Creating a Real real business

Ok, so I can admit it.  I am a self-proclaimed nerd; I love the exhilaration of meeting new people, experiencing new places and going on adventures.  Yet my usual world traveling, backpacking, white-water rafting self is now a college student who works full-time, and is lacking in discretionary income.  So this year I made a resolution to go on a new kind of adventure, an adventure in reading.

My favorite books are non-fiction and I have vowed to read at least one book a month, having thus far being successful with no intent of failing.  The two most recent books I have read are Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson and Onward by Howard Schultz,  (Like I said I am a nerd, I plan on reading the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in July) and in reading both of these books I have realized a similarity.

In both cases, Steve and Howard, were formerly the CEO of their companies and for whatever reason stopped being the CEO, then years later made dramatic comebacks to help revive their failing companies.  Now, in school, we talk about them as if they are business gods and speak of them in nearly every business, marketing, and operations class I have taken at DePaul.  But what exactly was the knowledge that these men had to bring their respective companies back into complete success?

Finally, just today while watching a video entitled “Joseph Pine on what consumers want” on I felt the enlightenment of this intellectual insight; it was that both focused their companies on rendering an authentic experience to their customers.  True, yes, both men strived to have a quality product that consumers desired, and that they through of themselves as a service industry company focusing on people, but even more so they focused on the customer experience.

Steve Jobs wanted each of his customers to build a relationship with their Apple product from the moment they purchased it.  He created the Apple Stores as an esthetically desirable retail outlet that enthralls anyone who walks in.  To visit the store is an experience; from the shirts the staff is wearing to the music that you hear.  Even the event of purchasing the MacBook, iPod, iPhone, or iPad and having the staff check you out on an Apple product is an experience!  I know I was on an adrenaline high after buying my first MacBook just nine months ago.  Steve continued the experiences of arising emotional responses from people on a daily basis when people use their Apple product; even the corporeal click of plugging in a MacBook to be charged, renders the authenticity of the usage experience.

Howard Shultz wanted each of his customers to have an experience from the moment they walked into the store.  One of the most angering items that he immediately addressed when returning to CEO position was to have freshly ground coffee in the store, and the removal of all breakfast sandwiches, what was the beautiful aroma of coffee could be the first sensorial experience that the customer has.  In addition, his building of the mass-customization of all drinks, from coffee to tea, helps his partners (with are employees) to create a relationship with the customer, while allowing the customer to render their own authentic drink.

Do you think that there will ever be a new marketing era that will surpass an experiential economic output?  Will there ever be a differentiation strategy that is more influential than those created by these two iconic CEO’s?  After watching the Ted video (link below), what other companies do you think offer an experience that both IS true of itself and IS what it says it is?

“Joseph Pine on what consumers want”

4 thoughts on “Creating a Real real business

  1. I really liked the Ted video, especially the point Joseph Pine made towards the end about Starbucks: it costs only a few cents for coffee beans, we buy it from the grocery store for a few dollars, we’re willing to pay up to $1.50 for a cup of brewed coffee, and up to $5 from a place like Starbucks which incorporates the experience. There are many companies who offer an experience, such as Nordstrom and The Ritz-Carlton. Not only is Nordstrom an amazing place to shop, but the employees are empowered to do just about anything to satisfy the shopper. Nordstrom is willing to exchange or return an item without a receipt and years after it’s been purchased. A classmate, who frequently shops at Nordstrom, told me that last winter, a shoe salesman noticed that her Uggs had leaked. He went into the back, got her a brand new pair of Uggs, and threw away the ones that she was wearing. No questions asked and for free. Not every company can afford to do this and others will never want to provide such services to their loyal customers. I think there are several companies who do this, but they are high profit generating companies who can afford such spectacular customer service that to spend a few grand a day to retain customers is chump change for them. So to answer your first question: No, I don’t think there will ever be a new marketing era that will surpass an experiential economic output because not every company is willing to get on board with it; it’s too costly.

  2. Marketing is all about giving consumers the experience they want by offering the right combination of product (and we can include the store under “product”) attributes. With that in mind, I don’t think it will ever cease being “experience oriented”. What will change, though, are the attributes that comprise products. As new attributes are developed that more completely achieve the desired experience, older attributes will fall by the wayside.

  3. I think the next step is holographic marketing. Imagine a holographic advertisement for Coca-Cola in Times Square. Although holographic marketing isn’t new, it’s still (what I believe to be) the next step in marketing. It will increase the customer’s experience even more so because it’s 3-D.

  4. The TED video really gave me some great insight on how consumers wants have developed. When Joseph Pine was going through some of them I couldn’t have agreed more. Some companies which are true to itself and to what it is says it is, are many of the restaurants in my opinion (especially ones like Olive Garden, Chili’s, and Outback). It is vital for these restaurants to give the experience they say they will on advertisement, or else no one would probably go there. I think it is hard for a company to be successful nowadays if they do not come up with a good way to give their customers the desired experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *