The transformational experience economy

The experience economy has been much talked about, but I have not come across the term ‘transformational experience economy’.

I heard it in a recent talk by Mk Haley, Creative Program Manager at Walt Disney Imagineering and professor at UCLA, who toured NZ with a talk about “The Innovation of the Experience Economy” hosted by Mahuki.

The ‘transformational experience economy’ is an evolution of the experience economy. The experience economy creates value through experiences and the memory they create – Walt Disney was a real pioneer of it. Yet it still leaves us in the role of a consumer.

A transformational experience goes further, it connects in a deeper way, changes our thinking or motivates us to take action and make the world better – it transforms us in some way.

For example, this could be the experience in a natural history exhibition or a zoo that makes us more aware of the environment and we take action in reducing our waste as a consequence.

The interesting insight Mk shared is that such experiences don’t just make for a good experience and a good memory, but make people feel better about themselves as a result. Quite powerful.

Seeing how many brands in retail and entertainment are now connecting their story with more meaningful outcomes it is already quite a trend. Here in NZ Eat my Lunch might be a good example.

Here is a link to an article and the model from original discoverers of the Experience Economy.

It also reminded me of a really interesting approach that Te Papa is developing on measuring the impact its activities have on audiences. As the impacts go deeper, they become harder to measure.

Adrian Kingston shared Te Papa’s approach in his talk “The Audience Impact model” at last year’s National Digital Forum.

Although aware of such experiences, I was a bit slow in picking up the term, so there you go, a new buzz word. If you have more experience with it, drop me a note!

Author: sabine.doolin

Strategy consultant working with the cultural sector

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