Pine and Gilmore (1998) arguedthat from a macroeconomic perspec-tive, the economic offering of firmshas progressed from commodities togoods and from goods to services. Theyargued that from this progressionhas emerged the experience economywherein the economic function is notto extract fungibles, make tangibles ordeliver service but instead to stage ex-periences. The nature of the offeringis memorable. The seller is the stagerand the buyer, the guest. The demandfactor in the experience economy isthe memorable sensation. Despite the compelling natureof this framework and more recentepiphanies such as that reflected inthe Adweek excerpt below, there were spanning about 10 years: Brakus objective was to develop a system thatno substantive efforts to produce a (2001); Schmitt (2008, 2003); and could transcend the somewhat artifi-commercially viable, comprehensive Brakus, Schmitt and Zarantonello cial boundaries that delineate the do-system for measuring, tracking and (2009). The five experiential dimen- mains of brand and loyalty research.ultimately manipulating the charac- sions that represent the foundation The common currency involves the NICteristics of a consumer experience. upon which these authors developed five experiential dimensions describedThe modal treatment of consumer a brand-oriented architecture were above. If the five dimensions are the ROexperience during the last 10 years based largely upon Pinker’s (1997) common currency for transcendingfocused on its sensorial aspects (see work. Their programmatic efforts, brand and loyalty, then experience CT LYfor example Lindstrom  and which spanned essentially the first touchpoints (XPs) represent a com- LE ONMichelli ). decade of this century, continually mon language. In this research, we “Whatever the methodology, it’s confirmed Pinker’s five dimensions: differentiate between vicarious and R E UTincreasingly clear that customers desper- sensorial, social, behavioral, cognitive direct XPs. The former include televi-ately want goods and services, commu- and emotional. sion ads, billboards, magazines, Web FO TPnications and marketing campaigns that Each dimension clearly measures sites and so on. In contrast, direct XPsdazzle their senses, touch their hearts a different nuance and each is also involve substantive involvement withand stimulate their minds – delivering a presumed to be important depending a product or service. These XPs tend OUpositive experience they will remember. on the idiosyncratic appeal of a given to be the domain of loyalty research.Businesses will live or die not by the experience. For example, brands such The distinction between vicariousattributes they promise but by the brand as Starbucks would certainly find the and direct XPs can be leveraged toexperiences and value they offer custom- sensorial dimension critical to the ex- change the focus of the measurementers at every touchpoint.” perience it offers. The extent to which system described in this article. It is Adweek, September 29, 2008 an experience should emphasize be- important to note that distinguishing havioral characteristics may also dif- between them is unnecessary and isMind modularity fer. Harley-Davidson’s core experien- done so here to illustrate the ability ofA unique aspect of GfK’s ConEx system tial value proposition is clearly more this research to transcend both brandis its integration of a concept devel- oriented to the behavioral, sensorial and loyalty research.oped by evolutionary psychologists: and emotional dimensions. Our research was driven by themind modularity. Although contro- A more in-depth treatment of the notion that any experience can beversial in the early 1920s when sug- Brakus et al research is beyond the characterized in terms of the fivegested by Dewey (1922, 1925) and even scope of this article. Suffice it to say dimensions introduced by Pinker andmore so in 1997 when championed by that in addition to Pinker’s five- later adopted by Brakus et al. In orderHarvard University’s Steven Pinker dimension architecture, these authors’ to make the dimensions more consum-in How the Mind Works, the notion programmatic research represents the er-friendly, we translated the originalthat the human mind has evolved in theoretical and empirical foundation labels into talk, think, sense, feel anda Darwinian fashion, yielding five upon which we have built a highly act and paired them with graphicdistinct modules to facilitate humans’ flexible, modular system for measur- icons as represented in Figure 1.interactions with their environment, ing and tracking consumer experience.has gained wide acceptance. Large sample sizes Our interest in the application Transcend the boundaries This study spanned five business sec-of mind modularity and brands was This study is based on a series of R&D tors. Within each sector we measuredpiqued by treatments of the subject projects spanning two years. The five brands and within each brand, To purchase paper reprints of this article, contact Rhonda Brown at FosteReprints at 866-879-9144 x194 or email@example.com.
category distributions yielding the most positive placements. The Feel icon distributions are presented in the fourth row of Figure 4 and sug- gest a stronger emotional component associated with the automotive and especially computer sectors. Finally, the Act icon distributions suggest that the automotive and computer categories left the most positive (va- lence) impressions. Figure 5 presents the y-axis (Memorability) experience distribu- tions. Recall that the anchors of this axis were strong/memorable and weak/forgettable. Again, a row-wise approach to examining the table will help us understand cross-sectordropped into the impression–memora- is the possibility that respondents differences. With respect to the Talkbility quadrant. utilize vertical and horizontal spaces icon distributions we see that only In total, we collected 3,000 differentially. Thus, we concede at the automotive sector data were as-completed interviews using GfK’s this point that had the axes been sociated with a significant number ofonline consumer panel. On average, reversed, it is possible the distribu- positive (i.e., positioned high on the NICrespondents completed 2.7 quadrant tions would reflect this. y-axis) icon placements.exercises each. This yielded a total Figure 4 presents the x-axis (im- The second row of Figure 5 shows ROof 8,145 completed quadrants. The pression) distributions for the five the Think icon distributions. Asresultant dataset provided rich depth sectors. Within each distribution, the shown, the automotive and computer CT LYand breadth for analysis both within data are aggregated across five brands sectors had the most memorable LE ONand across sectors. and eight XPs. A comprehensive treat- icon placements and as expected, The two 85-point quadrant axes ment of the data would necessitate 40 the shampoo category Think icon R E UTyielded distributions with more desir- distributions for each of the five sec- was typically placed at the bottomable characteristics than similarly ad- tors. Part one of this article is aimed of the y-axis, indicating its rather FO TPministered seven-point Likert scales1. at familiarizing the reader with the forgettable nature. The placementFigures 4 and 5 present the x-axis and common currency and language of of the Sense icon illustrates severaly-axis distributions for the five sec- consumer experience research. intuitively appealing patterns. For OUtors aggregated over all brands and The data presented in Figure 4 example, both the food and shampootouchpoints. Clearly, the data pre- exhibit some interesting patterns sectors enjoyed many icon placementssented in the figures cannot reveal despite the aggregation by brand and at the top of the quadrant, indicatingthe nuanced differences that more XP. If we examine the data in a row- strong memorability. In contrast, thegranular brand or XP-level treatment wise fashion and begin with the top bank sector was associated with thewould have allowed. Unfortunately, tier (Talk) there are some noteworthy most forgettable sensorial ratings.space constraints precluded treat- differences. The automotive data, for The Feel icon, which representsment of the brands within each sec- example, yielded many more positive the emotional impact of an experi-tor and this will be described in part icon placements. To a certain ex- ence, elicited the most positive place-two of this article, which will appear tent, the computer data distribution ments within the automotive sectorin next month’s Quirk’s Marketing appears to resemble the automotive and fewest in the bank category.Research Review. data. In the next row are the x-axis Interestingly, there was a significant distributions of the Think icon. As group of respondents who placedVery appealing distributions shown, the automotive and banking the Feel icon in the highest verticalThe quadrant data collection mecha- sectors resulted in the most positive position for the computer segment.nism yielded very appealing distri- icon placements and the shampoo Finally, the Act icon y-axis distribu-butions. Clearly, the x-axis distribu- category the fewest. The shampoo tions are presented in the fifth rowtions differed substantively from category emerged as essentially the of the figure. These clearly show thatthe y-axis distributions. Recall that inverse of these with a high propor- the behavioral dimension was verythe former reflected impression and tion of respondents placing the Think memorable in the automotive sector;the y-axis represented memorabil- icon on the far left of the quadrant. this left skew is also reflected inity (ranging from weak/forgettable The third row of Figure 4 pres- the computer sector and is notewor-to strong/memorable). One aspect ents the x-axis placements of the thy. The remaining sectors yieldedof the quadrant data collection Sense icon. In this case we see the bi-modal distributions since manymechanism that remains untested automotive, food and shampoo respondents placed the icon very high To purchase paper reprints of this article, contact Rhonda Brown at FosteReprints at 866-879-9144 x194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.