5 Ways Brands Can Fuse Product And Service

For the past 40 years, futurists, economists, and media mavens have debated which business strategies are best suited for the networked, postindustrial era. In his 1971 book, Future Shock, the futurist Alvin Toffler talked about the upcoming “experiential industry,” in which people would be willing to allocate high percentages of their salaries to live amazing experiences.

Companies need to start thinking about the holistic experience between their brands, products, and services. Crafting an experience requires design that considers these three elements of brand, product, and service in order to generate successful results. Any company can be analyzed through these lenses to evaluate the experience it creates for its customers.

A brand is the pattern our brains expect based on everything we have previously heard, seen and felt.

Brands have to empathize with users to understand which elements–measurable or not–shape their experiences, and transform how they work together to create those experiences.

Hoping a Chief Experience Officer will swoop in and save a company is unrealistic. But we can take immediate action in the following ways.

1. Ditch The Brand Book

The days of centrally controlled brands are over. Your brand is a pattern comprised of interfaces, interactions, and experiences. This requires designing for coherence over consistency, allowing you to respond to customer needs in a more relevant fashion. Empowering employees to act autonomously allows them to create better, more personalized experiences.

2. Turn Your Data Into Action

Data, once understood, is an unbiased source of information that reveals customers’ motivations, desires, and pain points. Every designer must dig into the data to discover the meaning behind the metrics. Of course, not all data are created equal. The most helpful approach begins when the right question is being asked, something a cross-disciplinary team is in the best position to do.

3. Share The Wealth

Most of us fight hard for our budgets and have discrete tasks and activities assigned to them. But if the overarching goal is to create products and services your customers will find valuable, then all departments–from product development to branding and marketing–will need to pool resources in order to achieve common goals.

4. Iterate To Innovate

Venture capitalists demand that entrepreneurs fail fast to allow for rapid and efficient understanding of what works and does not. Move toward a more agile approach to product and service design. This will enable you to test, refine, validate, and constantly improve on the customer experience. An agile approach reduces risk while providing the necessary feedback to innovate quickly and appropriately. This requires building in budget and time to prototype, test, and refine.

5. Show, Don’t Tell

Great experiences are the best form of advertising. Your marketing team should be just as focused on creating and improving the product and service experiences as they are on advertising. Use marketing for the insights it generates and enhance products with content experiences your customers will want to talk about.

Ultimately, we all recognize a great experience when we encounter it, but designing your own is elusively difficult. The days of perfect plans within a top-down hierarchy are over. Instead, we need to influence our companies to embrace shared values and product principles. Then, each of us can be a chief experience officer creating memorable experiences and a cohesive, engaging, and delightful brand.


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1 Comment

  1. “A brand is the pattern our brains expect based on everything we have previously heard, seen and felt.” – Well put. I have been searching for a good way to describe the natural association that consumers develop between a service, product or experience and a specific brand.

    You present some very good tips here. Concise and to the point. Thank you!


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