Weatherhead School of Management

Beyond Features and Benefits: Tools of Experience-based Innovation

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About the course

Merely improving traditional features and benefits of one’s product in today’s economy seldom yields significant gains in growth and profitability. Companies, big and small, therefore face unprecedented pressure to discover new forms of value, and to design and develop new offerings that successfully manifest this value in the marketplace. To do this, true innovators must employ a whole new set of design tools, not ones wed to an old Industrial mindset but instead ones capable of triggering fresh new thinking about experience-based innovation.

Drawing from the tools outlined in the groundbreaking book, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, as well as subsequent use of these techniques in industry after industry, this program will provide a portfolio of design tools aimed at creating greater experiential value on a customer-unique basis. It will outline the application of experience-design thinking to research-and-development, marketing, operations, placemaking and event management—both physical and digital, and most importantly, for-fee experiential output.

Experiences are inherently personal, as no two customers can ever have the same experience—period! Such experiences are more relevant to customer needs. And as goods and services are increasingly commoditized, well-conceived experiences are more likely to be differentiated versus one’s competition. Participants in this session will come away with practical new ideas for “experientializing” their businesses and their offerings, in the form of a useful toolkit of proven frameworks for experience-based innovation.


  • The Progression of Economic Value from goods and services to experiences
  • Experiential design of (the using of) goods
  • Experiential design of services via customization
  • Understanding attitudes, behaviors and motivations vs. traditional market segmentation

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will:

  • Learn specific techniques to add experiential value to tangible goods
  • Learn new metrics to drive experiential value in intangible services
  • Be challeneged to embrace a new method of uncovering and capturing customer needs
  • Understand the four realms of engagement needed to creat memorable experiences
  • Grasp the power of staging all experiences with an underlying theme.

Who should attend

Executives, managers, and designers in the areas of experiential marketing, customer experience management, digital media experiences, design and innovation, as well as market research and analysis. Pairs or groups from the same company can greatly magnify learning by attending together.

Trust the experts

James Gilmore

As co-author of The Experience Economy: Updated Edition (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011), Jim Gilmore literally wrote the book that spawned worldwide interest in experience design, customer experience management, and experiential marketing. Tom Peters has called The Experience Economy “a bri...


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