What Consumers Want

Customer Service

Joseph Pine’s career as a business coach began at IBM when he did something truly unorthodox: he brought business partners and customers into the development process of a new computer. Taking from this the lesson that every customer is unique, he wrote a book called Mass Customization on businesses that serve customers unique needs. Later he discovered what he would coin the “Experience Economy” — consumers buying experiences rather than goods or commodities — and wrote a book of the same name.

Pine and his friend Jim Gilmore have since turned their focus to authenticity, which they argue is the main criterion people use when deciding what to buy. (The idea was featured in TIME‘s “10 Ideas That Are Changing the World,” and also became a book.) They joke that their company, Strategic Horizons, ought to be called “Frameworks ‘R’ Us,” after their specialty in helping others see business differently.

“Once I began to think like [Jim] Gilmore and [Joseph] Pine, I found myself coming up with seemingly authentic experiences for even the most insipid products.”

John Cloud, TIME 

Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but “Mass Customization” author Joseph Pine says selling authenticity is tough because, well, there’s no such thing. He talks about a few experiences that may be artificial but make millions anyway.

A writer and veteran consultant to entrepreneurs and executives alike, Joseph Pine’s books and workshops help businesses create what modern consumers really want: authentic experiences.

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