Schulich Professors Push the Boundaries of Customer Experience Design
When you think of Customer Experience Design one thing usually comes to mind – retail.
However, for Associate Professor of Marketing Markus Giesler and Assistant Professor of Marketing Ela Veresiu it is a lot broader. In Oct. 2014 they published the first marketing-oriented, in-depth scholarly investigation of the World Economic Forum in the Journal of Consumer Research. Their findings show how the Forum has used design principles and culture to shape the customer experience. “We (Veresiu and Giesler) wanted to study how the World Economic Forum policy affects consumers on an everyday level,” Giesler said. “Davos has helped design four different types of consumer identities; the bottom of the pyramid consumer, the green consumer, the health conscious consumer and the financially literate consumer.”
Using global warming as an example, the study explains how the Forum has shifted global risks from corporations and governments towards individual consumers. From fair-trade coffee, fitness watches, ethical finance products, and intelligent thermostats – customer experience shapes decision-making. “When we as consumers think of global issues we try to address those through better consumption decisions. Global warming to us means buying a hybrid car or eating organic food, and that is in parts because the World Economic Forum has shifted our perception morally. What we think is right and wrong today, is different from 10 years ago,” Giesler said.
On a grander scale, customer experience design also addresses consumer decision-making on a political level. “What we do in our research at Schulich in the Big Design Lab is not just examine retail design, but also the design of political spaces, and how consumers respond to a global situation, make smarter decisions and experience the global risk in such a way to help solve larger problems” Giesler said. “It is an instrument politicians use to design policies around experiences rather than rules and regulations.”
Giesler and Veresiu spent eight years attending the Forum, gathering research for the study. Giesler is chairing a Big Design Lab Roundtable in Davos this year.