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According to consultant Brian Solis, companies that provide truly outstanding consumer service can harness powerful word-of-mouth advertising and gain competitive advantage. Starbucks, Apple and Disney thrive because they carefully design the customer experience at every touchpoint before, during and after a purchase. Solis unloads a lot of information, and occasionally his concepts get as convoluted as an alchemy treatise. But most of this big, boldly designed volume is pure gold: inspiring ideas, clear explanations and vivid examples from real companies. A section on mapping and comparing your customers’ current experience and the ideal you could offer proves particularly useful, especially since Solis provides dozens of detailed sample maps as templates. getAbstract believes this design manual will interest most marketers and could be especially helpful to executives at established companies.

About the Author

A principal analyst at Altimeter Group, Brian Solis wrote What’s the Future of Business? and The End of Business as Usual, a Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 business book. He blogs at


“Experience Is the New Brand”

To succeed today, your business must design an experience for your customers. You must craft this experience as creatively as you would a novel or movie, so you surprise and delight consumers at every touchpoint. From the moment you capture their attention, make your customers the center of your brand’s universe. Meet and anticipate their needs.

Customer experience encompasses much more than good product design or service, although those basics are essential. Smart companies take a customer-centered approach to the smallest details. For instance, Apple spent months designing the iPod box to make sure it would be easy to open. Starbucks encourages guests to customize menu items to foster a personal connection.

Experience is essential, not only because consumers demand it but also because they will share their opinions about their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and blogs. New customers increasingly consult other users’ opinions and advice before making buying decisions.

Customer Experience

Statistics show how important experience has become. In a survey by the consultancy Zendesk, 40% of customers ...

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