Experience Over Performance?

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” –  Jeff Bezos

BMW, who has been using the slogan “The Ultimate Driving Machine” for years, has decided to shelve it, according to The Wall Street Journal.  Somehow they’ve decided that the experience of driving the BMW, in the form of “joy” will yield more results than horsepower, handling, and acceleration.  They’re going to focus on how the BMW affects the consumer instead of the attributes of the car.

What an interesting idea.  So it would be like a radio station focusing on the intangible benefits of the station instead of the amount of music or a contest.  It would be like a “family friendly” station attaching itself to the emotional aspect instead of the intellectual aspect.  They’d quit talking about their “safe music” and start talking about how that makes the listener feel.  A rock station wouldn’t talk about rocking hard, and would instead focus on the value of being a “bad boy.”

Focusing on the experience created by listening to the radio station has been a continuing refrain from Goodratings for a few years.  Someone else can be family friendly or play hard rock, but if you focus on the experience it’s unique to your station.  As BMW said in the Journal article, it’s about the “value beneath the skin.”

Radio imaging is frequently one of the worst waste of times on radio.  It’s sloganeering at its worst, and meaningless hyperbole at the best.

The political people seem to understand better than we.  They call it “messaging.”  Here’s what WikiPedia says about political messaging:

The message of the campaign is what ideas that the candidate wants to share with the voters. The message often consists of several talking points about policy issues. The points summarize the main ideas of the campaign and are repeated frequently in order to create a lasting impression with the voters.

In politics the focus is on ideas, not “facts” or features.  Compare that with what you hear on the radio.