As a businessperson, you understand your company from the inside out. The customer has a diametrically opposed view. Customers learn about your company from the outside in. As customers experience the finished product, they only rarely glimpse into the inner workings that create this end experience.
The optical illusions of 16th century Giuseppe Arcimboldo illustrate the paradoxical nature of business operation. From one perspective, this painting is an elegant bowl of fruit. From the other, the same bowl of fruit is an artistic representation of a face.
Arcimboldo’s paradox nicely illustrates the possibilities that a thorough understanding of your customer experience opens. Previously invisible opportunities become visible, and monetizing the customer experience becomes possible.
Jordi Roca’s new line of perfume exemplifies the kinds of ways to monetize the customer experience by broadening your perspective as a business owner. Working as a pastry chef for widely acclaimed Spanish restaurant Cellar de Can Roca, Mr. Roca developed an obsession for scent. At first, Roca created desserts that “tasted” like particular smells. A notable example is the Calvin Klein Eternity, a dessert combining a mandarin orange granita with orange flower gelée, basil, and a vanilla cream to capture the fruit and herbal notes of the fragrance. Through trial and error, he discovered that it’s far easier to make perfumes that smell like a particular taste. Roca stumbled upon success when he perfected his pastries by creating a signature non-edible fragrance to enhance the citrus notes of certain dishes.
Customers soon started asking for the non-edible spray, and Núvol de Llimona was born. The takeaway point here is that Roca’s desire was to literally encapsulate the customer experience, which in this example was the warm, familial atmosphere of the restaurant.
Monetizing the customer experience proved a profitable source of revenue when in the first three weeks customer demanded more than 300 bottles of the new line, which now sells for $70 on the restaurant’s website. Maybe it’s worth looking into whether there is hidden revenue in your business’s sensory experience…