Over 10 years ago I heard that the retail of the XXI century would be a purchasing experience. At that time, I understood it, but I had no idea how much that would be present in our current lives. In the United States that change was already noticed at concept stores. After a few years, major national events started to pave their way around here carried out by super known brands that won thousands of evangelists who are passionate and crazy about their brands.
The market started to realize that consumers wanted their favorite brands to offer more than products and services, because any powder detergent can provide white clothes; any toothpaste can protect our teeth and any automaker can offer a car in 60 installments. From that moment on, brands started to feel the need to be relevant, to show their concept and build a history of meanings with their customers. This way, industries stopped selling products and started to sell desires, experiences, dreams and needs. But why such change?
Who doesn’t hear at least once a week that the year is flying by or that the day should have 30 hours? That happens because we juggle several activities at the same time. Since childhood we have to prepare ourselves for the job market and then, time and social life become scarce. Moments lived with the family, no matter how short, need to be unforgettable. Purchases have to be fun; events, experiences and gatherings with friends have to be like a party.
On the other hand, companies that develop products and services try the impossible to call our attention, because everything quickly turns into a commodity. Costs of operations are higher and higher and profits are increasingly smaller. In this scenario, one can choose to price fight or prefer to make it different (blue ocean strategy). For a long time major brands have known they don’t sell products and services anymore. After all, you and I want to be affected and we hope our favorite brands will make us feel alive and happy! We don’t accept what is conventional anymore; we don’t accept any product or service to be rammed down our throats. We want what is different, what makes us proud and gives us the feeling of belonging to a tribe.
In the scenario where consumers ask for more than just the products, companies try to call their attention. Experience marketing appears to bring people and brands closer together. After all, the experience creates meaning, bond, relevance and opportunity; it stirs feelings and senses, and the result is seen by making people think, act and identify themselves with the brand, while increasing sales, as well as the desire to consume and the pride of owning something.
In short, companies whose managers understand that they are not selling products and services anymore, will live longer and better. Strong brands are those that offer what most don’t know about and won’t be able to do. It is so unique and particular that it’s no use investing in machines and people only, but rather, to break preconceptions and understand once and for all that people buy EXPERIENCES!
A little bit of trivia:
- Disney sells dreams – amusement park
- Harley Davidson provides freedom – motorcycle
- Coca-Cola opens happiness – beverage
- Volvo offers safety – truck
- Samsung, dreams – technology
- Hollywood manufactures entertainment – movie
- Fisher-Price teaches – toys
- Apple provides something we don’t even know what it is – technology
- Natura, well-being – cosmetics