Enter the Experience Innovation

For decades, the most successful businesses thrived on product innovation as the natural strategy to increase revenues, market share, and loyalty. But global competition and technological diffusion mean that competitors quickly catch up with most improvements. We have to refocus our innovation efforts and enter … the experience.

Experience innovation isn’t driven by specific product features or design, but by reimagining the broader experience of how customers might use the product or service. By looking beyond the product to take a broader view of customer issues and activities around the product, companies can find new ways to address unmet needs, create talk-worthiness, and fuel differentiation.

A customer-experience map is, a bold, integrated vision for the future of your brand experience. Start with a broad and detailed exploration of the customer journey–and how it could be different. Don’t ask customers what they need, but observe how they behave and what makes them happy or sad. Then assess what people could do. Think about what they will notice, and what they will remember. Look for the big moves–can you take entire steps out of the process, change the sequence, add new value in unexpected places?

Think in terms of a portfolio approach to execution, by balancing simple changes that build momentum with longer-term investments that require more radical changes and resourcing.

On the other side, products are usually managed by one person, whereas an experience must be curated by several different owners with separate goals and metrics.

Summing-up: Experience innovation will be a crucial component for companies seeking to remain relevant and retain customer loyalty. The stakes for getting the experience right, and continually enhancing it, have never been higher.

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