things like oven-ready pizza dough and canned tomato sauce (goods), and finally started just calling a local restaurant to get a pizza delivered to our doorstep (services). Each time, we were willing to pay more.

Pine and Gilmore coined the term “Experience Economy” in their 1998 article. They noticed the new trend early on, before it became the driving force behind all our decisions. The authors argue that experiences are the fourth economic offering, after physical goods, services, and ideas. They note that experiences are increasingly desired by consumers, and that businesses are responding by explicitly designing and promoting them.

They were not wrong.

We are more willing to travel to Naples today to taste the authentic stonebaked pizza Napoletana in a rustic local pizza place than ever before. More importantly, we are willing to pay for it.

While other economic offerings may be external to our existence, experiences are personal by nature. These only exist in an individual’s mind and affect him or her physically, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually. Experiences are unique by default and can be priceless to many of us.

Why the Shift in Consumer Behavior?

Indeed, why the sudden obsession with experiences?

Why the need for a deeper connection?

What changed?

1. Economic Hardship of the Millennial Generation

The phrase “experience economy” has become increasingly popular in recent years to describe our current moment in history, in large part due to the fact that Millennials have become such a dominant force in the marketplace. Research has shown that Millennials are more likely to spend money on experiences than previous generations, which is helping to drive the trend.

One reason this behavior has changed is because of a combination of stagnant wages, the 2008 crash, and the increasing cost of education. Millennials are the first generation in modern history to have a lower standard of living than their parents. As a result of these advancements, new trends have emerged, such as the sharing economy, the rent-not-buy approach, and the popularity of the minimalist lifestyle.

In the past, people could assess the quality of their lives based on the possessions they had (e.g. a house or a car). The way millennials have coped with the economic situation is by judging the quality of their lives based on the quality of experiences.

2. Social Media and FOMO

It’s popular to think that the growing trend of people using social media on the go is linked to the rise of the Experience Economy. Social media culture makes it possible for us to share how great our lives are with anyone and everyone. Some people think that this trend encourages people to spend more money to keep up with others.

Eventbrite found that 70% of millennials have FOMO, which is anxiety often caused by social media. This drives them to want more experiences.

3. Time Poverty, Peak Stuff and Attention Economy

Investigate the origins of the Experience economy, you will probably find ideas about time poverty, peak stuff, and attention economy. Although there is no scientific evidence to support these concepts, they are still a large part of the “hunger for experience” debates.

The premise of time poverty is that people in modern societies have very little time. Therefore they care more about how they spend it. An article in the Financial Review has noted the rise of experience-driven business models due to time poverty in Japan affecting the leisure industry.

An IKEA executive speculated in 2016 that the change in spending habits could be due to the Western world finally reaching its “peak stuff” moment. The claim that people are spending more on services and experiences than goods drew the attention of major publications such as The Independent, The Times, and The Guardian. These publications noted the shift in spending habits and its consequences for the world economy.

An argument for attention is that individuals are competing for attention. In 1971, a valued economist and psychologist Herbert A. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” In other words, too much information leads to people not being able to focus on any of it, which is why it’s important to be selective about what information you take in. With so much information available, it is difficult to pay attention to all of it. Therefore, it is necessary to be efficient in choosing which sources of information to pay attention to.

The premise is simple. If someone’s attention is wasted on negative or unremarkable experiences, it is unforgivable.

Why Should You Care?

Although you cannot charm your potential customers in person, it is even more important to provide a good customer experience.

Even if your product is high quality, you may not be successful in the experience economy. There are many businesses on the web that sell the same products and services and compete for the attention of the same target audience. Many of them disappear before anyone notices they existed.

How can you stand out?

Making decisions is no longer limited to the price. The fact that something is the cheapest option is not as significant as it used to be. Digital delivery also gives consumers a lot of choice and the ability to easily switch brands.

The question is:

Why should anyone pay attention to you?

The reality is that consumers demand goods, answers, services – immediately. Furthermore, they believe that the experience and personal connection will make the offer more attractive.

In this context, experiences are made up of multiple touchpoints, exposures, and interactions that a consumer has with a company/brand and its product/service, as well as employees and market messages distributed across multiple channels over the entire duration of the relationship. According to Jenny Sussin, vice president at Gartner, “A superior CX (customer experience) is one of the few remaining means of sustainable competitive differentiation.”The silver lining?

An experience that is both interesting and long-lasting will create a strong emotional connection to the brand. It can dictate future buying behaviors and inspire customer loyalty, which is more important. Are your customers emotionally connected to your brand? If so, they are less likely to listen to your competitors. This means that if your competitors are not focusing on customer experience, it will be easier for you to take their customers, even if your prices are higher.

How to build memorable experiences for your audience

Creating experiences is not a new concept. Theme parks, cinemas, music venues, and other businesses have long relies on people’s desire to create lasting memories. Brands are learning how to be more like people.

There is a growing trend of brands using experiential marketing to connect with consumers, creating an immersive experience that engages the senses. This is part of a larger trend of businesses focusing on the experience economy, where the focus is on creating memorable experiences for customers. Businesses are trying out different things like cat cafés, secret menus, and fun retail displays that give customers an immersive experience.

Experiential marketing campaigns that include live events have been shown to be successful. Global brands are sponsoring festivals, sporting events and venues. Some businesses, such as LUSH Cosmetics, put on their own annual events to show off new products to hundreds of customers. Trade shows are a great opportunity for companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors to engage new audiences.

Probably, you would agree that your business should provide experiences, even if you don’t have the space to do so. You have to put in the work and effort to succeed. If you want to have a stronger customer base and make more money, you have to work hard and put in the effort. Here are some ideas to help you build memorable experiences for your audience:

Host interactive games or competitions

This will help you get noticed. If you want people to interact with you, give them a good reason to do so. Make sure they remember the experience by creating something memorable. Interactive games and competitions that get teams working together can be hosted at pop up shops and trade shows. These events can create memories and winning prizes.

Why wouldn’t someone wander over to see what is going on? You can encourage social shares by running a photo competition. If the prize is good enough people will be eager to get involved, it’s down to you to make sure that they remember the experience.

Photo opportunities

This article has taught you that you don’t need a lot of money to take advantage of the experience economy. People are just as likely to interact with your brand if you provide photo opportunities as you are if you provide games or competitions.

You can create photo opportunities with:

Why do these photo opportunities work? People would rather spend their money on experiences than on material possessions. Despite the constant sharing of their lives on social media, people still want others to know how exciting their lives are. People don’t want to share photos of their breakfast from a local greasy spoon because they’re not worth taking pictures of. If you are offering something that appeals to millennials, then you have access to a very large group of people in that age range.

Element of surprise

The most successful experiences offered by brands have contained an element of surprise. People enjoy unexpected experiences, like the barber shop experience by Gillette or the secret menus by Samsung.

It’s even better if you can make the secretive element part of the experience. There are secret doors that lead to cocktail bars all around London. This one-of-a-kind opportunity is a major draw for visitors from all over the United Kingdom, as well as tourists from around the world. Google will help you find opportunities to turn your business into a new experience.

There’s a lot to consider and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. As long as you think about it rationally, you can plan a memorable experience for your customers. Many brands are already taking advantage of this.

People don’t want to buy things anymore. You will need to offer potential customers an experience with your brand if you want them to use it. It is now evident that social media has demonstrated that happiness is derived from experiences and recollections instead of from materialistic items.

You need to offer your customers a lasting relationship. This means more than just offering them goods and services.


Your sales have stagnated or decreased, and you can’t figure out why. Discover what’s holding you back from achieving predictable sales growth in your business.

If you want to grow your business, you need a proven plan and framework. That’s what you get with the 2X Your Sales Discovery Session.

Want to learn about a formula for Predictable Growth that will put your business on a 90-day path to 2X Your Sales?

Join our 90-minute one-on-one virtual workshop.