Joe Pine, The Experience Economy: “The more exclusive the experience, the higher the price.”


In 1999 the book The Experience Economy was published. The completely revised third edition was published this year. It was necessary to revise it, says writer Joe Pine, because we are 20 years have passed and many things have changed. Twenty years ago it was still necessary to explain what was meant by the experience economy. That has since become a fact. “Every company now competes with the rest of the companies in the world for time, attention and money from individual customers. Time is limited. So if someone catches my time and I spend time with you, I don’t spend that time somewhere else, “said Joe Pine, one of the two authors of the book.

The experience economy has grown thanks to growing prosperity. “People are increasingly willing to pay for experiences. Consider the agricultural society. Everyone used to grow everything themselves, but then trade started: you could buy things. And someone who still grew things could do that more effectively. You see that happening on a large scale. Both with goods and with services. Who is changing their own oil today? I haven’t done that for 20 years. Or hair cut. You used to do that yourself, but now you pay a hairdresser. ”And if that hairdresser understands anything about the experience economy, then he or she turns it into a complete experience with a nice store, a drink, nice music and beautiful light. Customers then pay twice as much for the same haircut.

“Time is money and vice versa”

According to Pine, it is essential in the economy not only to ask for money for products or services but also for experiences. “Something that is free will not be good. Look at Google and Facebook: there you are not the customer, but the product. It is about the data that they find interesting for advertisers. Those are the customers. That is different with Amazon. You just pay there. You can also become a member of Amazon Prime. You pay for a better experience there: faster shipping, etc. ”Which does not mean that there are no more companies that simply sell products. “If you do not participate in the experience economy, then you will ultimately become a commodity. There is nothing wrong with that. There are always 1 or 2 companies that earn a lot of money in the trade, but then you have to be as efficient as possible: with as few people as possible, as automated as possible. Not really fun. ”

Costs for experience may vary greatly. The more exclusive the experience is, the higher the price would be. “The sky is the limit. You will be surprised by how many people are willing to pay. ”This is mainly because people do not feel the need to buy more things. They already have enough stuff. “So they want to spend money on experiences. The fact that they have more money makes their time more valuable because time is money and vice versa. ”

When the first version of Pine’s book appeared, the internet was only about five years old and there were no smartphones yet. “The smartphone is a hugely important competitor when it comes to attention. If people now have a real experience, the smartphone is a quick distraction. But nowadays the telephone is also often used to enhance the experience: without a photo, that experience does not count. ”At the same time, you see that a counter-movement is starting. “It is also important to be in the moment sometimes. So no distractions. Consider eating with the family. You may want to take one photo, but not all selfies. ”

According to Pine, the cruise company The Carnival Corporation is one of the best examples of the experience economy. The founder has devised an Internet of Things application that everyone will receive in the form of a medal when he or she arrives on the ship. “That way they can identify and actually know everyone on a ship. Thanks to that medal they know what everyone is doing and people get customized offers. They know that you like to drink ice tea with lemon in the afternoon, wine in the evening and beer with your friends. So they know the context of a person. They know what you love and can give you more. ”

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