The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

If Everything Is An Experience, You Better Make Yours Great …

I’ve written a lot about experience in the past.

How important it is.

How it can drive brand value and growth.

How it can create distinction and differentiation in crowded categories.

I’ve also talked about how badly so much of it is done.

That it’s more about consistency than excellence.

That it isn’t a new approach, just a new profit centre.

That many aspire to everything average than some things spectacular.

It blows my mind what some agencies and companies think is ‘an experience’.

Especially when you compare it to people who genuinely ‘get it’.

Whether it’s certain luxury brands or my client, SKP-S in Beijing.

Which is why I love the picture at the top of this page.

At the time, the person on the runway was 62 years old.


This was taken on the first of 3 nights of performing to 68,000 paying people.

So over 200,000 in total.

In South America.

Think about that for a second.

OK, so the person in question is Brian Johnson … lead singer of rock band AC/DC.

But let’s also remember we’re talking about a group of pensioners.


Yes, I appreciate there are all-sorts of factors/considerations/contexts/excuses you could use to explain why they can achieve that sort of response when brands – with all their experience models and big budgets – can’t.

But the one thing AC/DC understand is if you want to keep people coming back, you need to focus on creating a seminal moment for your audience not average consistency.

It’s why I always ask ‘experience strategists’ about their life rather than just their work. I want to know what their frame of references are for experience. Because frankly – and I appreciate I’m being a massive snob here – if it doesn’t include festivals, theatre, art, music, retail, museums … then I don’t know if we’re ever going to share the same ambitions.

Because while I appreciate ‘average but consistent’ has value to some organisations, I would rather drink bleach than advocate that as a brand goal.

Not simply because I have an aversion to average.

But because when you do experience right – which means knowing who you are and who your customers are – the profits extrapolate. See, I’m not totally selfish.

15 Comments so far
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Careful Rob, queen will get jealous.

Comment by Pete

I doubt it … they played to way more that that on their trailblazing tour of 1981. Plus they then played to 300,000+ in Rio. They’ll be fine. Ha.

Comment by Rob

youre worse than a fucking train spotter.

Comment by andy@cynic

He’s a weapon of queen fact boredom.

Comment by DH

You’ve got 11 years left to pull this off Rob.
Good news is there’s still a chance.

Comment by Bazza

I’d be struggling to get 11 people to come and listen to me, even if I paid them, hahahaha.

Comment by Rob

look at mr self aware.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your aversion to average doesn’t stop you supporting a decidedly average football team.

Comment by John

To be fair Robert, you ask people about their life because you’re also nosy and like to find things you can tease them with for 100 years. But I agree with everything else you’ve written here.

Comment by George


Comment by DH

alright campbell, this post actually has a fucking interesting point. theres too much brand experience bullshit designed by builders when it needs architects. people who get what the fuck emotion is and how to make people feel something beyond which fucking button to hit to spend their cash.

Comment by andy@cynic

Builders versus architects is a very good analogy.

Comment by George


Comment by John

of course it is.

Comment by andy@cynic

It also is a good way to describe the real value companies place on the discipline and the people they hire to execute it.

Comment by Rob

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