“Advances in manufacturing technology and the global reach of the Internet have leveled the playing field in the product marketplace. It wasn’t long ago that time-to-market was two years, then 18 months, and then 12 months. Now, a competitor can knock off your “innovation” in six months or less. Many businesses understand that being “new” or “different” is no longer a differentiator. Countless companies are elbowing their way to the top with designs that are also “feature-rich” or “patent pending.” Innovation in product design has lost its meaning and, therefore, its value.
There is still one frontier that remains wide open: experience innovation. This is the only type of business innovation that is not imitable, nor can it be commoditized, because it is born from the specific needs and desires of your customers and is a unique expression of your company’s DNA. Yet the design of an experience is often overlooked in the rush to market.
Companies intending to be relevant today must learn the art of creating experiences that genuinely engage their customers. Choice-fatigued consumers are not looking for another product that hasn’t taken their true needs and desires into consideration. They are looking for companies in which to believe and give their allegiance. They are looking for experiences that cater to their deep-seated desires. This type of engagement requires much more than the latest technological breakthrough: It requires emotional engagement.”