Posted September 11, 2010 10:11 am by with 7 comments

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Jelly Beans

A few weeks ago I bought my niece a jar of Jelly Belly jelly beans. If you haven’t tried these amazing beans yet, you are missing out! They have over 50 flavors that are truly remarkable. The popcorn flavor is my favorite! Herman Rowland, one of Jelly Belly’s chief product engineers tells us that the flavor “…has to be something that you can visualize the taste in your mind.”

This is important to him, because fundamentally, Jelly Belly’s main product is the experience not the candy itself. The artificial colors, corn syrup, and gelatin act only as a delivery agent for the real product, the experience. It’s the experience they create and sell, that sets them apart from all of their competitors. With out this unique experience they would be just like all the other jelly bean makers.

This last week, Google released some of its own candy as well. No, they aren’t jumping into the sugar business. Their new product is more along the lines of eye candy. Google Instant is probably one of the most significant changes Google has made to its user interface since launching. In essence, the new feature allows for search results to load dynamically while the user types their query. As a result the finished product is a sleek interface that delivers the user content on average 2 seconds faster.

Like Jelly Belly, Google’s product has become equally as much about the experience, than the core product itself. Creating a strong and engaging customer/user experience is a vital part of running a business in today’s economy. On the internet when your competitor is only a few clicks away having a definable experience can increase customer retention and satisfaction.

If you are thinking to yourself, hmmm this all sounds familiar. That maybe, because I have talked about experience marketing more than once. Both times I reference the video below. I think what Joseph Pine has to say here is one of the most significant lessons that marketers need to learn in order to fully understand the future of marketing. So, do yourself a favor and grab some jelly beans and watch this short talk about experience marketing, so you can take a page from Google’s playbook!

[photo credit]

  • Joe – you had me at jelly beans. 😀

    • I didn’t mention this in the post, but after I got that jar for my niece, I went back and got one for myself! 😛

  • This has been on my mind recently, with Trackur. We have all the things in place, but we need to find that special “popcorn flavor” that gets everyone excited. 😉

    Great post Joe!

    • Andy, Trackur’s updated UI is pretty sweet! I like your use of JavaScript to make everything flow together!

      • Thanks!

        We have great ingredients, we just need to find that “something special” that companies like Google, Apple, Zappos et all have.

        I’ll figure it out at some point. 😉

  • Does anyone else get the feeling they are trying TOO hard?

    We have all heard the complaints,

    “I don’t want to see broader results”
    “This will kill the long tail”
    and of course!
    “The bigger brands get even more visibility now”

    But what I want to know is how the 40-year-old mother of three (let’s say a hair stylist) how are they liking

    Just like when Twitter results were introduced to the SERPs, this too might be a short term feature, and then again, it may not be. No one knows except for Google.

    • Um how is this killing the long tail, if anything it makes the long tail more valuable.