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Our opinion on... “ c reating and delivering ” experiences

In the same way that we cannot create brands, we cannot create experiences. Definitively  experience is intrinsic. I create the experience in my own mind, made of components deliv‐ ered from the external world filtered through and overlaid on my personal sensory percep‐ tions, emotional memory and value set; and I understood in the context of my own per‐ sonal history and the environment in which I live.  As marketers or brand merchants, all we can do is deliver the components that trigger the  experiences. Realistically, the same set of experience components delivered to a group of  people who share similar sensory perceptions, emotional drivers, personal histories and liv‐ ing environments, will trigger effectively similar experiences in each one of these people.  This is the objective of experiential segmentation.  Experiential branding is the discipline of understanding and defining brands in terms of the  way they are experienced, in order to differentiate them in the most powerful dimension:  relevance (nothing is more relevant than an experience).   With a an empathetic understanding of our customers deeds, we can determine what com‐ bination of external experience components we need to deliver, in order to trigger a de‐ lightful experience.  If this understanding is the platform on which the company builds everything it does, with  the single minded focus on the way in which it wants to be experienced, we can safely say  that:  The business is the brand is the experience 

416.967.3337 www.proteanstrategies.com

Protean Strategies is a Toronto based management consulting firm. Since 1997 we have been helping large and small companies convert brand value into higher margins and bottom line profits by understanding their stakeholders needs; building powerful strategies; and aligning business practices with marketing and sale to a common goal.


Experiential marketing is (or should be) the  way in which experiential branding is com‐ municated outside of the actual product or  service interaction. Experiential marketing  tries, or should try, to replicate the  “experience of the brand so that the cus‐ tomer will momentarily "get the feeling"  and through this be persuaded to buy the  product or service.   All too often this important view of the cus‐ tomer satisfaction process is thought of, in 

the case of experiential marketing as noth‐ ing more than a way of getting people to  pay attention or notice you. And in the case  of experiential branding as paying lip‐service  to the idea that “we sell experiences, not  products.”   Experiential branding and marketing are  tightly interwoven into a single marketing  whole for successful brands such as Apple,  Abercrombie and Fitch, Southwest Airways,  etc.   

Call or email us today for more information on our suite of brand and business consulting services

Laurence Bernstein is the founder and managing partner of Protean Strategies/The Bay Charles Consulting Group Limited. He has been a leading

Protean Strategies 80 Cumberland Street, Suite 1503 Toronto M5R 3V1 Canada 416.967.3337

proponent of the “new order of differentiation” and has written and lectured on the subject of experiential branding and intrinsic/extrinsic research methodologies in Canada, the US , Europe and China.

Bernstein@proteanstrategies.com www.proteanstrategies.com

In addition to a highly successful 20 year career in advertising and marketing he held senior positions client side in hotel and hospitality companies. Laurence attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Cornell University in Ithaca , New York This white-paper is based on the original paper on the subject written by Laurence Bernstein and published in the Cornell Quarterly in April, 1999.

Opinion -- creating and delivering experiences  

A short opinion piece that attacks the idea that marketers can "deliver"experiences

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