Your core business may not be your “core” business

October 27, 2016

Ludwig von Mises said, that “there is no sensible distinction to be made in a restaurant between the value created by the one who cooks the food and the value created by the person who sweeps the floor.” His point was, that when the food is great but the dining room a mess, then you’ll have no customers. If the dining room is spick-and-span, but the food a mess, you’ll have no customers. (von Mises was a theoretical economist best known for his work on the study of human choice and action.)

From the customers perspective, what you consider your “core” business and what are the bits on the side, may be indistinguishable from each other. This is crucial to understanding and designing customer experiences worth talking about. Often engineering led companies consider the package for the product as not important: it’s what’s inside that counts. However, it has been proven again and again, that the package is as much part of the user experience as the product itself is. A cheap package makes the whole thing look cheap.

By mapping your customers’ journeys from need to satisfaction, not just the moment of transaction, you’ll often see that the reasons for buying, or not buying, have little to do with what you thought you were selling. This difference of perspective is what service design can help shift. Journey mapping is the first step on the way to understanding the role your brand plays in your customers’ lives, and how you can be more loyal to them.

Lead article from Brand Manual Bulletin #8. October 28, 2016