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Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World by Brandon Schauer, Todd Wilkens, Peter Merholz, David Verba

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Chapter 2. Experience as Strategy

All that matters to customers is their experience.

For decades, businesses have sought technology, features, and optimizations to maintain or increase an advantage over their competitors. But the value of investing solely in these things has reached an end. The experiences people have with your products and services are the real differentiator, a strategy that must be explored and embraced in our changing world.

In the last chapter, we liberally threw the word “experience” around. We even made the claim that “the experience is the product.” Now we’ll break experience into its component parts, so you see what we mean.

When a person engages with your products, services, and environments, a set of distinctly human qualities comes into play. A person’s experience emerges from these qualities:

  • Motivations: why they are engaged with your offering, and what they hope to get out of it

  • Expectations: the preconceptions they bring to how something works

  • Perceptions: the ways in which your offering affects their senses (see, hear, touch, smell, taste)

  • Abilities: how they are able to cognitively and physically interact with your offering

  • Flow: how they engage with your offering over time

  • Culture: the framework of codes (manners, language, rituals), behavioral norms, and systems of belief within which the person operates.

When someone says they’ve had a good or a bad experience, what they’re talking about is how a product, service, or environment did or didn’t satisfactorily ...

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