Customers and the bring your own experience era

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It took time before the message got understand and anchored into mindsets but it seems we’ve reached a tipping point : customers value experience. Period. They don’t care about the heavy investment you made, have nothing to do with the actual cost of a product or service. There’s what they experience and nothing else matters.

Some would say it’s subjective, hazardous, or even subjectively hazardous. Most of all rational people who are not comfortable in a system where the value of an offer has noting to do with the face value and where the elementary formula “cost + margin” means less and less.

So we saw businesses being successful without having the best product. Simply because the experience they delivered was outstanding, much to the annoyance of  those offering a better product with a lower experience. No one can seriously say that the 1st generation iPhone was the best on the market from a technical point of view, but the experience…

Telcos, for instance, are in the front line to witness this revolution. They own the infrastructure without which nothing works and invested a lot of money in. And they see much of the revenue of the industry leaving to those who deliver experience. No matter the value of the infrastructure and how vital it is : users consume and pay for experience. No matter the pipe : they don’t pay for this. Hence a – sometimes awkward – run to reposition themselves on use an experience, even if it means partnering with those who took the place.

carplayThe last significant initiative – much more significant than it appears – is Apple’s CarPlay.

The digital experience is now a part of the driver’s. There used to be radio and GPS, then new connected services are coming everyday, which are a way for car-makers and car parts manufacturers to build an unique and differentiating experience.

Lost bet.

Customers don’t want one more experience but being able to take the one they chose for they daily lives, set up and configured for their own needs with them. An extension to them. The digital part of the driver experience – and to some extent of the passenger one – is now moving into Apple and Google’s hand (Google following the same way with Androïd), allowing users to connect their prefered device to take  control of their entertainment / navigation / services.

A part of the vehicle proprietary experience leave to a third party. As much lost to differentiate from competitors.

A move that’s not that trivial if we wonder is it prefigures an umpteenth “Bring your Own…” a kind of “Bring Your Own Experience”. What des it mean ? That any device will a customer experience peripheral and that customers will choose the experience they want. By the way what’s the peripheral  already ? The car or the phone ? Today car makers say they are compatible with your iPhone, not the converse. Tomorrow the planes we’ll fly will be compatible with our tablets.

It will we soon be impossible to replace the experience chosen by the customer by another one. Businesses will have to integrate or interoperate with it.

By the way, that’s another part of the value chain moving to experience creators.