Designing an experience is not an easy task. There are many variables, elements to keep aware of and various stages to consider. Many companies spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars trying to shift their business into the Experience Economy.
To design an experience for customers requires shifting your thinking about what a business is and the value you provide. It takes looking at the customer’s time differently. It takes thinking about designing a destination rather than a place of business.
Welcome to the ERY exercise.
ERY? What the heck is this?
ERY is a process of shifting form a key action to the place via letter adding. By applying the letters ERY in a progression, one can begin to imagine a different place of engagement. It’s not the only method, but it is a fun and engaging way to have that discussion of what could be possible.
Some of the most classic experiences follow this thinking even if it was not intentional. Take for example the last time you visited a bakery. The smells, the bakers working the dough, the ovens filled with breads and the customers scanning all the various goods.
Some bakeries provide tables to sit and enjoy your purchases, hoping that the taste and smells will make you buy more to take home. A bakery is a destination I enjoy every Saturday morning for a cup of coffee and a fresh, piping hot danish.
So how can you use this ERY process?
Let me give you an example:
Starbucks latest customer experience: An experience around roasting beans. The Roastery
Start with the verb, roast ( the act of preparing beans for use with heat)
Add an ER to the end of roast and you have Roaster (one who roasts the beans)
Now, add the Y at the end to identify a place, destination for customers to go to experience this in grand scale: Roastery
It no longer is a coffee shop or a roasting plant, but a destination for customers to spend time. Spending time is the key to an experience.
So here’s how it works Verb (the core action) + ER (those who perform that action) + Y (the place where it happens).
Take a look at your business. What is the key action you can leverage within your business? How will it evolve through the ERY process? Who will be the performers doing the action so customers can watch, participate or do themselves? Now, does adding the ERY to teh action reimagine the place? Can you make it a destination?
Now, I am not saying again that this is the best or only way to design an experience, but it does provide a unique way of looking at your business differently.
For me, I think for and with others, because I am a visual thinker and the spaces where I help others become my thinkery.
I can’t wait to hear what some of your destination places are.
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