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Book Review: X: The Experience When Business Meets Design by Brian Solis
November 6, 2015
Bestselling author, renowned digital analyst and futurist, Brian Solis has released his 7th book, X: Where Business Meets Design. Over three years in the making, X explains the importance of creating memorable moments for customers in every encounter they have with a brand, and how this is the defining element of future success.
X provides business professionals at all levels, from entry to executive, the reasoning, motivation and tools to put customer experience at the center of your business. Solis takes readers through a journey of answering critical questions: What is your brand experience? Why is it important? How should you design meaningful, experiences that your customers will want to share?
Solis contends for the need to go beyond great products, creative marketing and delightful customer service given today’s digitally driven marketplace. By introducing the concept of ‘experience architects,’ he guides readers through designing experiences. Here, Solis explains experience as your brand and your new social currency.
The book is peppered with quotes, facts and case studies from notable sources to bring to life Solis’ key ideas and concepts. He offers tangible insight on how to break out of legacy thinking, philosophies, processes, and systems that inhibit the creation of elevated experiences for customers to match their changing habits, values and behaviors. Namely, Solis advocates for ‘applying a digital-first methodology to designing customer experiences.’
Brand leaders who seek to adopt this digital-first approach will highly appreciate the book’s roadmap for gaining internal, organizational alignment. Further, you will be walked through several existing frameworks to map out your current customer experience – journey mapping, experience mapping, storyboarding – as well as Solis’ own framework and experience flow. For established and emerging businesses alike, it offers an interesting exercise to bring new ideas, problems, solutions and opportunities to light.
Beyond mapping your customer experience, Solis nods to storytelling best practices and how to spark conversations with your customers and audiences in ways that lead to meaningful engagement. Empathy, he insists, is “the secret ingredient” for creating rich customer experiences. “Seeing the world through the eyes of others gives you a competitive advantage because so few businesses have a disciplined method for doing so,” Solis asserts. By adopting a human-centered approach to design, a concept most often lauded to design firm IDEO, Solis distills sometimes overly complex methodologies into accessible, practical and applicable insights for brands of all sizes and scales.
As Solis argues, we now live in a time where success is increasingly tied to experience and where consumer experience is the sum of all customer engagements, brand touch points and ‘moments of truth’ throughout a customer’s lifecycle. To ensure success he challenges us to answer the question, “How is your brand showing up in the world in ways that offer meaningful moments to your customers, consumers, audiences and employees?” X is an invaluable guide to your answer.
X is available on Amazon.