The Shift from the Experience Economy to the Transformation Economy
The exponential growth in the luxury lifestyle market is resulting in an almost overwhelming extent of choice and competition for the consumer. So how, as a brand, do you stand out from the crowd?
Smart businesses realise that they are selling more than a product; they are the enablers for something bigger, the catalyst for something profound. They know that they are operating in the Transformation Economy and no longer in the Experience Economy.
"The Transformation Economy isn’t pitted against the Experience Economy – it is the natural evolution of it, borne out of the increasing desire of the consumer to satisfy the highest tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: self actualisation". - Claudia Roth
In the Experience Economy, businesses and brands curate memorable encounters, thus the ‘experience’ becomes the product.
In the Transformation Economy, consumers are seeking more than mere experience. They crave something authentic and meaningful - some call it the 'soul' of the business - to which they can connect on the most personal level and, in doing so, undergo an actual sense of transformation.
Consumers are desperate to connect with themselves. Brands that can offer them a meaningful route to that soulful luxury will be the ones that stay ahead of the game.
One example is the way that engineering personal experiences – with the potential to transform individuals – has become integral to Nike’s business strategy, evident at their March 2016 NYC launch of HyperAdapt 1.0, VaporMax Air cushion and Nike+ app. Nike calls it a “new area of sports – the era of personalised performance”.
And in the hospitality industry, Thailand’s award-winning Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary exemplifies a growing number of properties that – even in the world of wellbeing – are recognising the need to transform. “Increasingly, many of our clients are looking for a nurturing environment where they can step back from their hectic lifestyle and have the space and support to really understand themselves and what they want in life,“ says Stella Photi, Founder of Wellbeing Escapes (www.wellbeingescapes.com). “The management at Kamalaya has truly understood this need and has even introduced an “Embracing Change” programme that guides their guests to fulfil their purpose and potential.”
The Transformation Economy cannot be franchised nor can it adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. This is the differentiator. It is intensely personal and relies on two things: 1) an active and interested consumer, and 2) the awareness-driven willingness of the brand to adapt to the client and be part of the shift.
This adaptation can only come from a place of deep and genuine understanding and intent on the part of the brand, its leaders and employers – and it is only when this change is truly ‘felt’ by the consumer than they can connect to the brand and product on a transformational level.
In this way, the Transformation Economy guides the consumer beyond mere ‘experience’ to a place where they benefit from a soulful relationship with the brand – a connection that results in a dialogue and co-creation. The interactions are highly personalised and the subsequent value that is generated powerfully bonds brand and consumer in a highly competitive market.
In conclusion: the consumer influences the brand, which in turn re-influences the consumer. It is cyclical and reciprocal, and evokes powerful, genuine change to the benefit of both parties. And so the transformation continues and evolves.
Are you ready and willing to transform … or risk losing your customers?
About the author: Consumers want to be moved, engaged, inspired and fulfilled – and businesses need to shift their strategies to follow suit. Claudia Roth is the Founder and Managing Director of Soul Luxury, the committed leader in the Transformation Economy, helping businesses to understand, grow and excel in line with globally evolving consumer awareness. If you're intrigued or interested to learn more about or want to experience the Transformation Economy and its benefits, ask us www.twitter.com/happyprizeco for more information or go to: www.soulluxury.com
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