Brand experience: Brewdog leads the pack

June 2016, by Rupert Faircliff, Senior Consultant

In a recent Guardian comment, economics journalist Paul Mason cited fast growing beer brand Brewdog and their decision to open source their recipe collection, as an example of the post-capitalist trend of value away from products to experience.

With the information available for free, (and with the right equipment) anyone can create a Brewdog beer. As has happened with the music industry before it, Brewdog is signalling that in the future they will make their money on the physical experience that goes with the beer – i.e. their bars – rather than the beers themselves.

Mason’s article picks up the key argument from Pine & Gilmour’s Experience Economy, a well-leafed book at BrandCap London. Products are tangible, services intangible, but experiences are memorable. In our digitised world, where information is easily reproduced, experiences are not.

In this context, Mason claims, the very dynamics of capitalism are being challenged. That’s why today, whatever the offer, planning and carefully crafting an end-to-end brand experience is crucial.

Here are a few ideas for clients thinking about their brand experience:

• Start with the customer journey as it is today. Analyse the touchpoints where you can have the most impact through the addition of experiential value
• Don’t forget the internal experience – engaged employees drive business performance
• The next level is to look at your model. What’s your version of Brewdog’s recipes? How will you move up the value chain? Consider your business and brand’s key assets – what can you re-use, reformulate, or reconfigure to help you get there?