So much goes the experience in the water that at the end it breaks
Experience is for many a central concept of digital transformation. A word which suddenly burst into the daily life of many people but which is nothing new: the founding act of all reflection is The Experience Economy by Joe Pine, the first edition of which dates from 1999!
In other words: what is seen today by most people as a digital buzzword used to sell fireworks on web screens is initially a deep reflection on new forms of value creation. One is surely the consequence of the other, but it is interesting to see why we use the word experience these days.
Experience, this suitcase word to slip into all sentences
So we no longer say “read a page” but “consume an experience”.
We no longer say “your page is loading” but “your experience is loading”.
We no longer say “in one click I added a new block of text” but “I created a new experience”.
We no longer say “did you see the visual effect on the home page” but “did you see the experience?”.
We no longer say “since your last visit” but “since our last experience”.
We no longer say “we have two offices in town” but “we offer our clients and employees two experiences in intramural Paris”.
Recently, I was in an airport undergoing renovation and signs posted, around areas under construction, “we are working to transform the passenger experience”. In fact, it was a question of transforming a linear route between the security check and the boarding gates into a non-linear route that requires crossing the duty free. In fact, the customer experience is rather the merchant experience that we transform.
Today, it is clear that in B2C or B2B you can no longer sell anything without putting the magic word “experience” somewhere. But while some continue to work on the subject on the fund, with a logic of value, others, regardless of their sector of activity or their profession, are in the process of generalizing two definitions of experience.
Experience, a concept in the process of charlatanization
1 °) “Trick that happens on a screen”
2 °) “Something that the customer would refuse without a clever marketing wrapping around”
You have the choice between “bullshit” and “petroleum jelly that we put around an old suppository”.
I ask myself the question of knowing for how long the customer will continue to buy the concept without realizing that they are being laughed at? And, ultimately, what will become of serious approaches to the subject when the baby is irremediably thrown out with the bathwater.
Or, conversely, it may be the day when we can no longer talk about it that the subject will be ripe and we will be able to work on the fund without drums or trumpets.
Will the experiment survive the charlatans? I think we’ll be fixed within a year.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously consulting director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.
He regularly deals with social media news on his blog.