The Luxury Network Magazine

The Big Red Group and the Experience Economy: Trading the Currency of Human Connection

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The Big Red Group (BRG) operates in the experience­s industry, and is parent company to businesses RedBalloon (Australia and New Zealand), Adrenaline, Marketics (Albert AI), and Redii. com. BRG delivers the framework, platforms and services to each of the separate businesses, which allows us to invest capital in our people, technology and growth. Each business benefits directly from the combined resources of the group, and this management structure allows them to focus on delivering great experience­s. It is our shared sense of purpose that unites our teams. Our businesses shift the way people experience life.

Our world is changing, and where people choose to spend their time, money and energy is shifting. More people are doing more experience­s than at any other time in history. Experience­s as a sector of the economy is talked about in the media and researched extensivel­y, as you will see throughout this document.

There is a natural progressio­n to everything; economies are no exception. From Agrarian to Industrial, Service to Experienti­al – the global economy is changing. Focus has shifted from delivering goods and services, into the space of creating and staging experience­s that elevate the customer experience beyond a mere transactio­n, and into the realm of true value exchange between consumers and business. Similarly, for business: Cash bonuses and branded stress balls simply don’t create a commu

nity or culture – it is connection that creates engagement and en- genders trust, with both customers and employees.

This shift to experience­s is being driven by a number of macro factors: The continued growth of online retail; an increase in Millennial purchasing power and Baby Boomer expenditur­e on travel and experience­s; consumer expectatio­ns of personalis­ation and engagement; the further proliferat­ion of technology, including a continued shift from desktop to mobile ecommerce; alongside the ever-growing trend to shareable social content. There are also a number of large global players who are educating consumers about the power of experience­s, which is creating a halo effect – not only on the ‘things to do industry’, but as a thread impacting the very nature of how retailers operate and engage with consumers. How does Nike bring its brand to life? Just do it. Not, ‘Just buy it’.

So the notion of an ‘experience economy’ urges me to reflect on the inherent value of doing something over owning something. The former being far more valuable. This is why the Big Red Group has produced a white paper, looking at the impact of experience­s on the global and local economy. From everyday activities to truly luxurious experience­s, there’s no doubt that the progressio­n of economic value we see manifested in the demand for experience­s is here to stay.

“I think of the moment an experience creates – the memory, the emotional connection. No one recalls

with a thrill the parking, the queues or the soggy burger in the rain they ate at Disneyland. But they

do remember the parade, the music, the smells, the sights; that moment on top of the rollercoas­ter

where everyone was wide eyed and smiling… Experience­s create connection­s and bonds like nothing else. And that is what the ‘experience economy’ trades – it’s the currency of connection,”

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