Product vs. ExperienceMay 3, 2012
Anybody really understand the whole coffee shop thing and why the concept has been so successful as a trend?
I went to one the other day just to hang out. Took my laptop and wrote a little. Here are my thoughts on it.
I personally don’t think people are that crazy about hyped up coffee and paying out the nose for it, but I do think there’s something universal at work with the concept…people tend to buy a product based on the way it makes them feel and not just its innate value to them.
The coffee shop model is just one example but a good one. Go into most and you’ll see basically the same setup. Couches and comfy chairs, specialty drinks, tables and plugs for laptops, maybe a fireplace for vegging mode. It’s the ambience that’s key.
These places know how to replicate a feeling with people through great sensory accents—food, comfort, social connection—to build an experience consumers will be back for. As a strategy, it works because it relies on people’s perception and not just the minutiae of a mundane product based transaction.
This got me thinking about what people are looking for in general. Sooner or later, you’ll learn your product is only part of the equation. What you do to affect people emotionally is the true key to igniting the fires of your enterprise and growing your business.
Your company need not be a brick and mortar concept to do this, but it does need to be focused on delivering a tangible feeling to the customer.
Often, that experience can be as simple as connecting with people on a personal level and making them feel good about the value you’re giving them.
The great companies know how to capitalize on that. The unexceptional churn out widgets and leave a dust trail of mediocrity that soon fades in everyone’s mind.