Are You Ready for What's in Store? : Exploring Consumers' Perception of the Experience Economy

by Pollnow, Karin; Österlund, Hanna

Abstract (Summary)
The concept of experiences may not be all that revolutionary or new, however, the notion of an economy where experiences make up the core of all businesses is. This suggestion was made by Pine and Gilmore in 1999 in their bestseller “The Experience Economy”, and since then, the concept has received a lot of positive attention. Critics of the authors’ proposal still remain few in number, and there is a lack of research re-garding experiences and consumers.As the authors of this thesis we posed ourselves positive to the Experience Economy in general, but also a bit hesitant to the idea of companies offering experiences in all consumer contexts. Due to the lack of research regarding the demand side, we set out to explore the phenomenon of the Experience Economy from the perception of consumers. By doing so we hoped to find whether or not a foundation for Pine and Gilmore’s (1999) idea exists.In order to explore consumers’ perceptions of the Experience Economy, we focused on what is at the core of the concept – experiences. A qualitative research approach was decided upon, and three focus group interviews were conducted. The focus groups were made up of young consumers, parents of small children, and middle aged consumers.The empirical findings indicate that a foundation for the claim that the Experience Economy is emerging does exist, at least to the extent that no substantial barriers have been identified. However, we believe that the notion of an experience-based economy is only to be discussed if the concept is somewhat widened in its claims. That is, our summation of the consumers’ perceptions of the Experience Economy suggests that experiences need to be viewed as existing along a spectrum, ranging from a negative to a positive extreme. Rather than just being at the positive extreme, as indicated by scholars, we believe that staged experiences in the Experience Econ-omy will range from the spectrum’s neutral centre to only on rare occasions touch upon the extraordinaire.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:experience economy experiences focus groups


Date of Publication:06/23/2005

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