To business futurist Brian Solis, capturing an audience’s heart, mind, and spirit is mandatory.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company, who has written a book that’s not really a book. X: Where Business Meets Design looks more like a sexy app than a business how-do, but it still does a great job explaining why customer experience, more than any other business priority, defines a company’s brand and determines its outlook for the future. Here’s what Brian had to say during our recent phone conversation:
Your definition of customer experience is a little different, and how does X provide a new experience from what business book readers may be used to?
Brian: Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get a different interpretation of what customer experience means. It is sometimes thought of transactionally, and related to CRM, support, or journey mapping. In general, customer experience is misunderstood and underappreciated. My feeling is that customer experience is the sum of all engagements. It’s not about customer experience, but all experience. In this business world, we need to think more holistically because everything is connected.
Of course, it would be ironic to tell people this in a traditional book format, and I think that authors who write about disruption should disrupt themselves. For X, I considered what a high school student would take delight in learning from. I wrote tweetable sentences with lots of visuals and white space, and the result was a cross between an app and a beautiful coffee table book.
You say that having a great product is no longer enough. What happens to great products (and their companies) that don’t have creative marketing and stellar customer service behind them?
It seems obvious to make a great product backed by great marketing and service, but without a conducive culture, it doesn’t always happen. Many incumbent businesses are built on 60-year-old models and are slow to change and in danger of being left behind. Startups are taking over because they get to reimagine everything. When culture, product, and service are aligned, the result is immersive and empowering. You’ll create a living community around your brand that becomes bigger than any one product.
For the rest of Brian's interview, visit Intuit's Fast Track blog.