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Of the two, Pine is the one who keeps


abreast of what’s happening, with “a keen set of antennae to spot things of signifi cance,” as Gilmore puts it. He’s the more inventive, creative type, coming up with fresh ideas for business exercises and workshops and facilitating group dynamics. “I’m playful and highly strung, he’s calmer and more academic,” Gilmore adds. Despite Gilmore’s light-hearted protes- tations over the proliferation of technology, the pair know well that the experience economy must contend with digital realities.


QUEST FOR AUTHENTICITY Pine says: “It’s increasingly diffi cult to get people’s attention as they spend more time online or in virtual worlds. Pine and Gilmore recognise customers still want to experience authenticity. In Authenticity – What Consumers Really Want they wrote: “In an increasingly unreal world, consumers choose to buy or not to buy based on how real they perceive an offer. Business today is about being real, original, genuine, sincere and authentic.” According to Pine, this brings us to


the “fi nal offering” of the progression of economic value, which is when experi- ences start guiding life transformations. “Places like gyms are one step ahead, because they’re already in the business of transformation – people don’t go for the workout, they go for the change it will bring. “I remind leisure businesses, they used to own the experience economy – until everyone else started getting into their busi- ness. They must enhance their experiences if they are to continue to compete.” 


From Leisure Management Issue 3 2013, p34


READ MORE ONLINE www.leisurehandbook.com CLICK HERE LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014 35


EXPY winner 826 National is a network of eight writing and tutoring centres in the US that help under-resources students aged 6-18 improve their literacy. When planners stopped them opening their fi rst business in a retail zone, their answer was to put up a fun little store at the front of it. Their fi rst was a pirate supply shop, selling eye patches and hooks. Now every centre has a theme – including a superheroes shop in Brooklyn. It also helps take away some of the stigma for kids.


Get real – get virtual In his most recent book, Infi nite


Possibility – Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier, Pine identifi es the problem of “the migration of virtuality”.


He says: “People bring all this technology with them and they’re just a click away from leaving your experience. How do you get them to engage with their technology so they are more fully immersed in your experience?” He cites the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure that played


at Disney’s Epcot centre last year. “For teens and tweens, Epcot is the most boring part, but this exhibit used digital technology to allow them to go on an adventure within Epcot that had nothing to do with the park.” Kids were given special mobile phones and used the technology to fi nd clues around the park as if they were in an episode with the Kim Possible tv character, leading to a special area where they got to save the world from Dr Evil.


PHOTO: © FLICKR/PETER E LEE


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