What should companies create, features or experiences?

When a technology company launches a new product, be it a device, a piece of software or a web based service they always talk about the features enabled by this new product.  They generate a list where all kinds of goodies are displayed that are supposed to wow the consumer.

What they  believe is that the features sell themselves–that is why they built the product and that is why the product is so great.

In fact, consumers are not interested (nor have they ever been) in features.  They are interested in experiences.  This is what technology companies need to realize–they really are in the business of creating experiences.

For example, when I worked for Nokia, Apple released the iPhone.  Every friend of mine who bought one was eager to tell me about it.  I would always ask them–how do you get on the internet?  They always said, almost without exception, “I do not know, I just do.”.  And they loved that experience.

On a Nokia smart phone, getting on the internet was possible, but you had to know how to do it and it was not easy.  Of course, Nokia phones had a lot of great features–they would tell you all about them in their ads.

On the iPhone, there may be a lot of features– they power the experiences–but you do not have to know about them to get to where you want.

Nokia creates features.

Apple creates experiences.

Smart companies create experiences.

About Chris Dorr

I consult with companies on digital media strategy and business development. Clients include Samsung, MTV Networks, Tribeca Film Festival, Shaw Media and Canadian Film Center. I created the Future of Film blog for Tribeca. I have worked in the movie business for Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, Scott Free and in the digital media business for Intertainer, Sony and Nokia. Contact me at chris@digitaldorr.com or follow me at @chrisdorr
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