B. Joseph Pine II. by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore. WELCOME TO THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY Welcome to the emerging experience economy. Economists have typically lumped experiences in with services, but experiences are a distinct economic offering. “Dreams and aspirations live in us all. We all want something better out of life. By changing health care to life care, we can all have it. We can take those dreams.
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Get Instant Access to The Experience Economy, Updated Edition By B. Joseph Pine Ii, James H. Gilmore #69ce87 EBOOK EPUB KINDLE PDF. Download eBook The Experience Economy, Updated Edition By B. Joseph Pine Ii, James H. Gilmore [EBOOK EPUB KINDLE PDF]. Editorial Reviews. Review. ''[An] updated and wonderfully relevant book.'' -- AdAge ''One of the best business books of the twentieth century, now renewed for the.
Is it every qualified applicant? Or just the finalist that we bring in to interview and that we actually select. Or is it all of the above? I'd love to be able to have a little polling here, but I wasn't smart enough to think to put that in before we started this webinar. But our candidates are everyone who expresses an interest in a specific opportunity.
So what is the candidate experience now? And why is it so important now when in the past, we could generally just ignore that well.
I think that it's more closely aligned with the expectations defined by the experienced economy. Crispin in some of his research says that in the dark ages — those days before the Internet, when no one had friends or followers — very little effort was ever made to understand the attitude and behaviors of the candidates.
Let alone consider whether those were important or relevant to the recruitment process, our candidates were just expected to line up, be screened, be selected and be ever grateful for whatever interest was extended by the employer.
In all the research on this topic, I read a really cool story of how the foreman of a railway yard in Philadelphia, who would need workers every day.
This is how he recruited for his job, he would go early in the morning where a mob of candidates who would be standing right outside his fence. So there is this tall mill fence that would separate him from this big mob. He would throw oranges over the top of the fence.
He would throw as many oranges as the number of men that he needed that day. When he unlocked the fence, those men holding oranges in their hands, they came through and the candidate mob dispersed until the next day. So sourcing, selecting on boarding, time to fill — about five minutes.
Cost for hire — the price of an orange. I doubt really seriously whether that foreman or the candidate thought very much about that experience. A little fast forward. World War II. Actually, World War II through the s. When I came into the industry, we seem to recruit professionals from just an unending booming supply of quality candidates. At that stage, what we were looking for is more conformity, credentials became very, very important and we compared everybody to a normative behavior.
It was almost as though we thought of people like replaceable cogs in the wheel, or we'd simply say, "Next," to get our future talent. But you know over time, things change and suddenly there's a very real challenge to find, attract, screen, select and on board. Skills, knowledge and experience are not the only factors in play. Do the candidates values, do their attitudes, do their expectations match with our firm? Filming a diverse flight of quality interested candidates actually takes some work.
Company's stage and experience whenever they engage candidates, connecting with them in a personal memorable way. Seriously, time out. Who is this guy? I mean, they say if anyone knows the value of personal honest customer service, it's this guy. But who is this guy?
Is this some sort of meme that I don't know about? One of my co-workers helped me grab some graphics for this presentation and I'm like, "I don't know who he is. He kind of looks like a guy I hired in , but really honestly I don't know who he is. But I'm convinced that if the experiences of that guy for being a consumer of everything else, it holds true that the same sort of market exists in talent acquisition.
Nearly a third of the HR professionals reported recruiting as their biggest concern. Recruitment is a top HR challenge and engagement is a concern. But the way candidates are treating during the recruiting process, leaves a lasting impression and their opinions resonate long after a position has been filled. Remember the time you received a particularly poor service at a restaurant, an automotive shop, airline counter perhaps? For a lot of us, those ordeals create our most lasting recollections of a company.
And often, our very best watercooler stories. We forget consistently dependable service while remembering those occasional mishaps. Companies that falter on the service front, discover the hard way — to turn service into an experience, all you got to do is provide poor service.
And thus, you create a very memorable encounter of the most unpleasant kind. That SilkRoad Talent Management report I referred to, just a minute ago, it tells us that the surest way to provide a poor hiring experience comes from the top pet peeves of today's candidates. Those pet peeves were companies unresponsive to resumes or applications, no follow-up after the interview, a difficult or lengthy application process, a poor interviewing technique or unprofessional interviewers, and disconnected sourcing and recruiting process.
Hopefully, I didn't mention anything that is prevalent in your own organizations. But armed with that information, let's look a little bit closer at six lessons that were learned from the candidate experience. This was a candidate experience. So I'd like for you to take a look at these six ideas, and then filter them through how you think your candidate experiences stack up. Lesson number one, they call this Know My Value.
As employers, we really only value two things: make us some money or save us some money. Isn't that true, isn't that why we hire somebody? We're either looking at them to make us some money or save us some money.
So we know what we want, we know what we expect and we think we know who the people are that have what we're looking for. But you know what? When it comes to organizations and people, one size doesn't fit anybody. Candidates now want us to know them relative to their ability to provide that value. You want a hiring process that has built-in flexibility, not rigid rules. Some of the best talent is idiosyncratic. It's censored, maybe even a little bit weird.
The right person might not have taken that traditional path to get to you. The last thing you want is a process that eliminates some stellar talent, because of a bureaucratic reason. For example, a college degree. It's nice, but is it really the key determinant of an applicant's future performance? Lesson two: Walk in my Shoes. How many steps are in your application process? Remember that complaint. What was their top hat key, a difficult or lengthy application process?
We've all been job-seekers at some point in our careers. And as you design or you improve your hiring process, keep that applicant experience front and center at all times.
Obviously, we're here to fill our organization's needs, but the more that you understand and design the process from the applicant's point of view, the more successful you're going to be. Even role playing could be invaluable here. Have a team member come play through as an applicant, as you design each step of the process.
Would you put up with it? If you wouldn't put up with it, come up with another idea. Lesson three: Hear Me Now, is what they call this. Do you collect and listen to feedback from applicants, from the candidates, from the finalists? Do you poll your new hires? Your hiring process needs to always be evolving.
Social media has handed us a really powerful tool, but that can impact every step of our process. But it's a great opportunity for us too.
It's a great opportunity for us to actively seek feedback from our candidates. Those we hire and even those that we don't. Listen, respond, and keep tweaking your process. Static hiring process will very soon turn stale. And think of the feedback as kind of a dialogue or a jumping-off point, an inspiration point for future development.
I think it was Bill Gates, he said something like, "You're most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. Lesson number four, this is where Joe Pine's authenticity stuff that we talked about earlier.
This is where it really begins to show up. Lesson four: Speak Clearly. Align your communication methods to your audience. Are you able to navigate your firm's career site and search for new jobs on your mobile phone? That's what most people want to do. Are you able to text, or is the candidate able to text or call or chat with their recruiters?
Can they apply for a job with their mobile phone? Can they check a previously saved profile before with their mobile phone? Can they check their resume status along the way? Remember that earlier complaint, disconnected sourcing and recruiting processes? We also find another way that we disconnect for them, is perhaps we go out and try to grab them or source them or attract them through social media.
And then what happens when they get to work? We don't do that during hours. I thought you were a cool company on Facebook.
Lesson number five: Answer Truthfully. Answer those questions like how frequently does this position come open. What did the last person who won this job, what did they look like, and what happened to the person who was in this job before? Perhaps through these, kind of addresses that complaint from the SilkRoad survey of poor interviewing techniques and even unprofessional recruiters. Are we just saying what we need to in order to get the candidate to take the role?
We're really looking for transparency. And again, that authentic experience. That's what the candidate is wanting. Lesson number six from thecandidateexperience. Of course, you have to make a promise before you can deliver on it. Make a promise like our online application can be completed in less than two minutes. Or all candidates will be communicated with within 20 days. I don't know, but come up with something to promise and then deliver on that promise.
That's directly in relationship to the complaints around companies who are unresponsive to resume, their applications. And there is no follow-up after the interview. Can you just imagine the black hole that most of our candidates fall into every time they spend 27 minutes filling out our online application, uploading this, cutting and pasting that, time this back, looking for this, answering our 47 pre-screening questions.
Can you imagine how frustrating that is if they get nothing? I think I would even prefer one of those automated, "Hey, thank you for applying," responses to get nothing. My son's He's trying to look for a job right now and it's a new experience for him. And all those jobs that we used to think about that were pretty routine for kids to get; even the kids have to go online to do these things now. My own little survey here, I have so many places where he has posted an online job application, and has not heard anything from any of these people.
Not even a, "Thank you, we got your application. I can only imagine. We're lucky; he doesn't have to have a job this summer. He wants a job this summer, but he doesn't have to have one. But what if you had to have a job or your car was going to be repossessed, or your family was going to have to move or I don't know.
Can you imagine the frustration that those candidates feel? To me, that really just violates every rule of common courtesy and smart communication. You need to keep them aware throughout the hiring process.
Explain every step, and always meet the deadlines and the markers that you establish. If for some unforeseeable reason you're unable to, then communicate that very swiftly and directly to the applicant. Stay transparent, stay honest all the way through. Why is this so important? Why do we care so much now? Well, remember what we said earlier about candidate experience?
And really what the candidate experience is, is the attitudes and behaviors of the individuals who aspire to work for our firm. And it's their attitudes about the recruiting process, the stakeholders in the process, the work and the company itself as a place to work.
It's also the subsequent actions of the candidates and their impact on the performance of your company. The candidate experience has a tremendous impact on subsequent actions of the candidates, and their impact on the performance of the company.
The way they're treated during the recruitment process leaves a lasting impression, and their opinions resonate long after that position's been filled. Poor practices can damage your brand.
Not just your employment brand but your brand brand, your marketing brand. If for no other reason — although I hope that I've established a few other compelling reasons today — but if for no other reason than this slide right here, we need to understand the value of the candidate experience. Another way to put it — a good candidate experience is a brilliant marketing for an organization. A bad one is an ongoing black eye for people interested in your brand.
Candidates do indeed remember how they were treated, both well and poorly. Candidates indicate that negative experiences do influence their brand perception and the likelihood of referring others to the organization. Positive experiences can be delivered to all applicants. Those successful obviously in getting a job offer, typically walk away with the best memory, but that's not universal.
Candidates can still feel negative about the process, in spite of getting the job, and they can still feel positive in spite of not being the chosen one. You have an opportunity to influence everyone, even those that you don't hire.
So that's it, more or less, in a nutshell. We offered a very brief introduction into Gilmore and Pine's book, but I think we boiled it down to the most compelling parts of that book. We discussed the candidate experience as it is today, and studied some of the challenges of those candidate expectations. And hopefully, we made a case for why it's also very important. And lastly, I hope it was a good experience that you sat through this webinar today.
And I know it's time for questions from the group or it's about time for questions from the group, but if I can ask you to indulge me just for a few minutes, I'd really like to know what some of your organizations are doing around the idea of CX.
You know that's what all the cool kids call it, CX, Candidate Experience. But perhaps you could even share with me through the chat box or here's my contact information if you wouldn't mind connecting with me after the webinar.
I would really like to hear some of the ideas that your organizations are doing, and like to be able to broadcast that as best practices as we continue this conversation around in the coming months.
And of course, if you have other questions, you have other comments — please feel free to submit them now. So thank you very much for your time and your attention today. Jill, thank you so much for sharing you knowledge today. And at this point, I'd like to turn the webinar over to our Meeting Manager, who will help support with our questions and answers.
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And while we're waiting for the questions, a question actually came in here. A question for you, Jill. Can you give some tangible examples of ways to enhance the candidate experience during the recruitment process? Maybe something you've used in the past. I definitely think the opportunity to communicate with the talent along the way, and perhaps to change that up a little bit delivering it through a different format.
But definitely, we need to be able to communicate to tell them that we received their application, here's the next step. When the next step is complete, what's the next step and to give some expectations along the way. Some of this can be mass customized, if you will. I know that's kind of an odd term, but some of these things can be automated. We just them to be enacted in a way that the individual fields is very, very specific to themselves.
I'm kind of likening it to… I don't know how many of you have ever bought vitamins at GNC. But GNC has— depending on who you are — older, female, male, runner, a workout person, couch potato, whatever — you can download your vitamins packaged specifically for you.
But nobody thinks that I'm just the only one getting this one pack of vitamins. They're just customized in a mass way for a group of people. So some of your communication can be mass customized, if you will. And I think that's one way to be able to bring this home to the candidate experience. I also think very much — just in the process itself — is it necessary that we ask for all of this information upfront? I think that that's been part of the whole idea behind this idea, the talent networks that we're all creating for our candidates; a shortened version of an application, just because it can be so daunting and we ask for so much in advance.
And do we really need that much right then? Maybe they could just answer three quick questions and we'll just figure out if they're in the game or out, and be able to move on from there. So I think taking a look at our processes and then beginning to whittle those down to what's really relevant to this particular role.
I think another place that we can customize some of this, is even in how we post our positions. I'm being creative and trying to reach those people who we really do want engaged in this particular search.
And I think if we could be a little bit more creative in even how we post on Monster, for example, I think that we can do a lot to customize, to make somebody feel like, "You're speaking right to me.
Your topic resonated with a lot of people. We have some questions coming in, and another one's from Cory. Cory asks, "How do you keep candidates warm, while waiting for a final hiring decision? Because as much as we'd like to drive that process from the final interview to make an offer that afternoon, sometimes things get in the way.
And I think again, just a clear communication, keeping them abreast. Whether it's setting up some social media contacts way to keep in touch with that person, maybe through their Twitter or maybe through their Facebook or something like that.
So that they know you're still interested, so that they know that they're still being considered. But that is not too big of a burden on you to have to pick up a phone call and have a 30 minute conversation, once a day, every day, for two weeks.
But I think we can make social media our friend in that instance, and some line of communication that's not too draining on us, that keeps them warm throughout that process. Thanks, Jill. We have another question from Kesha. How do you start all this, if people aren't focused on it? So what's the most important piece to do first, and I think that goes back to communication. Because to change your process, that's a big deal, right?
That takes a lot of people, a lot of movement, a lot of thought, but you can start communicating today. You can figure out ways to answer their questions, let them know that you recognize this particular candidate. So I think communication is the first and foremost most important thing to do.
And the easiest probably too, to implement. Because as long as you got a phone, as long as you got a computer, you got a smartphone, you got something — you can communicate. I think that that's an absolute must; we have to get better at that.
As again, watching my kid go through this process, and the few times that anybody has ever told him anything that's going on with his application, it's got be so frustrating to be on the other side of that. So just put yourself in their shoes, and communicate with them like you'd want to be communicated to.
That makes great sense. We have another question from Jessie. Jessie says, "What is a good time frame to communicate rejections, after a different candidate is selected for position for an entry-level job? But then when that decision has been made and that person has accepted the position, and has started in the role — to let them go gracefully and in a way that we would want to be turned down for our own selves, I guess. If we were in that situation.
But for those positions, I think that you just— again, communicate with them, "Hey we're still ironing out a few things, we're still doing a little bit more due diligence on this particular role. I was lucky enough, I guess, to have attended a college recruiting event.
And we had access to some of the best and the brightest of a particular school, and we were given the opportunity to just ask some questions. From the audience came a question to these college grads, "How often do you want to be communicated with? What's not enough, what's too much? When would you say no to an organization, because they didn't communicate frequently enough?
If between interviews, you spent longer than about nine days, it appears that nine days was their tolerance point. Now remember, this wasn't a scientific survey, this was just a few kids sitting in a room. But about nine days is when they would give up on the organization, and you want to know what they said, why?
Because they said, "If it takes you that long to figure out what you're doing and to be able to get an answer back to me, what if I needed something? What if I worked there and I needed something? It would take two weeks to get an answer on one of my questions when I work there. So if you have a question and need to go to the president, you can expect to wait a couple of weeks before you get an answer.
Right, excellent. Thanks again, Jill. At this point, I want to check in with Melody, our operator. Melody, do we have any phone questions yet? We do not. But ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, to register for a question via the phone, please just press the one followed by the four. Okay, Melody, thank you. We have some more questions here online. There's chat, text, email. The little research done within this eld has mainly been in tourism for example, Morrison et al.
In dierent ways and from dierent perspectives the chapters of the book look at innovation and entrepreneurship in experiences from a micro perspective to provide new knowledge on the way experience rms consider innovation, how innovations are received by consumers and diused throughout society, and how new technology in some cases is used to develop new experiences. Such new knowledge can help us to understand the drivers behind the development of the growing experience industry and to develop theories and models about innovation and entrepreneurship in experiences.
The book takes a Creating experiences in the experience economy bottom-up approach to this, by looking at the circumstances and behaviour of the innovating experience organizations. The book draws no clear distinction between experience creation and innovation. It makes no sense to draw such distinction, as innovation is a necessity in all organizations and can be seen as an immanent part of all experience creation.
Two experience creation processes are rarely alike, which means that all experience processes to a certain extent are innovations, as innovations range from incremental to radical innovation Pavitt and Walker, Most of them will be incremental innovations, as only a few innovations are truly radical. They are innovations when they come onto the market, as innovation is dened as a new combination of things that comes to market see Schumpeter, ; Sundbo, The literature see, for example, Sundbo, distinguishes between three phases of innovation: invention the invention process of the experience , innovation where the invented experience is brought to market and adaptation how the experience is spread through the market.
Some theories see both invention and innovation as the innovation process, while a few are focused on the invention process for example, Dars, How well the innovations are adopted by the market often makes no dierence in theory, as the denitions do not consider adoption by the market as part of the innovation process. This delimitation is not suitable when we talk of experiences. We will include all three phases in our treatment of experience creation in the book as consumer adoption processes are extremely important for the success of a newly constructed experience cf.
The dierent parts include chapters with the same theme reected in the heading of the part but with dierent perspectives on the theme and dierent empirical elds of application.
The common thread of the book has to be found in its quest for understanding experience creation and its various aspects, though from dierent perspectives rather than being a xed understanding of experience creation.
The experience economy is a relatively new eld of research, and experience creation is a unique new way of looking at experiences introduced in this book. Therefore, the contribution of the book is to explore the possibilities of the concept rather than to present a completed recipe model of experience creation. Such an endeavour might come in a later book.
The present book will enjoy, rejoice in, learn and gain knowledge from the diversity of experience creation. Introduction to experience creation The three parts of the book are experience creation designs, the management of experience creation and consumer perception of experience creation how users receive and interpret experiences.
Three dierent design processes are treated, demonstrating the variations in experience design. In Chapter 2, The food and eating experience, Jacobsen is concerned with the way the experience of meals is designed and how food and the development of society are related. The creation of food culture reects how the inhabitants of a society gather, produce and consume food. In todays developed societies, day-to-day meals have become an experience. Food is turned even more into an experience, rather than a necessity, as it is a minor part of the average income approximately 10 per cent which is spent on food.
The chapter reveals how the eating experience is constructed and how that creation has developed over past decades. In Chapter 3, Designing innovative video games, Kristiansen presents various forms of video games, and how they are designed. A video game is a rather complex experience creation as it is constructed in the interaction of the player consumer and the game.
Video game design is a combination of technological development and social fantasy. The chapter discusses how the understanding of gameplay inuences the innovation and design of video games. Laursen illustrates this by looking at Rome and places in the city and their signicance for the tourist or traveller in Rome. The analysis emphasizes how Rome is designed as an experience and as a memory. The chapter also discusses the consequences of consumers experiences of signicance for the experience industry in general and the tourist providers in particular.
The chapters analyse how the creation process is organized and how dierent social actors participate in the creation. Experiences are seen as holistic, which means including more than the core experience.
The chapters also analyse how dierent parts of the holistic experience are constructed and managed. Sundbo and Hagedorn-Rasmussen analyse, in the fth chapter, The backstaging of experience production, based on case studies of how the production and innovation in the experience economy have become more business-oriented and backstaged.
They argue that this development has led management in the experience economy to become more professionalized.
The chapter shows how these changes can be located in three taxonomies of experience organizations and a model of experience production with special focus on backstage, stage and frontstage.
Darmer, in Chapter 6, Entrepreneurs in music the passion of experience creation, argues that experience creation by the entrepreneurs in the Danish music industry is infused with passion, meaning that passion is an immanent part of all these entrepreneurs do.
The chapter highlights this by presenting the tale of a passionate and economically unsuccessful entrepreneur and his experiences with experience production and creation. Flemming Srensen, in Chapter 7, The urban innovation network geography of leisure experiences, pays attention to innovation networks in the experience economy.
The chapter discusses innovation networks theoretically related to place local and global. The theoretical discussion is illustrated empirically by the case of a small Danish town: Nykbing Falster. The chapter emphasizes the importance of innovation networks if small towns are to stand out and survive in the erce competition they engage in for tourists and residents. In Chapter 8, Experience oerings who or what does the action? The innovation potential of such interplay is highlighted by applying an ANT Actor Network Theory perspective upon it.
The chapter underlines that both humans and material objects are actants in the complex processes of experience constructing. The dierent roles and importance of humans and materiality are illustrated by two cases: The Manumission a disco at Ibiza and Pradas New York store. How does the consumer perceive and react to the experience creation, and how can experiences be made to t the needs of the consumers? This is important knowledge if one wants to construct new experiences or improve existing ones.
Introduction to experience creation 11 In Chapter 9, Performing cultural attractions, Brenholdt, Haldrup and Larsen underline how experience creation involves the performance of the consumers, as they are the subjects who experience. Therefore, the chapter argues that an engagement with the experiencing subjects is part of the analysis of what makes places in the experience economy. Makes places refers to the two case studies of the chapters, which are a historical castle and a museum.
The chapter argues that the two spaces or sights are performed dierently both in the staging creation of them and in the way they are experienced by the consumers. The chapter discusses the relevance of authenticity in analysing performance in cultural tourism. In Chapter 10, On sense and sensibility in performative processes, Christrup provides a theoretical foundation for creating space for experiences and how the user may use the experience.
The theoretical foundation reects Christrups interest in combining the experience economy and human development, the economic and the emotional side of experience creation and consumption. Christrup calls this Space spirit innovation and underlines that the foundation is applied both by the professional practitioners in their performances and in the design and creation processes to create space for experience and experience production.
In Chapter 11, Experience production by family tourism providers, Hartl and Gram look at the family as the decision-making unit in relation to holidays.
The chapter draws upon empirical material involving both adults and children to see what kind of preferences they have for holidays and how they dier between adults and children, which they do. The empirical data are collected in Denmark and Germany and consist of focus group interviews with adults and children separately. The focus group interviews were primarily concerned with the translation of experiences into pictorial expressions. The chapter tries to identify what the consequences of these dierent preferences amongst the consumers and holiday decision-making units are for the tourism providers and their experience creation.
Since , this research group has made an eort to research the most important developments within experience production and use in society.
This book is one result of this research. Experience creation is considered essential in the development of the experience economy and is related to innovation and performance design: 12 Creating experiences in the experience economy design of plays, events and other experiences where the experience providers and the audience meet face-to-face.
The latter two disciplines are part of the research work. The book is the result of a grant from the EU social fund, which was given to develop experiences in the Lolland-Falster region in Denmark. M Suhrkamp. Bell, D. Caves, R. Csikszentmihalyi, M. Dars, L. Hjalager, A. Jensen, R. Morrison, A. Rimmington and C. ODell, T.
Pavitt, K. Walker , Government policy towards industrial innovations: a review, Research Policy, 5 1 , Pine, J. Schulze, G. Schumpeter, J. Sundbo, J. Orla-Sintes and F. Srensen , The innovative behaviour of tourism rms comparative studies of Denmark and Spain, Research Policy, 36 1 , Toer, A.
The food and eating experience Jan Krag Jacobsen When you wake up in the morning, Pooh, said Piglet, whats the rst thing you say to yourself? Whats for breakfast? What do you say, Piglet?
I say, I wonder whats going to happen exciting to-day? Pooh nodded thoughtfully. Its the same thing, he said. Milne: Winniethe-Pooh, The role of food and eating has changed fundamentally over the last 50 years in the modern auent societies of the Western world and in their likes elsewhere. This chapter describes the change and ventures into the possibilities for developing several kinds of food-based scenarios relating to this part of the experience economy.
Winnie-the-Pooh demonstrates his deep insight into the signicance of food and eating. In his time, in the s, food was in short supply and large numbers of Europeans were undernourished, as is the case today in many places around the world. Nowadays, in auent societies, food is no longer a scarce and expensive basic commodity; rather, it has become a fairly cheap medium for experiences.
Food was formerly mostly produced and consumed locally. Imported foods were for the rich. Today foods from all over the world are on display in every supermarket at astonishingly low prices.
Earlier, in the Danish language, it had a avour of high culture. In other countries and languages the meaning of food culture might be dierent. A person having food culture knew about exquisite cuisine and ne table manners. Today, the meaning has changed to a more neutral and anthropological meaning of eating habits reecting the fact that the modern globalized world has several food cultures.
Food has always been of great economic interest. Wars have been fought over foods. Now the 13 14 Creating experiences in the experience economy growing attention to food culture has made nutrition, health and the food experience economy parts of the political agenda.
Modern food passes through a long and complicated pathway from nature to table and a food culture is constantly being created by the interplay of raw materials, tools, recipes, skills and so on and it is formed by climate, geology, history, aesthetics, morals, traditions, politics, economy, power relations, technology, knowledge, education and the rest.
Food culture is an important key to understanding a society or group. You are what you eat, goes a popular saying. Acquiring the food culture of the group in which you grow up is a pivotal part of your socialization process.
The preference for certain foods and eating habits is the last thing an immigrant drops. It is obvious to most people that established art forms like music, theatre, cinema, painting, visual arts, literature and architecture are natural parts of the modern experience economy, but for food and eating, the situation seems dierent. Maybe it is because eating is a fundamental and ubiquitous biological activity.
This issue will be treated in greater depth later in the chapter. Whatever, it is interesting to note that the word culture is derived from the Latin word cultura, meaning the cultivation of land.
From an experience economy view, it is fruitful to regard kitchens and tables as stages where we, at least three times a day, produce and experience phenomena with immense economic and cultural consequences. We name earlier types of communities and societies after their way of producing foods, such as gatherers, huntergatherers and agricultural societies. The very process of civilization can, as Norbert Elias , maintained, be regarded as the development of food production and eating habits.
Food is the basis of life and society and most activities can in one way or another be related to food. This makes the eating experience very complex and, therefore, the possibilities of developing the experience economy of food and eating are unlimited. Formerly, most people prepared their food from raw materials often gathered near the home and food was scarce and famine frequent.
Today, industry has taken over a fairly large proportion of the cooking and the Western world experiences an abundance of food never seen before in the long evolution of mankind. The accessibility is almost overwhelming. The food and eating experience 15 The development of technology during the industrialization of agriculture and food production has led to a situation where fewer and fewer people produce food for more and more people.
The result is a widespread alienation to a basic condition of life. Today, it can be a breathtaking experience, especially for children, to see a chicken with feathers. Very few people are familiar with slaughtering. Today, meat is neatly cut and packed and we download our beer instead of brewing at home. We still need to have a certain number of cooking skills, but the way we acquire them has changed.
It is no longer the housewife but the media who is the instructor. In post-industrial society, the fact that a sucient supply of food is still the foundation of a society, is obscured. In Denmark, in , the food supply was jeopardized by a major strike and many Danes hoarded. Bakers yeast, one of the fundamental ingredients of bread, especially was hoarded.
Some individuals hoarded enough yeast to bake several tons of bread. However, our was not hoarded to the same degree and it might have made more sense to hoard rice, pasta, canned foods and so on. This event was remarkable, seen in the light of the development of European civilization. The ancient Greeks considered bread the emblem of civilization and running out of bread was the scariest aspect of the strike in the minds of many Danes.
But the knowledge of how to produce it had been blurred. A hundred years ago, many Europeans went to bed hungry. Today, an average Danish family expends less than 10 per cent of their income after tax on food. This new situation has completely changed attitudes to food and eating. The obesity epidemic has taken over the scene from malnutrition and the food market has become a downloaders market.
The consequence of this development is that the search for experiences has taken over from the search for appropriate and cheap carbohydrates, fat, proteins, vitamins and minerals. A sausage is no longer just a sausage but also a conveyor of meaning. Which cultural codes should characterize the product? Into what kind of food culture should it t? What kind of an experience should it give the customer?
But in the physiological literature taste is connected to the mouth and avour to the nasal cavity. To understand some crucial aspects of the eating experience it is necessary to venture a little into the physiology of the senses. The impulses creating these sensations in the brain are conveyed by the trigeminal nerve and enter the brain through the thalamus. The receptor neurones for avour are situated in the 10 cm2 olfactory epithelium situated in the roof of the nasal cavity.
The volatile avour molecules reach the receptors either through the nose or from the back of the mouth. The signals from the receptors enter the brain through the olfactory bulb situated just above the nasal cavity.
This system can distinguish between many hundreds of avours. It makes up a relatively large part of the DNA and is a very old part of the brain. No wonder that a food searching system is a very ancient and important part of the nervous system. How this system works in detail is still rather unclear.
The signals from the receptors enter directly into the parts of the brain where emotions, memory, sexuality and motivation are processed: the limbic system. Odour information is stored in the long-term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. It is rather easy to decide whether a food is salt, sweet, sour or bitter, or a combination of these tastes, and nd the right words to express the sensation.
It is much more dicult to identify and describe a avour. The use of language poses a fundamental problem in relation to the kind of sensual experiences oered by the olfactoric system.
A cognitive and linguistic framework cannot capture the experience. This is the problem of the wine expert. The metaphors used are often rather funny, such as leather, tobacco, forest oor, old ladies violets, and so on. Interestingly, the avour is often the expensive and ckle part of a wine. The avour of food communicates by reverberating with emotions and long-forgotten memories sometimes outside the reach of language and consciousness.
Everybody is familiar with the experience that a certain smell or the avour of a food may trigger emotions dicult to explain. Often the emotions are felt before it is realized that they are caused by a smell. Sometimes the experience can be put into words and sometimes not: Oh, it smells like my aunts sponge cake.
A famous example of this phenomenon is found in the novel A la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust. The narrator tastes a Madeleine cake soaked in lime blossom tea: I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate The food and eating experience 17 than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me.
An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses; something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. I put down the cup and examined my own mind. It alone can discover the truth.
And I begin to ask myself what it could have been, this unremembered state which brought with it no logical proof, but the indisputable evidence, of its felicity, its reality, and in whose presence other states of consciousness melted and vanished.
And as soon as I had recognized the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me. Shortened The French Symbolists, among them Charles Baudelaire in the late 19th century, were obsessed with perfume and scent.
And the interest in scent seemed widespread at the time. Mary F. Fleischer interprets this as a response to the fragmented, dehumanized, and materialistic qualities of modern life and the Symbolists fascination with the more primitive and intangible senses of taste touch and smell, and their interest in discovering new languages of sensation.
The modern market is booming with perfumes for both men and women and there is a tremendous focus on the taste and avour of food. This could perhaps be interpreted as a response to the fragmented, dehumanized and materialistic qualities of modern life and at the same time expressing these conditions as the luxury consumption of mass industrial products. The eating experience is essentially personal and is therefore inuenced by the eaters individual physiological and psychological make-up, history, ethical attitude, current mood and, do not forget, degree of hungriness.
But external factors like the setting, company, light, temperature and the rest all make a crucial contribution to the way the food and the eating are perceived and experienced. The German sociologist Georg Simmel has beautifully described how individual eating is a biological response to hunger when, in company with others, it leads to a profound social experience. Yet because this primitive physiological fact is an absolutely general human one, it does indeed become the substance of common actions.
The sociological structure of the meal emerges, which links precisely the exclusive selshness of eating with a frequency of being together, with a habit of being gathered together such as is seldom attainable on occasions of a higher and intellectual order.
Persons who in no way share any special interest can gather together at the common meal in this possibility, associated with the primitiveness and hence universal nature of material interest, there lies the immeasurable sociological signicance of the meal.
Simmel,  18 Creating experiences in the experience economy These words of Georg Simmel are put into perspective by the discovery of the mirror neurones in the brain of primates and the fairly large amount of evidence suggesting that they are also present in the human brain.
Certain neurones are active in the brain of a macaque monkey eating a nut, as are the same neurones in another macaque seeing the rst one chewing the nut. These neurons are very important in the process of learning and social organization since they seem to be responsible for the ability to imitate and feel empathy Rizzolatti and Craighero, This is in accordance with the fact that the food and eating experience can only unfold its full potential in company.
Eating is a combined body and mind experience. The body tastes, smells, sees, hears, feels and digests the food. The mind reads the food consciously and unconsciously in the form of activated emotions and memories. In his worldwide studies of attitudes towards food, the anthropologist Claude Lvi Strauss ubiquitously met the division of the edible in two categories according to good and bad emotions. One of the puzzles of food culture studies is why some potential foods become regarded as edible and others not.
A Danish cookbook published in states that the smile of the housewife is the most important spice Mangor, A good meal with good company is a pleasure; so is foreplay and lovemaking; so is a good shit, writes the grand old man of performance theory, Richard Schechner The total response of the body is at play in the food and eating experience. Pine and J. Gilmore coined the concept transformation to designate possible long-standing eects of an experience.
The food experience has a long time eect on the body indeed. Obesity, alcoholism and a number of cardiovascular diseases are caused by a long row of probably excellent food experiences. The food experience provider has to face this ethical problem. A chef may serve a dinner far removed from the recommendations of leading nutritionists.
And we can consume such foods once in a while without problems. But it becomes another story if this dinner is promoted on television or is served as the daily menu in a company canteen.
Chefs have become celebrities, trendsetters and role models and this involves an ethical responsibility for the health of their disciples. But what is done in the kitchen is only a minor part of the eort put in behind the experience. The food and eating experience 19 The food passes through many hands, processes and machines on its way from nature to the body of the consumer where it is ultimately processed and delivered back to nature.
Each link in this chain contributes both materially and immaterially to the eating experience and should be considered as elds of interest in the development of the food and eating experience. The contributions of some of these links may be obvious and recognizable, others may be subtle and hidden. The people working along the chain may be regarded as more or less visible performers engaged in many kinds of performances, ranging from the application of technical knowledge to mere theatrical appearances.