Billions of photos, videos, and podcast recordings are uploaded, consumed, and shared every day. These online habits are also changing how we feel about products and services. The lines between B2B and B2C are becoming increasingly blurred as the rise of the experience economy continues to gather pace. Our experiences both in and out of the workplace are growing more important than the transaction itself. But what does this mean for your brand?
With more than 150 million cloud users, SAP is the largest enterprise cloud company in the world. An incredible 77% of all worldwide business transactions also touch an SAP system. But its CEO, Bill McDermott recently declared that “Experience is now the organizing principle of the global economy.”
Elsewhere, Magento Commerce is now powering Adobe Commerce Cloud as Adobe continues to empower businesses to thrive and survive in a digital world. Solving the experience problem involves enabling businesses to react in real-time to the changing needs of their customers and improve the experiences they deliver based on actionable insights. Make no mistake the experience economy is big business.
There is a long list of acronyms such as CX (customer experience), UX (user experience), and BX (brand experience) that all promise to help us make sense of it all. But by filing these descriptions away into freshly created boxes labelled with acronyms, maybe we are missing the point. Experience is the common denominator across all of them, so why do we need so many definitions?
In his book, The Experience When Business Meets Design, Brian Solis presented the following equation: The BX + UX + CX = X. Many might also ask why it has taken businesses so long to understand our inherent need to share our experiences and that includes experiences with your brand, products, and services too.
Although many companies are struggling to adapt to the experience economy, it has not happened overnight. Over five years have passed since IBM’s GBS leader Bridget van Kranlingen said the line, “The last best experience that anyone has anywhere, becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere.” Here in 2019, we are living in a digital era where exponential change is moving at breakneck speed. But the reality we must all face is that it will never move this slow again.
These topics are responsible for many fantastic conversations at Omobono where we help large businesses and government agencies to manage their digital presence both internally and externally – with customers, employees, and stakeholders. Many companies are just beginning to understand the importance of reinventing themselves to remain relevant in the mobile and social web.
Leaders must learn to understand their brand in digital terms and determine how they will seamlessly become a part of their customer’s digital life. As Gen Z enters the workplace, they are bringing their digital expectations into B2B environments. For these reasons alone, there is a strong argument that a combination of CX and EX is already responsible for creating a new business experience.
Bricks and mortar retailers are finding out the hard way that in a world where you can buy anything from the comfort of your home, they need more than stocked shelves to tempt customers back into their stores. Once again, stores that are creating innovative in-store experiences and highly ‘Instagrammable’ moments are reaping the rewards. The introduction of interactive experiences and visual stimulation are just a few examples of how retailers are tempting consumers back into their physical stores.
B2B and B2C is an old-fashioned way of thinking. It’s time to start thinking about P2P. Why? People want to do business with other people – not soulless brand name or corporation. The move towards improving the employee experience and bringing out the best in staff is another excellent example of a refreshing approach in business. Think about it, if your employees feel happy and empowered, your customers will naturally receive an improved experience too.
It doesn’t matter if you are B2B or B2C serving. The absence of a thriving workplace experience will leave everyone unhappy. Over the years, we have become obsessed with creating silos and over complicating our world. The key to succeeding in the experience economy is merely connecting on an emotional level, regardless of our role in the customer journey.
Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, famously said that people buy experiences, not products or services. In fact, products are no longer the main differentiator. A quick look across the digital landscape reveals how businesses of all sizes are now competing for the hearts and minds of their customers.
It’s time to retire the labels from our analogue world and focus on exceeding the expectations of customers, employees, and clients during every point of the journey. As CX and EX begin to merge, we are witnessing the emergence of a new business experience (BX) for an inclusive digital age where we tear down barriers rather than building silos. But that can only be a good thing, right?