Why does a brand’s experience matter so much?

Here’s a bold statement: Experiences are likely the most important thing you can be investing in right now, yet it’s the one thing executives and boards aren’t talking about. At Bottle Rocket, we believe in the power of experiences and have the data to prove it’s where companies should be focusing if they want to stay relevant to a new type of customer, we call the Connected Customer.

What is a Connected Customer and why should I care?

The Connected Customer is someone who enjoys interacting with brands digitally, via apps, websites or voice assistants. An overwhelmingly large percentage of people fall into this category, and no, it’s not just Millennials. Nearly half of Baby Boomers, more than half of the Gen X population and nearly all Millennials and Gen Zers demonstrate the behavior of the Connected Customer.

How do they behave differently?

A Connected Customer exhibits consumer behavior that is significantly different from what traditional consumers have demonstrated for decades. A Connected Customer is obsessed with experiences, not products or services. They make buying decisions based on how simple and easy it is to do business with a brand. They demand great digital experiences to keep their business. “If I can’t do business with you easily through my cell phone, I’m not going do business with you.” In fact, 80 percent of Connected Customers say that the experience they receive from a brand is just as, if not more important than, the product or service they receive through said experience. This is what has led to the need to focus on experience over everything else.

What do you mean when you say the competition has changed?

In this experience-driven economy, we are ALL technically in the experience business. This can either be scary or exciting for a business leader, depending on how willing they are to act differently. Don’t think of your competition as just those in your vertical or industry. Think of your competition as anyone else who is providing a great experience. It’s a consequence of the global, on-demand, digital marketplace that puts any convenience, every storefront, in your hand. And once they have a delightful digital experience, that becomes their expectation for all experiences everywhere, including the one they’re getting from you.

So why Bottle Rocket?

We are an (un)consultancy of sorts focused on bringing real impact to the marketplace, not just expensive PowerPoints. When you have an expectation of something, yet reality is lesser than that, it is remembered as a frustrating and disappointing experience. However, if you can close that gap, your brand experience will be remembered as surprising and delightful. And that’s what we do at Bottle Rocket. We truly understand this new consumer behavior and what a company needs to do to capitalize on it. We flip the script and put all of our focus on experience because that is what brings you closer to your customers. We provide the diverse perspectives, excellent execution and the “outside voice” you need to succeed and stay relevant with today’s consumers.

This piece was originally published in the Jan/Feb edition of D CEO Magazine.