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The Experience Economy

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,987 ratings  ·  90 reviews
In 1999, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore offered this idea to readers as a new way to think about connecting with customers and securing their loyalty. As a result, their book The Experience Economy is now a classic, embraced by readers and companies worldwide and read in more than a dozen languages.

And though the world has changed in many ways since then, the way to a custo
Paperback, Updated, 400 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published April 1999)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,987 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book helped stretch my thinking on how businesses can differentiate themselves. Some notes:

Mass customizing - efficiently serving customers uniquely - means producing only and exactly what individual customers want.

Mass customizing any good automatically turns it into a service. Mass customizing any service automatically turns it into an experience.

Embrace theatre as a model for performance.

What would you do differently if you charged for admission?

When a customer buys an experience, he
Marian Deegan
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These smart HBR guys crafted a hard-to-find, dense, and not-so-easy-to-wade-through but definitive analysis of the sea-change that occurred in the business world fifteen years ago.

Reading this book then revolutionized the way I thought about marketing and selling. At the forefront of the new horde of business Paul Reveres trumpeting the transformation from "commodity" to "service" to "experience", Pine and Gilmore present a carefully researched and supported analysis.

As you chart a business co
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. It made me think about, not only what I was doing for other people, but what I actually experience when I go to a restaurant or store. The Experience Economy will stick with me for a long time.
Lamec Mariita
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book will stretch your head in new dimensions. It takes a very logical and reasoned approach towards the theoretical next steps of economic expansion. The concept of the book is simple and the logic is understandable. If you're looking for a lesson on the difference between commodities, goods, services and experiences, then this book will provide it. It's a nice book to read.
Eka Guledani
The main idea is very clear at the beginning and can be expressed in two phrases, the rest of the book is just blah-blah and annoying examples. Three stars because, still, the main thought of this book is strong and useful.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow starting, but profound insights into business strategy and market prospects with tools for engagement that extend well beyond the realm of business. Highly recommend.
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is an odd grab bag of ideas: many that are interesting and some that are downright bizarre. The heart of the book is “Chapter 8 Now Act Your Part,” which tells how to run your enterprise like improvised street theater or the Commedia dell’arte. I found the why you should do it a little harder to swallow. It seemed to be how to be a success in business by being so entertaining that people should want to pay you an admission price just to browse in your store. Eventually you’ll build you ...more
Sarah Stewart
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-books
As a theater person (at least in the past and randomly in the present at times) and an event designer/planner, this was the perfect metaphor for me. Making business "theater" by carefully crafting an experience for people resonated deeply with me. I was especially impressed with the sheer volume of good examples.

I use to joke that I was going to buy the website to try to help people break out of the monotony of the speaker/food/mingle cycle, but if any planner (or business fo
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting view on a business. Working for a hotel, I can acknowledge that facilities don't mean as much as a total guest experience, and one of the more significant parts is friendly human interaction. That couples with a strong Customer Relationship Database is an unbeatable formula for a successful property.

My key points:
-"Customer sacrifice is the gap between what individual customers settle for (in buying mass produced goods and services) and what each wants exactly."
-Think of a busine
Andy M
This book offers a convincing argument extended too far. I read the whole book, and it's clear that the original business journal article written by the authors was padded to become book length. Publishers are often reluctant to publish pamphlets for fear of putting out a competing product that puts a downward pressure on the prices of actual books, and books like this are the result.
Devin Partlow
This book goes a little further than expected. Just when you think the experience economy is the goal, wait there's more! Kinda weird that most of the book was dedicated on how to make great experiences when there's an economy even better (allegedly).
Wade M
Jan 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, but highly repetitive
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
A great book for entrepreneurial minds, who realise that 21st century business is more than simply goods and services. Over the course of reading the book I've come to realise that I have instinctively come to similar conclusions myself, over the course of studying business management. It was nevertheless nice to see so much information about experiential business and marketing codified in the form of various models and theories, succinctly presented and backed up with ample real life examples.

Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is not only informative but transformative. I gives you new perspectives on what any business should have as an end goal.

"You really are what you charge for.
If you charge for
- stuff, then you are in the commodity business
- tangible things, then you are in the goods business
- the activities you execute, then you are in the service business.
- the time customers spend with you, then you are in the experience business.
- the demonstrated outcome the customer achieves, then and only then are
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clearly, this book is still ahead of it's time. It's been 8 years since the updated edition and we're still working on what "customer experience" truly is.

That's ok, as the transformation economy takes hold I think a lot of business will leapfrog the experience economy and grasp the transformation economy. It will be easier to understand but more difficult to change.

Exciting times ahead!
Jonathan Hardy
I think that this is an effective frame for viewing the evolving economy and has been helpful for me as I have considered industries and opportunities of the future. They took the work as theatre idea further than was helpful for me, but I think the overall mentality is important.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
There's a lot of interesting content and it's organized well, but it reads very much like a textbook. The authors were clever by adding "intermission" and "encore" sections, but the book itself feels more like a good or a service than an experience.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book overall. Definitely helpful for the work that I do as I feel like I’m constantly thinking about how to create a better college visit experience for students. Anyone who works in a people facing job, which is a lot, I think this book has a lot of helpful tips.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although what the author wants to say is phenomenal, this sadly became the management book which just uses a plethora of examples and use cases just to make one single point. A read through the Author's article on HBR was enough to grasp what the book wanted to say.

Harry Li
Good concept but lacking depth.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It contains a lot of information that could be interesting if read by the right people. Unfortunately it talks more about theater than about its application in the economy.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! Mind changing!
Brian Nicholson
The Experience Economy makes the point that economic value has progressed over the decades from the extraction of commodities, to the making of goods, to the delivering of services, to the creation of experiences, and ultimately to the promise of transformation. I found that general construct, and its related points, helpful in thinking through how a marketing agency and my marketing clients might be encouraged to move up that value ladder.

The main reason for a 3-star rating is that the unabrid
Jonathan Stark
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for anyone who runs a business. I'm serious. Anyone. Who. Runs. A. Business.
Fkupfer Kupfer
Good reference book, although not as groundbreaking or relevant as when it was first released. It is full of examples from various industries.
Michael Tarpinian
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book about using mass customization and using elements of theater in selling commodity type goods and services.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Businesses can get so much value from following the authors' advice.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a great underlying theme...
But the book is itself is truly awful
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing and awesome book.

There are so many obvious yet critical observations in this book.

Work is theater and every business is a stage.
المهند السبيعي
This the best book you could read about customer experience...
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“Twelve years ago we characterized the scene as poor service, no service, or self-service. Unfortunately, little has changed. As a result, customers understandably hesitate to pay any premium. Profitability therefore suffers, wages stagnate, and workers disengage—creating a downward spiral to yet more miserable service.” 1 likes
“Fundamentally, customers do not want choice; they just want exactly what they want.” 0 likes
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