Living on the Grid: Experience Focus

Hello, thanks for reading “Living on the Grid” series This is the fourth in a series of 2×2 grids to help explain or demonstrate concepts from the world of business..

In this edition, I wanted to look at emotional memory. Recently, I have been doing some research on emotional triggers and memory. I began exploring how emotions can focus an experience being created. Can you shape a staged experience on the idea of a single emotion. I was surprised at some of the possibilities.

In the diagram below, I wanted to explore the the various possibilities between an emotion as a key design element and the focus of the timeframe for the memory. I realize this is a simple mix, and the possibilities of other emotions is expansive, yet this simple 2×2 was the start of an idea of which I will expand on later.

In the vertical axis, I identify time tense as on key attribute. The range of time is from past to future given the experience is in the present. Along the horizontal axis the focus is on two polar emotions being Sadness and Happiness. Happiness is the easier of the two emotions, but sadness does have its examples and can create some very dynamic experiences.

Looking to happiness first, across the time bar, we can determine if the emotion being staged if drawn from the past or is creating one for the future. Sort of the idea of made versus make on the memory scale. In the idea of past happiness, we look to revivals of better times. Disney designed its entrance places around the look of olde time town square. A memory of wholesomeness and innocence.

In the same emotion, a designer can stage an experience where the idea of making happy memories is the key design element. Take maker labs as an example. Groups come together to create or make both something to show, but also memories. National Parks are also places to create happy memories that can be shared through photos.

Okay, now sadness. Who would ever design something that evokes sadness intentionally. Well, in reflection of past tragedies or hardship we create memorials . Look at the lights of the twin towers in New York, or the Holocaust Museum in DC. These were experiences that leveraged the past emotion of sadness and sorrow to stage a commemorative experience in the Esthetic realm of experiences.

Okay, but what about the future? How does sadness play in the future for experience design. Imagine a Science Fiction based-themed apocalyptic world were zombies where you must escape or be eaten alive. Laser tag sport arenas and online gaming thrive in this combination of future sadness. Sure the outcome may be that of happiness, but the initial premise is Future sadness.

I hope this sparks some thinking on your next experience design project and I would enjoy hearing how you mixed time and emotion as part of your experience.

If you enjoy this article or this series concept, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your feedback and possible ideas for upcoming 2×2 grids.

Until next we chat, this is Living on the Grid.

Living on the Grid: Spending Time

Hello, thanks for reading “Living on the Grid” series This is the third in a series of 2×2 grids to help explain or demonstrate concepts from the world of business..

In this edition, I wanted to look at time spent and the perceived value. In numerous conversations around value or an experience with various experience stagers and business consultants, a common idea kept emerging from these discussion. The idea of price versus value from the time a customer spends with a business.

In the diagram below, I wanted to explore the the various possibilities between the time a customer spends engaged with a a business and the price that is paid for that interaction to better visualize the difference from a good value versus a commoditized offering.

In the vertical axis, I identify price as on key attribute. The range of pricing is low to high. Let me be clear, its not underpriced or overpriced, merely the lever of pricing a customer pays. Along the horizontal axis lies time. How long is the interaction or engagement with a customer, but not how long a customer must wait to engage, only the time during engagement is being viewed.

As you may noticed, time/price can help establish the possible value being created in the eyes of the customer. If the offering is about convenience and time well saved, then it is possible that your offering is commoditized and battles for price. In comparison, if the time spent is of good quality and the value equals the price, then you’ve created a good value.

Caution arises when you believe your offering is worth more than what the customer perceives. Maybe the time is to short or not impactful enough, thus creating an offering that is seen as being over-priced. On the other hand, a business may find it can’t keep up with the demands and that there are not enough resources to maintain the level of expectations or the business actually provides greater value then priced and thus becomes under-priced in the market.

You must find a balance between price and time in order to be seen as a value worthy of the time and price paid. Be aware that time is as important resource and money when it comes to an experience offering.

If you enjoy this article or this series concept, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your feedback and possible ideas for upcoming 2×2 grids.

Until next we chat, this is Living on the Grid.

Living on the Grid: Type of Experience

Hello, thanks for reading “Living on the Grid” series This is the second in a series of 2×2 grids to help explain or demonstrate concepts from the world of business..

In this edition, I wanted to look at the type of experience companies stage for their customers. This is a direct adaptation from B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore’s book The Experience Economy: Work is theatre & Every Business a Stage. On this 2×2 grid, we will look at the various types of experiences a company can stage.

As you will see in the diagram below, Joe and Jim use two axises to define the various realms of an experience. Across the horizontal plane they ask about the type of engagement the customer will be involved with. Will it be a passive experience with little interaction from the customer or will it be an active participation by the customer?

In the vertical axis, they ask about the proximity of the customer to the experience. Is the customer immersed deep into the experience as if it is happening around them and they are part of the experience? Or is it more about absorbing the experience from a distance much like the movie goer who sit and watches a film.

Like most things in life, there are no hard this or that determinations, many of you may find you ride the line between two quadrants. In their book, Joe and Jim also identify these happy connections or the blending of two types. And yes, you can fall to the center where your staged experience blends all four realms. In this case, they refer to this as hitting the sweet spot. Staging an experience or experiences that engage the customer at various levels of engagement and action.

If you enjoy this article or this series concept, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your feedback and possible ideas for upcoming 2×2 grids.

Until next we chat, this is Living on the Grid.

Living on the Grid: Economic Value

So, recently, I had developed a set of conversation starter cards for business adapted from a diagnostic program I created in 2005 called WayPoint. The deck was a simple 2×2 formatted exercise that any business could perform. While developing the cards I created numerous adaptations until one was finally selected.

In the process of development, many of the concept were sourced from my experience working with B. Joseph Pine II and his co-authored book the Experience Economy. Some of these grids actual were very revealing about business direction and economic values, so I decided to create a series aI am calling “Living on the Grid.”

The first of the series addresses whether you are a goods provider, service delivery or an Experience stager. Follow the direction and plot your results.

I would love to hear or see what you discovered about yourself and your company.

Until then, keep striving to be a memorable engagement because all experience have impact on your customer’s lives and are inherently transformative.

A Game of Strategy and Tactics

One of my favorite activities for participants during strategy workshops is that of “Future History.” I have adapted a classic model into a blend of strategy and tactics to provide numerous clarifications and guidance for those individuals or companies wanting to elevate their game or change their current business direction.

The object of this activity is shape the future by defining a news report headline of an achievement that would create a media company to interview you or your organization. It sounds simple, but its not as easy as it sounds.

Want to give it a try?

It begins with step 1, the creation of the news-worthy headline that speaks to a major achievement or event as a headline. This is a narrative type strategy statement. Keep it in mind you want it of few words and eye-catching. Once you have the headline, write it into the space provided below the top arrow arch. Once you have it recorded, then determine how long this would take to occur and record that below the headline.

Step 2, starting identify a key milestone event or action that would occur that would allow the event in the headline to happen. What would have provided the future history event to be possible? Example: If the headline was read “Writer sells 3 Million Copies”, than identify a milestone that would occur just before that headline, such as, “signing an exclusive publishing deal.”

Step 3, like step 2, identify another milestone that would occur prior to step 2’s milestone that would allow step 2’s milestone to happen. Continue this same process for step 4 again.

After having all the milestones identified in sequence leading upto the headline, its time to identify some tactics that would lead to the headline. In step 5, identify the three key obstacles that would need to be overcome to achieve the first milestone. To make it more challenging, avoid listing money, funding or cash flow as an obstacle. Dig deeper to uncover these obstacles.

Now, continue identifying each set of obstacles that would exist between each milestone as they progress. Step 6 would identify new obstacles for achieving milestone at step 3 and step 7 would identify obstacles for step 2.

Finally, at step 8 identify the final set of obstacles in achieving your “Future History” headline. Take a moment when you have finished each milestone and each set of obstacles. Do they make sense? Are they in the right sequence to achieve the headline? If not, rework the steps until it feels right and the tactics support the final strategy defined by the headline.

As I said in the beginning, this is one of my favorite activities as it defines an end strategy through the narrative headline. It establishes the timeframe that the goal will occur. It also helps illustrate the need for milestones as small steps along the path. And finally, it helps identify individual key obstacles along the way that need to be overcome to achieve the final goal.

If you like activities like this and want to share with others or provide feedback of your activity results, please email me so to help improve the process.

Thank you and I hope your “Future History” come true.

Is Your Business Movie Trailer-worthy?

Had an interesting conversation with a musician about creating a video sampler of his work. The conversation eventually turned into an impromptu video training session. I sourced a few images from my photo library to create the video below in the form of a movie trailer. I use iMovie to create a quick and simple, and fell its an effective clip for my example.

Business promotional movie trailer.

So, this sparks the question… Is your business movie trailer worthy?

Every film provides a short synopsis of the movie experience to promote and entice audiences to pay admission and take in the film. It’s a proven method to engage with customers before the actual film. There more than a commercial, these trailers are reflections of the film, creating an expectation.

Video is becoming the biggest trend in social media communication and business promotions. From 7 second snippets to 1 minute trailers, having a video can share more information about your offering than pages of body copy. Think like a film producer.

So, like a great film, I believe every experience needs it’s own trailer. What would you include to entice viewers to get to learn more about your offering? What genre of film would best reflect the experience you stage for your customers? Would it be an action film, mystery, romance or adventure?

If you don’t know or cannot determine how to tease your experience, maybe the experience lacks that special impact and may need to be re-evaluated or re-engineered to make it movie trailer-worthy.

Coloring Books are so Passé

So this is what a well known author told me about my, back then, business coloring book, “adult coloring books are passé and will never fly.” That didn’t stop me from doing it anyway. Three months after that statement I released my first coloring book based upon a business book called “Coloring the Experience Economy”.

https://www.blurb.com/b/9509813-coloring-the-experience-economy

Today, I read this.. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephanrabimov/2019/11/20/artist-max-goshko-dankov-unveils-the-great-coloring-wall-in-beijing/#73f5f5be7e84 about another coloring book adaptation that is gaining popularity.

There is so much potential with guided illustrations and the use of coloring pages that I have already been approached by three other authors to create companion coloring books for their work. The idea of having one’s ideas visualized is a powerful mechanism for conveying ideas. Who knows where this new genre of coloring books will go, I just hope it last a long time.

Being There at Launchfest

On November 13th, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio at the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame, Joe Pine and James Gilmore launched the 20th anniversary edition of the Experience Economy. THe big focus was on competing for customer’s Time, Attention and Money.

The presentation was a 90 minute presentation on this topic that Time is limited, Attention is scarce and Money is consumable. These ideas help shift the challenges of fighting for customers in an ever-growing world of commerce.

My suggestion is to pick up the latest copy and read the core principles as well as the new content and latest examples of those staging great experiences for customers. On of these new concepts is the 20 cent per minute rule. A great measure of an experience working well.

In addition, pick up a copy of the “Coloring the Experience Economy to see these principles illustrated, even some of the new content.

Pick up you copy today at https://www.blurb.com/b/9509813-coloring-the-experience-economy