Step-by-Step Web Branding Blueprint for Experience Economy

As economies mature, age, and eventually evolve into something else, we must make adjustments to our marketing, branding, and business development.

If you don’t adapt to the new reality, it can have dramatic and unwanted consequences.

We all know how modern economies developed, from agriculture to industry and, finally, information. What is the current situation? Is the Information Economy Dead? What’s the alternative?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a great place to start when looking at the parallels between economic and personal growth in an advanced modern economy.

The agricultural age satisfied the first level in Maslow’s hierarchy by providing basic physical needs such as food. Meanwhile, the industrial age produced goods to address a wide range of concerns, from safety to social acceptance to status. The information economy met our cognitive needs and desire for knowledge.

But the world has changed. The Web has disrupted the business as usual: The effects have been dramatic and traumatic.

The business has never seen the adage, “adapt or perish,” more true. Where are we on the economic and personal pyramid now?

Be the Best You Can Be

At the top of this pyramid is “self-actualization.” The desire to maximize our lives (similar to the US Army slogan “Be all you can be”). The Experience Economy is a new economic reality that has this as its central issue.

B. Joseph Pine, James H. Gilmore, and the authors of The Experience Economy: The Work is Theatre & Each Business a Stage summarize what businesses need to focus on during this new economic era. “While commodities are fungible and goods are tangible and services are intangible. Experiences are memorable and transformative.” The other economic offerings are only of short-term value.

Your new marketing mantra should be “Experiences make a difference and transformations have an impact” to meet the demands of your market: To be all that you can be.

Transformations are effective, but experiences are memorable.

Experiences are lasting, and transformations are effective. What does this mean? For marketers to effect change – and turn audiences of Web sites into customers – they must offer more than commodities, which are easily replaceable at a low price, or goods, which are rendered irrelevant by technology. They also need to provide services that are merely conveniences. Businesses that provide experiences, not just products and services, will be successful in the new experience economy.

Online and off, we are surrounded by examples of experience economies. Starbucks’ growth was due to the experience they provided their customers, not the coffee itself. iTunes met the needs of music lovers online, and Amazon satisfied those of book lovers. The Mac computer market is finally gaining a share, thanks to the iPod experience. Consumers are ready to take that same experience to their desktops.

The key to business success is not a feature that’s new or a price reduction… but rather an experience that pleases the soul.

Experiences that Satisfy Soul

The traditional business model has fallen far behind the psychological sophistication of today’s experience economy consumer. Business schools have produced a group of bean counters, statistical idiots, and savants who are unable to grasp the new economic reality of an experience-driven economy. They have been overtaken by Web-savvy mavericks determined to satisfy consumers’ emotional needs in an increasingly demanding, hectic, and frustrating world.

Many people on the Web sell search engine optimization (SEO) snake oil to achieve Web traffic nirvana. These carpetbaggers are based on conventional wisdom and comforting spreadsheet statistics. You can either play math or play man. The latter is usually the one who wins.

The Six-Step Web Branding Blueprint

The goal: transformation through self-actualization

Our efforts will ultimately result in converting visitors to our website into customers. To do this, we need to take a step away. In the experience economy, you need to think differently about your audience and what exactly it is that you are selling.

You should base all marketing decisions on one simple factor: the element of self-actualization that you provide. Build your campaign around that element.

Price, quality, and service are not important to a market that is cynical and influenced by old-school marketing methods and presentations.

First step: Recognize that the goal of your marketing is to turn your audience into contented, satisfied clients.


Marketing success is all about setting realistic and believable expectations.

We are inundated almost daily with over-hyped and silly direct marketing web advertising, which is designed to exploit consumers’ weaknesses and their desire to improve themselves, to be their best selves, and to find some satisfaction and relevance in their lives. False expectations can lead to an occasional sale but not a loyal client.

Step 2: Create realistic expectations you can fulfill.

The product: Audience

You can think of this new approach by treating your audience like a product. Your job is to turn them from dissatisfied users into satisfied evangelists. You don’t just want to sell; you want an army of satisfied customers telling others how good you are.

It is not enough to get people on your mailing list. It would be best if you converted them into followers and proselytizers.

Step 3: Your audience is the product of your marketing. Your Web site’s audience can be converted into true believers that spread the word about your ability to satisfy.

Experience: The Methodology of

The strength of your story will reinforce and pass on experiences. Springwise’s newsletter is a great example of how a story can be unique and compelling.

Emil and Magnus Gerbola from Denmark import Italian wines and sell them to wine bars and restaurants, as well as corporate clients and consumers. The experience of purchasing a bottle from Gerbola Vin differs from the usual liquor store trip. The sons of a traveling Italian clown have opened a shop in a 1942 candle-lit underground bunker.

What could be more fun than sharing a bottle with friends and telling them the story of the Sons of the Clown, who was a wine merchant in World War II?

Step Four: Create a story that is unique and satisfying to enhance your offer.

The Web

Some businesses, believe it or not, still don’t understand the importance of using the Web to market their business. Some companies still don’t know that the Web is not only a digital catalog or brochure repository but a multimedia platform.

The Web has increased the Paradox of Choice – the principle that the more options you have, the more difficult it is to decide. As a consequence, Web sites must deliver well-crafted differentiating marketing messages using experience-generating multimedia Web-techniques.

Step 5: Today, the Web is not just a place to dump random information. It is an advanced platform for creating memorable experiences by delivering entertaining, educational, and compelling stories.

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