Sonder
Justine Ragany Justine Ragany

Content director, collaborator and moderately sceptical of business speak. I’m here to support my team to do its best work. You'll also find me at every ideation meeting – creating strategies and content that get the right results for our clients.

Are you ready for the Experience Age? But what is it?

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Welcome to a four-part series looking at how brands can ensure they are part of the Experience Age.

Part 1: What is the Experience Age?

Think Snapchat and Periscope not Facebook. Instagram Live gets it right, however. It’s about ‘now’ and not ‘then’ and definitely not about having to wait around. As a successor to the Information Age, it’s time to concentrate on the present. I love the fleetingness of it all. You missed it? Tough, it’s gone.

Mike Wadhera, in his feature The Information is over… for TechCrunch.com succinctly explains the difference:

Facebook is an Information Age native. Along with other social networks of its generation, Facebook was built on a principle of the desktop era —  accumulation. Accumulation manifests in a digital profile where my identity is the sum of all the information I’ve saved —  text, photos, videos, web pages. But mobile has changed how we view digital identity. With a connected camera televising our life in-the-moment, accumulated information takes a back seat to continual self-expression. The “virtual self” is becoming less evident. I may be the result of everything I’ve done, but I’m not the accumulation of it. Snapchat is native to this new reality.”

Don’t tell me where you’ve been, tell me where you are. A heightened sense of immediacy can play out well for brands that are prepared to trust their teams and their agencies to live the brand and broadcast the message.

This is no time for four-tiered sign-off process. It’s time to be brave.

It’s also time to get emotional. Relief? Joy? Satisfaction? Tick, tick, tick. Google Maps helps me when I am lost. Snapchat makes me laugh when I see my friends faces’ warping. Alexa gives me the answer when I can’t be bothered to pick up my phone and search. What can your brand offer in the moment?

“Experiences make people happier than material objects,” says Daniel Newman, in an article for Forbes. If this is true – and a number of experiments show it to be the case – then brands need to make sure that their tangible product or intangible service is a helluva lot of fun when it’s being used.

This might be in the form of the purchase process or after-sales service. It could be content that inspires new uses or how to get the best out of a product. Crucially though, these ideas have to be unique to the brand’s product, rather than applicable to all of its competitors. It’s about knowing your product and its USPs.

Don’t dismiss sponsorship. Not just for big events – film companies are sponsoring filters on Snapchat such as King Kong for example. Also, run your own events. Publications such as Stylist and The DeBrief regularly team up with brands like Nike to deliver bespoke events that their readers can attend.

So, to conclude: broadcast in the present, promote the unique qualities of your product and take your brand out to your customers’ physical spaces as well as their digital ones.

This feature is a true collaboration. It was inspired by Paul Gataaura’s attendance at FITC Amsterdam X, which he wrote about on Medium, the highlights were identified by Kirsty Spencer, who passed it on to Justine Ragany, who researched and styled it all up.

Everything at Made by Sonder is made by all of us. Makes what we do good (and fun).

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