WHY THE ‘EXPERIENCE’ MATTERS
Recently, I came across a page in my sketchbook from 2001. FBFA was only a year old and I was musing about the company’s goals, our clients, their clients and what I thought FBFA was to people; meaning, who did FBFA relate to and why.
At the time, I was reading a lot of information about experience-based economies and thought it was interesting what Starbucks—and hotels like W—were doing in their branded environments. They were focused on providing an “experience” for their guests, to engage them, grow loyalty and ultimately revenue.
Coming from a farm where everything is about buying vs selling, and the margins of commodity-based products, the idea that you could sell an “experience” was fascinating to me. This is about the time I started telling people that you could actually measure and increase revenue, loyalty and success by simply doing a better job of designing considered art collections. If you connect people to an environment’s overall design-experience—say for instance, a hotel room or lobby—you can actually make those people “feel” better.
The net benefit is then easy to see: good art and design in spaces makes people feel better. When people feel better in a space, they stay longer. When people stay longer and feel better, they’re more comfortable spending money. When people are comfortable spending money, it means more revenue, more loyalty, more ROI.
It was a no brainer to me, but 13 years ago it was like trying to sell a pig a ham sandwich.