Experience Radar 1: Accenture, The Economist, Vice Media, Hybrid Events, Kenya &c

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Experience Radar is a new series of thoughts, articles, research papers and other ephemera about experiences and the Experience Economy that we’re thinking about.

Immersive as a tool for transformation

This great new video by Future of Storytelling, where Meow Wolf and WXO cofounder Vince Kadlubek and Meow Wolf senior creative producer Marsi Gray discuss the company’s new Omega Mart experience in Las Vegas – and how immersive storytelling holds the potential to transform individuals and society. It contains some telling insights about the potential of immersive experiences for transformation, and ideas that link to Stephanie Riggs’ POV on the end of storytelling. More on that in the WXO Campfire 3: Is This.

Hybrid events update

Hybrid events. Photo by Unsplash

Live Nation is wiring more than 60 venues in a high-tech plan to bring concerts to everyone – throws light on the future of hybrid events. Or, rather, that many more – maybe all? – events will be hybrid in the future. See also, Joe Pine’s thoughts on hybrid events here.

Everyone’s raring to get back to live experiences, especially if they’re ‘un-uploadable’

Refinery 29 event. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Riggs

Iconic Pop-Up Event 29Rooms Will Return to NYC as Experiential Marketing Evolves for 2021 – this brilliant piece of experiential marketing is ready to swing back into action now the pandemic is over. Lines I liked in this article:

  • 94% of Gen Z and millennials saying they plan to go to festivals, plays, museums and concerts as early as this summer, according to a Vice Media Group study.
  • 75% believe it will be good for their mental health to interact with people outside their bubble
  • 69% say it will boost their mental state to break out of their pandemic ruts and try new things.
  • Katherine Tooley, Vice’s SVP of experiential, says that 29Rooms will lean into “more tactile, more tangible, unmissable, un-uploadable” content for the 2021 activation.

Also, check out Vice Media’s associated white paper, Make Contact: The Re-Emergence Of The Experience Economy.

Management consultants believe in the Experience Economy

New era of experience. Photo by Unsplash

Break out of the sea of customer experience sameness – I love it when big firms get on board. This is Accenture’s view on the importance of experience. A few key lines:

market-leading brands have embraced a new way of thinking about what they offer. Instead of creating customer experiences, these brands reimagine their entire businesses through the lens of experience…

Accenture calls this the “business of experience” and it’s rapidly becoming a new category of leadership. Our analysis shows that that Business of Experience leaders outperform Customer-Experience-oriented companies in yearly profit growth by sixfold.

I’d say that this shows Accenture believes what the WXO believes. That experiece matters. Click here for the full report, “Growth: It Comes Down to Experience”.

This graph shows how customer experience thinking and business of experience thinking vary across all business sectors.
Source: Accenture

A Wolf In Immersive Clothing

A change in how people consume contemporary art is under way – As a trend forecaster since 2004, I’m always intrigued when big brands catch up. So when The Economist catches on to the rise of immersive art, we can be sure it’s crossing over from the innovators to the mainstream.

Signature experiences as a marketing tool

Magical Kenya Signature Experiences Collection – up from 19 when they first launched, there are now 44 curated unique, authentic and exceptional once in a lifetime Kenyan travel experiences on this collection. Aware of the rise and importance of the Experience Economy, the Kenya Tourist Board’s aim is to increase the number of ‘signature experiences’ significantly. Other countries leading the way with ‘signature experiences’ – according to Fiona Ngesa, Business Development Manager at the Kenya Tourism Board, are New Zealand and Canada.

Nordic LARP lets users create their own story

Bjarke Pedersen – Becoming The Story (FoST 2016) – an intriguing look at how storytellers can let go & let people create their own story. This was suggested by Paul Bulencea during the WXO Campfire. Led by Stephanie Riggs, we were talking about the ‘end of storytelling’. Paul’s reaction:

Reminds me of how Nordic Larp moved the needle… Here’s a short talk from Bjarke Pedersen where he talks about the switch from listening to a story to becoming the story. I agree with the shift – what we need to talk about is that this type of immersion is a gateway to the unconscious for the participants

Paul Bulencea

Labor and Play – this essay on Nordic Larp was suggested by Fiona Rene. Who also mentioned “Pattern language for LARP DESIGN” by J Li and Jason Morningstar. I haven’t read that yet – but it’s on my radar 🙂

Beware online reviews – it’s the emotion that counts

Emotions run high. Photo by Unsplash

Mass-scale emotionality reveals human behaviour and marketplace success – useful if you’re interested in reviews, if you can trust them, and if they predict success or not. The summary for this research paper in the journal, Nature Human Behavior, is (bold additions are mine):

“Online reviews promise to provide people with immediate access to the wisdom of the crowds. Yet, half of all reviews on Amazon and Yelp provide the most positive rating possible, despite human behaviour being substantially more varied in nature. We term the challenge of discerning success within this sea of positive ratings the ‘positivity problem’. Positivity, however, is only one facet of individuals’ opinions. We propose that one solution to the positivity problem lies with the emotionality of people’s opinions. Using computational linguistics, we predict the box office revenue of nearly 2,400 movies, sales of 1.6 million books, new brand followers across two years of Super Bowl commercials, and real-world reservations at over 1,000 restaurants. Whereas star ratings are an unreliable predictor of success, emotionality from the very same reviews offers a consistent diagnostic signal. More emotional language was associated with more subsequent success.”

Out of 100? A certification example on my coffee packaging

I came across this on the coffee I’m drinking. It reminds me that many of the world’s great quality assurance models feature scores out of 100. That’s how I believe our certification system will work.

Then, to make it easy to read from a distance, and ‘consumer friendly’, we’ll ‘convert’ the scores into stars. This may be similar to Amazon’s up to five star system. Or it may be closer to Great Taste’s three star system. In 2020:

  • 12,777 products entered
  • 3,818 (29.9%) were awarded one star
  • 1,294 (10.1%) were awarded two stars
  • 205 (1.6%) were awarded three stars

(More on page 3 of their digital publication celebrating 2020-21’s three-star products, Great Taste 3-star 2020-21.)

If you have or come across news, views, stats etc on the Experience Economy, please click here to share with me. I’ll be taking a look and sharing the most useful with the pioneering creators and producers in the WXO community.

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