More and more companies go one step further than just delivering a service by staging experiences. In other words, “an experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event”. Moreover, an experience is, first, inherently personal existing only in the mind of an individual, secondly, no two people can have the same experience, and lastly, it is interacting between the staged event and the individual’s state of mind.
The Four Realms of an Experience
The video above bring us to the next point, which is the four realms of an experience. The First Crush Winery combines all four realms. They give their customers the opportunity to taste the wine (entertainment), to visit the winery (esthetic), to learn more about winery (educational), and to participate in the winemaking process (Escapist). First Crush uses all four realms of an experience bringing them at the sweet spot, which means the customer engage as well as in passive as in active participation, but also, absorption and immersion of information (theme) takes place.
Principles of Designing Memorable Experience
Part of the experience economy are the five principles of designing memorable experience. Since all customers perceive experience in a different way, designing an experience can be tricky. However, the following principle can give companies guidelines how to come close to a positive and memorable experience for their customers.
1) Theme the experience
It is important to envision a well-designed theme that is consistent and coherent with the overall company’s offering. In other words, the theme should match the selling idea. In our example, the medieval theme matches with what the restaurant offers. It offers food and drinks from that time, the employees are dressed in medieval costumes, and dances plus shows are performed. All this supports the coherence of the theme.
2) Harmonize the impressions with positive cues
Impressions are the “takeaways” of experiences! Therefore, it is quite important to make sure positive cues support and are consistent with the theme. Remember the feeling when stewardess showed the safety video. Most people get scared by these information and imagine the worst. The El Al, Israeli air travel company, introduced a new way to show the safety video incorporating positive cues to improve the experience of their passengers.
3) Eliminate negative cues
Even though, positive cues are integrated in the experience, it is still important to eliminate anything that diminishes, contradicts, or distracts from the theme. For example, trash bins, instead of writing “do not litter”, most companies would label the bin “Thank You”, which in turn would eliminate the negative cues of having to put its own trash away. The next video shows how an amusement parc made using trash bins fun!
4) Mix in memorabilia
Moreover, customers like to remember a positive experience. That is why, for example, Hard Rock Café offers T-shirts with the logo and city it is from. Another example are goods that promote certain cities, like for example “I love amsterdam” T-shirt, mugs, glasses, etc.
5) Engage all five senses
The last principle stresses that experiences should be supported by sensory stimulants. This means, the more senses an experience engages, the more effective and memorable it can be. The Herschey’s Chocolate World is an experience that engage all five senses. Visitors can smell, fell and taste the chocolate, in addition, you can visit the factory and the attractions, where you see and hear about Hershey’s.
Using the five design principles is no guarantee for success but it helps companies to set importance to consistency and authenticity of the experience. Moreover, it can help refresh an outdated experience. To conclude, the principle should be seen as guidelines that can be interpreted differently according to the situation you are in rather than stiff theory that has to be followed literally.
Mini Real-World case by Team 3: Yulia Khazanova, Marie Malkomes, Irina Rajkovetsky