Long live experience

Picture yourself in your city, facing two coffee shops on the same street who are next to each other and by all means identical. Which one would you choose?

Perhaps you'd need to see what each menu includes, what the food tastes like, how nice the people are there and how comfortable the chairs are, among many other factors, to pick the right coffee shop. And keep in mind these are two perfectly normal coffee shops.

All things considered, and based on what I observe daily in Lisbon, chances are this will be an even match, which makes your choice ultimately random. Why? No differentiation.

What if one of those coffee shops had free — really free, no passwords and no time constraints — wi-fi?

Oh. Yep, that's right, you can admit it. You'd decide to go there. Because while you drink your coffee you'll probably want to check Twitter, read the news or simply check your email, among many other options. These things are now part of your coffee-drinking experience.

This means one of the most basic marketing principles — differentiation — gains yet another layer, and it doesn't necessarily have a direct relation to what the product is, which means both an opportunity and a threat.

It's terrible because your product (depends on the products, of course) may no longer differentiate you, and that's a shocker. And it's awesome because you can go further in pleasing us, your customers — you can show how you truly care about us.

Stop thinking your product alone will convince us, because I can probably get it cheaper somewhere else and not notice the minimal decay in quality. Experience of consumption, however... that's (still) far more rare and unique. So focus on that. Forever.