I first stumbled across the term ‘Experience Economy’ in an article in the Harvard Business Review from 1998 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore when starting Just Challenge (credit to Holly Millward on her recommendation). Game changer.
Pine and Gilmore talk about the highly competitive and saturated nature of the product and service economy, and highlight the opportunity for businesses that create experiences well. A successful business in the experience economy is one that orchestrates memorable events for their customers, and that memory itself becomes the product: ‘the experience’.
According to Pine and Gilmore, the experience economy presents an enormous opportunity for businesses if these five ingredients are effectively combined:
1. Design memorable experiences
2. Create concise and compelling themes for the experiences
3. Harmonise impressions with positive cues and eliminate negative ones
4. Mix in memorabilia
5. Engage customers’ all five senses
A year ago, I took these principles and relentlessly designed a business that would deliver the most spectacular experiences, creating countless memories for corporates and individuals that they remember for life.
1. ‘Design memorable experiences’
Our challenges are designed and delivered in some of the most iconic ‘bucket-list’ destinations in the world, from The Himalayas to The Great Wall of China and the Sahara Desert to Mount Fuji, led by some of the world’s leading athletes.
“Sitting with Michael Vaughan around the camp fire in the mountains, chatting about The Ashes, is an experience I will remember for life”
2. ‘Create concise and compelling themes for experiences’
All our challenges have meaning and purpose, raising money and awareness for specific causes close to our clients’ hearts – from removing the stigma around mental health to raising funds that provide basic sanitation in some of the poorest communities around the world.
“We raised 350,000 USD providing access to clean water for tens of thousands of people. I feel immensely proud to be part of this.”
3. ‘Harmonise impressions with positive cues and eliminate negative ones’
We’ve developed ‘Ten Commitments’. We’re #inthistogether, we’re one team, we help around camp, we support the local economy and we reduce waste are just a few of the commitments we ask our participants to adhere to, ensuring positive mental attitude from all.
4. ‘Mix in memorabilia’
Branded kit is just one example of memorabilia we provide on our challenges. We take this principle to the next level though, providing participants with the opportunity to take away signed memorabilia by some of the world’s greatest sporting legends.
“The signed shirt by Brian O’Driscoll on a t-shirt I wore to complete a 100km trek that raised thousands for charity is most certainly worthy of a spot in the downstairs loo!”
5. ‘Engage customers all five senses’
Our participants see the most spectacular views, smell the most extraordinary smells, hear stories they’ll remember for life, touch nature in a way they may not have done for years and taste some of the most delicious, authentic, local cuisine, often prepared on the side of a mountain.
With these principles now engrained in our DNA, I am immensely proud of everyone that works for and with Just Challenge. Together, we tailor truly memorable experiences for individuals and corporates, creating a thriving business defined by an incredible opportunity.
There is little debate in the industry that the experience economy will continue to grow: through the “gales of creative destruction” as the economist Joseph Schumpeter termed it – that is, business innovation, which threatens to render irrelevant those who relegate themselves to the diminishing world of goods and service.
Lucy Bennett-Baggs, CEO and Founder of Just Challenge