Memorable customer experiences are the new cornerstone for successful brand transformation

Blog by: Peter Veash

Good design has been prized by humankind since the dawn of civilisation.

Disney, Tesla and Uber are just some of today’s trailblazing brands that have placed design thinking front and centre in their organisations, and as a result continue to set the bar high for others in the market. So why is this methodology so effective?

Design thinking means thinking differently about the products and services a company provides – but it also empowers innovation and creates cultural change. Most importantly, it puts customers first and utilises constant testing and feedback to create experiences with real value.

It’s not surprising then, that design thinking is being used by more and more companies as they transform their products and put renewed focus on brand experiences. Thus, the line between products and experiences is blurring, and with good reason.

A recent study of 150+ San Francisco State University students showed that when asked about a purchase they’d made for ‘happiness’, experiences resulted in greater happiness and satisfaction than material goods. The idea that experiences can create lifelong memories (while material goods may soon lose their lustre) is one that has entered the zeitgeist in recent years, and it is clear that investing in customer experience is crucial for brands wishing to create the emotional connections that maintain loyalty long after the initial ‘buzz’ of making a new purchase has faded.

We’ve already witnessed this shift from product to experience – powered by digital – in many industries. For instance, CDs & DVDs, both physical products, have been rendered obsolete by digital products like MP3s and iTunes, which have now been trounced again by subscription streaming services like Spotify and Netflix. Even coffee isn’t immune to this breed of disruption; Nespresso has shown a similar move from coffee as product to service.

It’s official – consumers now judge brands on experiences. New opportunities offered by AI and the Internet of Things mean that brands can deliver experiences that have never been seen before. Successful modern enterprises will be those who use design thinking to transform and fulfil customers’ demand for experiences that are satisfying, seamless and memorable whether at home, at work, on the move or at play. In this way, they can become truly invaluable in consumers’ lives.

Blurring the lines between physical and digital experiences

As digital evolves, more products will transform to ensure continued success and become highly interactive and personalised, powered by AI. This will blur the line between object and experience even further, and will change the way customers consume, interact with, and experience the products. Additionally, interactions will become even faster, slicker and easier as more connections are forged: person-to-person, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine.

About Author

Peter Veash, CEO, The Bio Agency

Peter founded The BIO Agency in 2006, bringing together pure-play digital experts to create digital change. It’s quickly grown to become a major player and is now one of the UK’s most successful innovative digital agencies.

Peter champions creating innovative solutions for both consumer and B2B brands. His key strength lies in making his vision a reality by building it on a strategic understanding of consumer behaviour and desires, in order to deliver transformative new products and services. Peter features regularly in the media and has covered key Apple launches on both Bloomberg and CNN. He’s also advised the government on the future of retail.