The best innovations not only meet a need but also deliver an experience. One of the best at this is Apple of course. Every detail of a new product is calculatingly engineered, even something as small as the way the texture of product packaging feels in your hand.
As you touch the Mac packaging for the first time the color, the gloss or lack of, the texture and the weight of the box all tell you something about the contents. Then you slide open the box – no plastic, twist ties, staples, stickers, glue or tape to deal with. What a delight! And then you throw it away. This experience takes less than a minute.
Apple spends a lot of time planning this experience. They spend more money on design, engineering and the materials than their competitors because they know that opening the packaging is one of the first impressions you have of your new device. This experience helps set the tone for your love of the product and their brand.
When you develop a major new member benefit or association offering don’t just focus on the offering itself. Does the communication, web page and design add to or detract from the experience? What is the first impression a user will have? What is the the purchase process like? Simple, complex or unbearable? Is there interaction with association staff and do members feel better afterward?
Try thinking about your next association innovation not just as a tangible benefit, product, event or offering but, as an experience. Ask Apple – the experience can make the product magical.