Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 9

Photo: Strategic Horizons LLP W hen the book The Experience Economy (1999) came out, one critic wrote “this book scared the hell out of me”. And no, it was not by Stephen King, but, instead, by two business gurus, Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, who perceived a paradigm shift to end all paradigm shifts just around the corner. The book identified and described a crucial progression of economic value from commodities to goods to services, and then to experiences. Seventeen years after the book launch, Joe Pine recalls that the work did open some eyes to a brand new reality. “There were still many that were decrying the loss of manufacturing jobs and the shift into the Service Economy, and now they had to face a new threat to old sectors and ways of doing business,” he looks back. The Experience Economy showed how businesses should embrace theatre as an operating model to stage unique experiences – like a modern take on Shakespeare’s line “all the world’s a stage,” if you will. What this means is that companies must learn how to go beyond goods and services, and hit their customers with experience. Going Digital Still, as the book came out just prior to the millennium, the authors themselves called Experience Economy as “nascent,” “forthcoming,” and “growing.” It was not there, not quite yet. But by the time the updated edition came out in 2011, there could be no doubt – experiences had become the predominant economic offering, and the primary source of economic growth, new jobs, and innovation. How did this happen? Well, between 1999 and 2011 the digital bomb dropped and took experience to another level. Joe Pine points out that digitalisation has pushed itself into just about all arenas, particularly because of the development of the smartphone where anyone could visit virtuality at the touch of a finger. But while some industries have made experience their life’s blood, other industries are more conservative. In terms of urban development and building new communities, just how relevant is the Experience Economy? Joe Pine replies that experiences are absolutely essential to the real estate business, too. “It is the authentic experience that turns a house into a home, a space into a place, and a neighbourhood into a community,” he says, adding that architects, designers and developers would do well to seek authenticity at all times, for it is something that resonates strongly with people – and, on the other hand, people can smell fake and instinctively steer clear of the inauthentic. Nordicum 7