What is Experience Economy and where can you find best examples in Bulgaria?
When I write about some interesting place, I perceive it not only through the prism of my tool the 5DSensograph, which evaluates what it heard, saw, smelled, tasted and felt, but also through the theory about Experience Economy. I wrote about it in my article IS THE CUSTOMER ALWAYS RIGHT?.
This theory is developed by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, extremely popular contemporary bestselling authors in the field of economics, visionaries and inspirational TED speakers. This theory not only is mega interesting but also constantly proves in practice. It is gaining more and more followers to get there, the CEOs of big companies to pay crazy money for the precious workshops of Pine and Gilmore, so even to create a new top management position – Chief Experience Officer (CXO). According to them, all mass products that compete only at price are simply commodities. Standard mass services are based on the time well saved principle. Modern services profess the principle of time well spent.
There will always be customers who are more interested in the low prices, promotions and discounts, saving their money and time. Respectively, there can always be quality compromises and definitely no special memories from the quicker service of vending machines, shop by the stand directly, online self-service.
Only that things are quite different when the client goes to spend his/her free time in the entertainment and hospitality business. There he/she does not want to save time and does not search for simple service at low cost, promotion or discount. Nor does she want to be simply of a marketing persona, a market segment representative or a focus group participant. He/she wants to be in the focus, with his unique personality and lifestyle, with her expectations to be pampered and satisfied with the decision that she has chosen exactly this restaurant, hotel, bar, café, hairdresser or gym of many others. He wants positive experiences and memories from this place, needs his senses to be saturated with new, pleasant feelings, to tell about it to friends and family, to remember and to plan to come back. He wants to experience time well spent. We’re in times of another type of economy.
We are in the time and reality of the Experience Economy.
Why is it so much necessary to sell to the customers experiences? Because, they are willing to pay with 3 very important values:
If you draw in a nice way their attention and sped their free time in a memorable and wonderful way, they will not mind spending even excessive amount of money for this experience. Do not forget that sometimes they hang out in the company of friends, their own or several other families and then the quantities of these important values swell considerably.
I can’t forget how my girls 9 and 7 y.o., entering the restaurant Before 10 in Sofia for the first time, exclaimed: “Wow, it is cooool here!”
You go down literally underground on some steep steps, but when you get inside, you feel like home- cosy, comfortable, with style and delicious- cooking with old Bulgarian recipes, which you can’t taste in other places. When your children enjoy it somewhere, you have the opportunity to enjoy your experience longer and better. For children and their values as clients, I intend to write another article.
You can read more about Before 10 in my article BEFORE 10- CONTEMPORARY INTERPRETATION OF TRADITIONAL BULGARIAN CUISINE , SOFIA, BULGARIA.
It was me who exclaimed “Wow” when I entered for the first time restaurant Cosmos in Sofia. The place is designed to offer all senses new sensations, starting from the moving to the sounds of ethno-electro music interior, pass through the obligatory signature menu-gourmet interpretations of traditional Bulgarian and Balkan dishes, very good service, which presents in professional manner the remarkable food, to the high quality drinks and unique cocktails. With so much attention to detail, how not to have a cosmic experience. Read about Cosmos in COSMOS – KEEPING THEIR FIRST PLACE IN MY 5D RANKING, SOFIA, BULGARIA.
The younger sister of cosmos, Rakia Raketa, again in Sofia, also offers another kind of experience with this slightly humorous and nostalgic socialist-retro interior, a menu with dishes from that time and slightly familiar, right in the spirit of the interior jolly communication with the staff. And music is variety of retro Bulgarian hits, from which you jump into blissful memories of your carefree childhood.
I, personally, am not a fan of their cuisine, but the restaurant is full all the time, no matter which day of the week it is. The rakia, which is offered is specially selected, with very high quality and the cocktails are absolutely unique! There is a wonderful Rakia workshop, which according to all the rules corresponds to the principles of good customer experience. At this workshop, besides being tasted a very qualitative brandy, accompanied by quality appetizers, you can learn, terribly interesting things such as that it is damn hard to make good rakia, that for such matter much knowledge is needed, as well as a rich history of experiments, stubbornness and love. That it is not consumed cold, as is widely practiced, but at room temperature to feel the aromas and that it is very well matched not only with salad, but also with main course and dessert. More on the issue read in my article RAKIA WORKSHOP IN RAKIA RAKETA BAR, SOFIA, BULGARIA.
I’m going to give one more example with a hotel. It is true that they are aiming for the high segment, but this is not about whether they offer an expensive service, more over it is about the personal attitude towards regular customers. I am long time loyal customer of them and I have written many reviews about them. The word is about Yastrebets Wellness and SPA in Borovets ski resort in Bulgaria. If you are interested in it, read my latest review YASTREBETS WELLNESS AND SPA- MY ANNUAL SKI VACATION AT BOROVETS, BULGARIA
Every time I check-in there I find personalized Welcome note and a bottle of red wine as a complement. As the staff is relatively constant, the managers of the main departments remember me and are address me by name. The interesting thing is that reservations department know which apartment we like most and they care to book it every time for us. I realized that when I attempted to book our stay and the manager started apologizing that our preferred apartment was busy and offered another one which was almost the same. I am convinced that this is a standard for all customers of the hotel. This makes the guests experience different from that in other rivals.
I’m Sure there are many more wonderful examples of places Bulgaria that randomly or intentionally meet the principles of the Experience Economy.
Such places are usually popular and on high demand because they offer not just services but emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, memorable experiences to their clients.
I’m determined, every time I get into a place like this, to tell you about it.
My next article will be dedicated to a great example of an experience that characterizes the economy of the experiences of Pine and Gilmore. The example is from Bali island, to which I have dedicated a series of reviews and ratings.
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 Term from the book “The Experience Economy” by Pine and Gilmore
 Term from the book “The Experience Economy” by Pine and Gilmore
 Self-Service online on the internet platforms
 Traditional Bulgarian alcohol drink, similar to brandy and grappa