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Cocreation lesson #5 : customer experience

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My review of 40 years of literature has shown that the word “experience” is used by many authors to illustrate co-creation processes.

Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2000) called for «personalized experiences with the customers». Vargo and Lusch (2004) suggest that «experience and perception are essential to value determination». Payne, Storbacka and Frow (2008) suggest that customer experience is one of the five possible co-creation processes. Furthermore they write that the relationship experience is part of customer value-creating processes and can be divided into cognition, emotion and behaviour. Tynan et al. (2009) observe that the processes of value co-creation in the luxury goods business are based on an experience of the brand («the experience concerns interactions and experiences shared with complementary and similarly positioned brands»).

The definition of experience is however not very clear. Reading above citations, one gets the impression that experience depicts the way the customer feels about his/her interaction with the firm’s representative or any other stakeholder within the network of the firm. Is this really an experience? How is the above “experience” positioned within the relatively new but more classic framework of “customer experience”, also called “customer brand experience” or “brand experience”?

The way customers experience a brand is called the “brand experience”. The «brand experience is conceptualized as sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioural responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments» (Brakus, Schmitt and Zarantonello, 2009).

Brakus, Schmitt and Zarantonello (2009) distinguish between product experience (i.e. the physical or virtual interaction between the consumer and the product), shopping and service experience (i.e. the interactions with the store, the personnel, the practices of the firm) and consumption experience (i.e. the multidimensional experience while the product is being consumed).

From the above it is clear that the experience part of the co-creation processes can be partly categorized under shopping and service experience. However I felt it was too restrictive since the dimension of brand experience in the context of co-creation goes beyond the consumption pattern and the in-shop presence. I have therefore developed a new framework … but it’s too early to publish it here. If you are interested send me an email.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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