The Mysterious Disappearance of Products and Services

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Consumed by the new economy, and lack of consumer interest, all products and services have all been replaced by what we now call “Experiences”.

Orange Facebook iconCalling something a product or service just doesn’t make any sense in the new economy. The description is out of date, the words don’t apply to today’s branding.

Marketers and sales people need to understand:

You are no longer selling and marketing products and services. You are selling and marketing experiences.

We buy, acquire, endure and enjoy experiences. Not products. Not services. Experiences.

Welcome to the new economy, where commerce trades on the experience you have, and the experience you provide.

Consider these experiential products:

  • A vacation in Hawai’i
  • A new app for your iPhone
  • Purchasing a new Nissan Altima
  • Attending a play, museum or movie
  • Transitioning to SAP CRM

Which of these are products, and which are services? Answer: None, and all. The old words don’t work anymore; we need to choose new ones if we want to tell a story that’s authentic and complete. And all customers – all consumers – crave authenticity.

You see, no product exists in a vaccum. No service stands alone without products. These things are really events, or experiences, made up of a series of products, services and interactions.

What we want, what we pay for and what we get can all be summed up in one way: experiences.

Even a traditional product purchase, like buying a new car, requires a series of events that create an experience that circumvents the “product”.

For example, when you buy a car, unless you have $48,433.00 cash (hey, that’s a pretty nice car!), you are going to need financing. Maybe you will lease the vehicle. Maybe you will talk to the finance manager, or the sales manager, about your options.

You go through a series of events and choices; this is all part of the experience of ownership. The most traditional “product” in America (the automobile) gives you an experience. The experience of the purchase, the experience of the service, and the experience of the brand. How does your car make you feel about yourself? Are you comfortable, and do you feel powerful behind the wheel? Those feelings are as real as the tires and the spark plugs – a very real brand experience, indeed.

“Product” and “service” are incomplete definitions. Those terms don’t fit for your branding.

If you want to reach new customers in new ways, consider some re-branding for your brand.

Because marketing products and services and products isn’t the total experience.

Main image:  Some rights reserved by a_whisper_of_unremitting_demand Used under creative commons license.

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