Experience Economy

The Experience Economy is an important global trend in marketing that shares the idea that products and services can outcompete by creating an experience that customers value. Indeed, they are seeking for multisensory experiences and spontaneous and unique entertainments more than ever. Furthermore, brands need to be flexible and quick in order to react to the changing trends and to meet the needs of the customers. The idea is to offer to the customers experiences that say something unique about them, which they can share further on with their friends and entourage. Furthermore, the customer isn’t just perceived here as someone that only buys a product but is seen as an ambassador of the brand (by sharing it with other people on Facebook for example).


The following are illustrative examples of the Experience Economy that we have chosen to share today.

Disneyland Park               3

Disney is a business that goes beyond and sells an enhanced type of service: an experience.

Disney values their customers and calls them guests instead of customers. This shows the participants that they aren’t just considered as a simple financial transaction to the business, but that they are valued and address to them on a more personal level.

Furthermore, the guests gradually discover the experience over a period of time. All guests that enter Disneyland Park first go through Main Street before discovering seven other additional areas that they can explore, each with their own costumed staff and own themes.

In addition, Disneyland Park offers their guests to explore the five senses, which has a great impact on them. It is used to enhance an experience in order to make it memorable. An example could be the smell of cinnamon glazed nuts that smell like a cozy night at the Magic Kingdom or the bubble machines spread around the park triggering memories of childhood. Through sight, touch, smell, sound and taste the imagination of the guest is triggered.

The performance allows to help create experience which is unique to the individual. It has to have an impact on the guest before they arrive, meet their needs during their time at the park and continue once the guest has left.

This video allows us to talk about postmodernism. Indeed, one of the 7 processes is hyperreality, which refers to the idea of “making real what was just a fantasy” which is, of course, very present here. By going to Disneyland, the experience has allowed the little girl’s “dreams to become true” and this is not only thanks to the atmosphere but also through Disney’s characters.

Sum up some important factors:

  • Disney sells a magical experience driving their guests towards a story that captures their attention.
  • They simplify the participants experience and don’t overwhelm them by constantly interrupting their experience for example.
  • Souvenirs of the experience are sold in the park. Customers who associate a product with an experience they would like to remember will have a high willingness to pay.
  • Disney uses the five senses in order to make the experience memorable.
  • Disney updates continuously the experience over time and takes into consideration the customers’ demands.
  • They price well according to the experience’s value.




Starbucks is another example of a company that has thrived according to the formula of the Experience Economy. The company offers its customers a special emotional experience by including an ambiance, a well-designed shop where they can listen to music for example, while drinking their coffee. Furthermore, they create a kind of proximity with their customers by asking their first name in order to identify the coffees ordered. In Switzerland for example, Starbucks employees use a certain familiarity with their clients which can be a bit surprising for Swiss customers while in Spain it wouldn’t. One of the reasons that Starbucks does this is in order to create a relationship with its customers. Another example that reflects the firms desire of proximity with their customers is by offering a loyalty card. This permits the customer to have, for example, a free drink during their birthday. This offer allows Starbucks to create a relationship with them and make them loyal customers.

In addition, Starbucks has understood that customers are looking for an authentic experience, demanding products that fit their own needs.

People are willing to pay the high price of Starbucks’s products in order to feel well, create good memories, and get a customized experience. This, thanks to the environment they have created such as through:

  • The diming lighting
  • The acoustic music
  • The sofas
  • Soft colors
  • The luxurious feeling when drinking their coffee
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • “Third place”

The “third place” strategy of Starbucks provides great customer service, offering the customers a location that isn’t home ( also called “first place”) or the office ( also called “second place”). The company provides meeting spots, facilitating social interaction.



Nike moves beyond experience

Nike isn’t just about selling shoes, software and experiences anymore. Thanks to their ecosystem of products and services they are helping current and potential customers to evolve personally as today we live in a world where consumers increasingly value self-actualization. Here are some elements collaborating to making Nike an experience.

Customization of products:

Have you ever gone to a Nike’s store and you couldn’t find the perfect shoes for you? Either you didn’t like the colour, or the size wasn’t available for example? Nike has solved these problems by allowing customers to design their own shoes online on NikeID (and even directly on computers in the store) where the client can choose and order a personalized pair of shoes by modelling it to its convenience. Moreover, trough customization, cutomers can also express themselves. It allows them to make a statement and differentiate themselves from the others, as they will own their unique pair of shoes. But Nike has gone even further than that. Today clients can even personalized their Nikes in augmented reality directly in the store allowing them to fully experiment the Nike experience.


Hyperadapt 1.0:

Here is another example of how Nike provides a different experience to its customers. The HyperAdapt 1.0 is a shoe using an adaptive-lacing technology to tighten and loosen shoelaces with the use of a small button present on the shoe. The aim of such a product is to provide customers a more personal experience than they are used to by having a shoe that will adapt to their personal feet and control to tighten of the laces according to what types of activity users are doing.

Nike+, Nike+ Run Club & Nike+ Training Club:

Nike+ app gives users access to a Nike store adapted to their personal likings. On the plateform they can also get a personal appointment with sales assistants in stores, they are notified for upcoming events, receive discounts and so on.

Then, Nike+ Run Club and Nike+ Training Club encourage customers for local running and traning classes. They also offer perks for frequent users. Those apps act like personal services aiming at improving and changing a user’s life as they offer training program that you can configure according to your current competences, your goals and the time you have at your disposal to do some sport. They also create a community, as users can share their results and fitness experiences, receive encouragements and also “compete” against each other as the app proposes some challenges to be performed by users to motivate them keep on training, as shown in the following ad.


As a conclusion, we can see that with the combination of its products, apps and clubs, Nike’s users are not just “loyal customers”. They become way more than that. They are part of a community where people support each other to improve themselves in becoming better persons, runners and athletes, and as we can see with this final ad, the only limit is you and anyone can just do it.


3 thoughts on “Experience Economy

  1. Hi foreigners, nice examples. thanks for sharing. One small comment: try sticking to one campaign or one product only. For instance, you have the men vs. women challenge in Nike, as well as the customization. These are two very different marketing strategies, and are difficult to put under the same topic, especially when it comes to discussing the experiences these bestow on the consumer. For instance, I guess the customization is very much about hyperreality. And the women vs. men, ist that hyper, too? I don’t know. In any even, try keeping your live simple by using only one example (rather than several) per brand (unless I ask for it, specifically).


  2. Dear Professor,
    Thank you for your feedback. We did not realize that we should have focused only on one campaign or product. Instead, we thought we had to explain the different elements that enabled the brand generating an experience for its customers in a general manner.
    Regarding the women vs. men challenge, we think that it could also be classified as hyperreality. Indeed, thanks to the challenge offered by the app Nike+ Run Club, users are sharing their life and live the Nike experience all together. We can talk about hyperreality with Nike since the brand allows customers from both genders to be at the same level, to be equal. Indeed, men are known to run longer than women for example, this is a fact, but Nike doesn’t distinguish this difference, this reality. The brand allows women and men to be at the same level, eliminating the difference between sexes and creating competition between them. In our opinion, this is a certain way of hyperreality.

    Kind regards,
    The Foreigners


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