« If you do not create a memory, then you have not offered a distinctive experience.” Joe Pine

I had the great opportunity to interview Joe Pine, the one who first introduced the concept of the eXperience economy in the US in the late 1990’s. Mixing his opinions with mine was my idea to help you better understand how Customer eXperience (CX) needs to be taken into account to better serve the customers nowadays. Each week I will post an answer to different questions I thought of with Joe. This week is about:

In 2018 what is the most challenged industry in terms of CX?

First of all, let’s emphasise on a specific point: you can understand CX in two ways. You could consider it as the actual experience coming with the offer of the company (staging an experience – consumer psychology) or as any interaction – involving feelings like satisfaction, etc.  – between the consumer and the brand (customer journey, CRM).

Joe Pine considers CX as true disctintive experience!

Another notion to integrate is Time-Well-Spent. It corresponds to situations where customers actually value the time they spend with the brand. There is a Core distinction between services (time well saved) and experiences (time well spent). With services, people look for time well saved: they want to optimize how they spend their hard-earned money – and their harder-earned time.

Nowadays Time-Well-Spent movement focuses on how to get technology platforms to stop hijacking our minds and start putting our well-being first(cf. Tristan Harris). 

“Instead of just being nice, design your interactions to be so engaging that customers cannot help but remember them.”


clearly is the sector for which CX is of paramount importance. Simply because it has been pressured for several years now by companies like Amazon. Amazon delivers an excellent online CX for a large public and a large variety of products. Logistics, online purchase, after sales services, guarantees and so forth. To such an extent that the group decided to launch bricks and mortar stores in the US. The strategy: creating non-material value – brand value, brand reputation, affinity, ‘brand love’ among customers. A bricks-and-mortar store provides an opportunity for customers to come into physical contact with the brand.

Amazon introduced a new concept linked to the Times Well Spent: the Time Well Saved.
The Seattle-based company has proved for years that it is much more convenient to purchase on the internet than in stores. So, retailers definitely have to innovate to offer great CX in-store: the atmosphere, physical and digital interactions. I studied this in a preceding post: how Orange (French Telecom) excels at offering great CX in its temple of PHYGITAL (mix of off-line/in-store and on-line). This new concept must be an excellent way for the retail industry to renew itself.

Let’s focus on two examples of retailers who concentrate on CX to boost their businesses and differentiate from the market while remaining physical retailers:


1. EATALY (Food industry)

The business strategy of the Italian company from Turin is to emphasize on experiential Marketing by providing the customers with holistic experiences. There you’ll find several restaurants, stores, cooking schools, museums, etc. You’ll be able to move from one “activity” to another quite easily.

Considered as a temple of Italian food, Eataly has created a place people go to because they like to spend their time there. But how, you become such a place? First, it is necessary to focus on the design and merchandising of objects and the stores that sell them in order to succeed and make a difference. Then, you must sell high-quality products, then people will be willing to pay for this well-staged experience! They have a pleasant moment and they know they will appreciate the product. Here is a very good example of Time Well Spent.

This food business has turned its store into an extraordinary location thanks to its design, cafes and specialty restaurants, cooking school, and even a museum, in which to experience Italian cuisine and food.” Joe Pine



2. LUSH (Cosmetics)

In LUSH stores, you’ll find handmade cosmetics and you will be very likely to spend a memorable moment. The company’s marketing strategy is to offer shopping experiencesmore personalized and experiential. And that’s it!

Its offerings come unpackaged and when customers choose them, they have to cut off a piece of soap from a slab. That’s engaging experience.

 “Getting your hands wet as you plunge them into a sink in which a bath bomb was just set off  is not convenient or simple; it’s messy, and soapy, and lovely, and engaging — it’s experiential!”



CX really is a top priority for the group,as a proof:  Lush has built and now launched its own tablet till system. The open-source system includes an app built on Google’s Android that allows its shop staff to roam the store, offering mobile checkout points to customers, as well as personalized product information. The tablet tills are also found where a normal cash desk would be, but they offer faster transactions and more payment options.

LUSH designed the customer journey to be as much fluid as possible to offer “Time Well Saved” experiences where there are almost no constraint for the customers. And Time Well Spent because they had a great and hopefully memorable moment…

“Shoppers Need a Reason to Go to Your Store — Other Than Buying Stuff” Joe Pine


have so much data on their travellers that they could probably offer the most personalized experience to them. I (Julien) remember talking with the head of brand strategy at Air France in 2017 about CX and I would add that not only airlines have an incommensurable amount of data but the ecosystem in which they are present offers even more data. If each actor would share their information on passengers – respecting the GDPR – air transport and airports would offer the most fluid customer journeys. Airlines could treat their customers differently according to their position, purchases, specific needs, individual history, etc. But due to security (i.e. anti-terrorism) and confidentiality (i.e. GDPR) reasons, that’s not so easy.


Finance and Insurances

is ranked as the second sector in terms of the volume of customers’data collected. Banks know so much about your behavior and purchases through their credit cards, and Insurances know so much about each of us because they must collect medical, financial and familial, etc. information to deliver their services and reach our expectations. Insurances and Banks could become CX platforms where they can measure the CX at any touch point and collect data to improve the level of personnalization, thus offering greater experiences. For example, banks could help their clients with aspiration: “who you want to become” by suggesting them where to invest, what to purchase, and so forth.

“Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to learn, because when you learn you can better customize for that customer, and when you do that the customer benefits, and because they benefit they want to interact with you again, and so on” Joe Pine

Next week we will see how customer feedbacks and IoT can help boost CX.

Let’s keep in touch, you can contact me at connaissance-client@julien-hervy.com