The Customer Is the Product

EVERY BUSINESS CAN INDEED BE a stage for offering economic experiences. Whether selling to consumers or companies, firms must recognize that goods and services are no longer enough; customers now want experiences. But to what end? Experiences can offer enjoyment, knowledge, diversion, and beauty, but more than the desire for such memorable qualities drives the Experience Economy. For not all experiences are fun, enlightening, distracting, or breathtaking.

Why, for example, do people pay good money to join fitness centers, where they expect to experience physical pain? Why do they pay $200 an hour to a psychiatrist, in whose office they may re-experience mental anguish? Why do tens of thousands of men pay ...

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