Experience is the product in every company

In the age of experience driven economy, experience is the product and experience designers are the architects of the world.


2 minute read

Experience is the product in every company

The age of experience

Until 1990s, consumers spent most of their money on products, on things.

A colossal shift to spending on services has been happening since then.

We are now living in the age of the experience.

The experience is valued more and people are willing to spend huge sums of money on this ever-growing market.

People spend their money on different types of experiences including travel, entertainment, software, outings, food, wellbeing and many others.

Why experiences matter

The reason why experiences matter is psychological in nature.

As humans, we tend to remember emotional moments in our lives the most.

Our egos get boosted by receiving a personalised service from a company.

A service that takes care of who we are.

Experiences help reinforce or augment our identity.

Experiences remind us that we matter.

Experiences make us feel worthy and get us seen by other people.

Experiences make us feel special.

In fact, a Cambridge professor once said: 'Life is just an experience.'

Our entire lives get defined by experiences we have day to day, moment to moment.

By our memories.

The role of UX Design in experience economy

UX Designers are only kinds of designers who understand the above truth.

They understand that the most nebulous, intangible emotion can account for highest value.

Take for example teddy bears from Build A Bear workshop.

The end product is a teddy bear.

In practical, mechanical terms, it is exactly the same teddy as most others.

The major difference is that the child took part in the making of their own unique bear.

One of a kind.

It even has a beating heart which the child made a special wish into.

And that wish got sewn into their own, unique bear, which ended up having its own birth certificate and name too.

Build A Bear sold a child an experience, meaning and memory.

Other companies sold the child a fluffy toy, like many other children have.

Build A Bear gave the child a friend for life.

Other companies sold the child another thing that clutters the room.

Build A Bear teddy cost £35+, other teddies cost £5+.

This is the value of experience as the product.

This is what humans value the most and what they will part with their money for with a smile on their face.

We post-rationalise our reasons for buying

We buy based on emotion and post-rationalise a reason for why we need a thing or a service.

We sense pain in the back and we post-rationalise that we need a massage.

While we are at it, we post-rationalise that we need a regular massage therapist.

If the massage therapist sells us an experience, we are happy to subscribe to it as a regular service.

An experiential massage will cost a lot more and get used a lot more than non experiential one.

Experience leads the buying decision and logic serves to explain why the heart wants it.

This is why Steve Jobs spoke about the notion of 'Start from the experience and work your way back into technology.'

The role of UX Designers is there to ensure that experience is the product.

To ensure that experience is always preserved as the forefront of all services.

And that all technologies work in the service of delivering great experience.

Once a person and company starts thinking this way, everything becomes much easier.

Both for customers as well as for companies.

Next time you start designing anything, remember that Experience is the product.

Published on: 20 Nov 2019

Access UX Coach free now

Learn all about UX Design. Get access to a 15 min free coaching session (worth £150) with world class UX Designer Jason Grant.