Reprinted from “ProphetAbility – The Revealing Story of Why Companies Succeed, Fail, or Bounce Back”  by Betsy Westhafer and Tony Bodoh

In their book, The Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore state that in reality, the customer is the product. Think it about it like this:

Say you take a piece of wood and put it into a factory. There it can become a desk, a chair, a table, a shelf or a multitude of other products. It goes through a number of machines and is transformed into a finished product.

In the Transformation Economy, the person comes to the process in whatever raw material state they may be in. The customer is like the log on the one end of the factory. You, the company, guide them through a series of experiences that morph them, turn them and alter how they see the world. You will change how they see themselves and will transform them into someone amazing, someone they desire to be. So the customer is actually the product. Through the process, they come out on the other end as someone different. This is true in both B2B and B2C.

They are also the buyer, which makes the Transformation Economy much more unique, interesting and exciting than any other economy we’ve had before.

If you are in the B2B world, you may say, “I need a software so that I can serve my customers better.” Or, “I need some help in designing and building our new corporate headquarters.” Or, “I need to buy some equipment for our factory.” In other words, you have vendors, and those vendors should be considering how they are going to help you and your business transform. They need to know who you and your company want to become as a result of doing business with them.

Fundamentally, the CEO needs to understand, whether B2B or B2C, how their customers want to transform over the next three to five years. Who do they want to become? How do they want to transform?

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