Experience Economy

The experience economy actually consists of companies that provide and sell experiences to their customers. But, what are these experiences?

Let us first start with some theory which Pine and Gilmore discuss in their 1998 article “Welcome to the experience economy.” There are couple of things we think are most interesting from the article, the first one being one sentence which describes the economic value of an experience;

Commodities are fungible, goods tangible, services intangible and experiences are memorable.

Meaning that an experience occurs, and we’re quoting the article now, 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.

Furthermore the article discusses two main dimension experiences have. The first one being customer participation, from passive to active. The other one is connection with the experience. From absorption to immersion. Take a look at the graph.

The four realms of an experience

The last important thing the article discusses is actually one word and that’s THEME! To sell or provide an great and memorable experience to your customers companies have to theme their experience and make sure that every single thing within the company and experience is in line with this theme.

Now let’s take a look at some experience examples. Starting with some classic examples of companies that provide their customers an experience one of the greatest examples are concerts. Most of us have been to an concert at least once and remember the event like it was yesterday. Another classic experience example are theaters, from watching a play or musical to watching a movie in a cinema. All of these are great examples of what selling a experience actually is.

But the most common example of an great experience have to be theme parks. Disney World being the most famous one we guess. Or a more adventurous one like Six Flags with the big and impressive roller coasters. But also less expected ones like the recently opened Ferrari World in Abu-Dhabi. Since no one actually heard of it in class, here’s a video..

There are enough other classic examples of experience selling companies, but let’s look at something totally different. In Middelburg (Zeeland, The Netherlands) the Dutch National Football Museum “Voetbal Experience” can be found. The “Voetbal Experience” provides a unique football experience for the whole family. Visitors can see great football history treasures, get to know the Dutch national team “Oranje”, test their own football skills at the “Skills Zone”, experience the UEFA Euro Cup ’88 again, test their football knowledge and experience much more in 21 different experiences throughout the whole museum. We could describe all of them or at least some, but this video (sorry for the non-Dutch speaking readers) will give you a much better idea of what the “Voetbal Experience” actually is..

To finish up and to stay in touch with the theory, as you can see and probably imagine the “Voetbal Experience” is well themed with positive cues and engages all five senses. Thus, provides the customer an personal and memorable experience which includes active participation by the visitors.

See you guys in class.


Ahmet, Cristina & Ivan

2 thoughts on “Experience Economy”

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