2015 Trend Alert: Experiences over Stuff

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Estudia Espana (Spain) is one of my favorite regions in the world. I treasure the travel, the local culture, dinners not starting till 11pm, the 2 hour daylight summer savings time clock adjustments providing daylight till 11pm and being outdoors 90% of the day experiencing the beauty of mesmerizing landscapes and the of course the warm and engaging people welcoming us travel hounds.

Travel is a great way to look at engagement experiences good and bad. What about your travels do you love and what do you loathe? Lessons learned could be incorporated into your planning process.

As you are creating your company’s strategic plan for 2015 consider the following questions:

1. How are you engaging your most engaged customers! I return often to Spain but each time I travel I seek out new experiences. How might this relate to your business planning with your customers? Building on the relationship with your most engaged customers is critical. There are too many distractions and opportunities for customers to go elsewhere today.

  • Include your customers in your strategic planning process! This is one of the most engaging ways to build lasting relations that count. Positive for both your company and for the customer.
  • Leave no stone unturned- meaning think unconventionally even in the most traditional businesses. This does not mean you will incorporate the craziest of ideas but it gets the juices flowing on new thinking.
  • Invite a group of non-engaged customers to join the feedback loop? Ask the question… “what would get you jumping for joy?”

2. How do you plan to convert non-active/passive customers? Engagement is critical. Using travel as a great teacher, think about all the ways that turn you off or break the travel excitement …. examples: airplane seats a big turn off, dirty plane seat back trays, sick seat mates, UGGG! All of these are enough to keep you from ever wanting to ever get back on a plane again! However, when you arrive to a far away destination for a life altering safari of sorts, the experience trumps and the awful flight delays forgotten. So what can we learn from the negative experiences? What key take aways are there to learn from on the dream come true travel experiences and how they simply delete any memory of the awful travel process?

  • Here again, invite a group of non-engaged customers to join the feedback loop? Ask the question… “what would get you jumping for joy?” and more so “what turns you completely off?”
  • Invite your most engaged customers in the feedback loop for how they think you could engage the non-engaged?

3. This is a biggy! Convert any non-engaged or passive staff members/employees to be highly engaged. If your team is not engaged then it will become harder and harder to maintain engagement and positive experiences with your customers.

This all sounds so simple! We all know it is anything but especially with a world of over-stimulation, instant gratification, rapid paced action-packed 24 hour days. Oh, wait? Is there a take-away here?

What can you take away from your personal most engaging experiences as lessons learned to included in your 2015 strategy. What can your organization do to provide the best experiences possible for your customers or potential customers digging deep beyond what appears as obvious?

Whether your company focuses on business-to-business, business to consumer or you are a small or big box retailer blinded by all the lightening strikes of change…. incredible experiences will rule!

More information:

Flip through the 2014 trends ebook, download Turning Trends Into Products: A CEO’s Checklist For Success

Follow Teresa Spangler @composerspang or Plazabridge Group @plazabridge.Teresa often speaks on trends, disruptive technologies and adoption, leadership and growth during rapid economic changes. She is the author of the Game of Life Book Series, a contributing author to OpenForum.  Click to learn more about Plazabridge Group.

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