This past weekend, my nephew had the honor of escorting his long time pal in the high school homecoming parade and half time festivities. I am certain he will keep this memory long after the season ends and the Facebook photos are replaced with new events. He had an experience that was truly memorable.
What makes this worth noting? We are living in a time when experiences are sought after and highly valued. Travel sites no longer advertise destinations as much as they do the “making of memories.” There are even global sites that encourage you to select the experience you’d like to have in order to secure the memory you desire. Want to talk about the time you drove a Panzer tank? No problem. There are sites that can provide this or any number of other experiences. You’re guaranteed memories complete with photos in just a few short hours.
In their book, The Experience Economy, Joe Pine and James Gilmore declare, “Just as people have cut back on goods to spend more money on services, now they also scrutinize the time and money they spend on services to make way for more memorable – and more highly valued – experiences.” I suspect we all know someone who will skimp on day-to-day expenses just to insure they get their Starbuck’s experience.
My nephew did not pay for his experience, but I suspect there are some who would willingly do so. We pay to take part in historic re-enactments, to live on a dude ranch for a week, or to roll up our sleeves kneed bread the old-fashioned way.
In today’s economy, consumers expect more than just the service or product you provide. They expect an experience. This is as true in education and healthcare as it is in retail. Although we may not wish to acknowledge it, we do stage experiences.
- How good is the experience you stage?
- Is the experience you provide memorable?
In summing up life’s lessons, Randy Pausch the author of The Last Lecture said, “Experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.” I hope to this keep this in mind in my work.