Quantifying Brand Experience Value

Kazuo Sonobe
Research & Development Dept., Nikkei Research Inc., Japan

INTRODUCTION

Until recently the concept of “experience” has been examined by philosophers including J. Locke, D. Hume and I. Kant. Currently, “experience” has also become a subject of interest in the areas of economics and marketing. A prominent example is a book produced by B. J. Pine and J. H. Gilmore, The Experience Economy, published in 1999 and in which they defined “experience” as the fourth “value” following “commodity,” “product” and “service.” Consumers do not merely consume products or services but also find value in the experience of the consumption. For example, take having coffee in a 5-star hotel, it provides not only product value as coffee but also an experience that consumers can enjoy with a fabulous atmosphere and theater-like setting during the time they order coffee and have finished it. As for the experience value of airline service, it is not just considered as a means of transportation but also as a setting to ease passengers' stress during a long trip and to leave them a memory of the trip. Bernd H. Schmitt asserts in his work Experiential Marketing (1999) that good functional features, benefit and quality are minimum conditions that customers require from products and services. And rather than just features and benefits, customers expect products and services that provide fun and comfortable experience that touch and inspire their mind, and therefore, a new marketing communication is needed that is different from traditional marketing approaches emphasizing features and benefits.