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Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences Hardcover – December 31, 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

We’re now hip-deep, if not drowning, in the ‘experience economy.‘ Here‘s the smartest book I‘ve read so far that can actually help get your brand to higher ground, fast. And it‘s written by people who not only drew the map, but blazed these trails in the first place.”
–Brian Collins, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Brand Integration Group

From the Back Cover

We’re now hip-deep, if not drowning, in the ‘experience economy.‘ Here‘s the smartest book I‘ve read so far that can actually help get your brand to higher ground, fast. And it‘s written by people who not only drew the map, but blazed these trails in the first place.”
–Brian Collins, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Brand Integration Group

In a market economy characterized by commoditized products and global competition, how do companies gain deep and lasting loyalty from their customers? The key, this book argues, is in providing meaningful customer experiences.

Writing in the tradition of Louis Cheskin, one of the founding fathers of market research, the authors of Making Meaning observe, define, and describe the meaningful customer experience. By consciously evoking certain deeply valued meanings through their products, services, and multidimensional customer experiences, they argue, companies can create more value and achieve lasting strategic advantages over their competitors. A few businesses are already discovering this approach, but until now no one has articulated it in such a persuasive and practical way. Making Meaning not only encourages businesses to adopt an innovation process that’s centered on meaning, it also tells you how. The book outlines a plan of action and describes the attributes of a meaning-centric innovation team. With insightful real-world examples drawn from the Cheskin company's experience and from the authors' observations of the contemporary global market, this book outlines a plan of action and describes the attributes of a meaning-centric innovation team.

Meaningful experiences—as distinct from trivial ones—reinforce or transform the customer’s sense of purpose and significance. The authors’ vision of a world of meaningful consumption is idealistic, but don’t be fooled: this is a straightforward business book with an eye on the ROI. It shows how to bring R&D, design, and marketing together to create  deeper and richer experiences for your customers.  Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences is an engaging and practical book for business leaders, explaining how their companies can create more meaningful products and services to better achieve their goals.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders Press (December 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321374096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321374097
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,107,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
loved the book. a great, informative read. as a college student currently studying design+management at parsons, this book made me excited about my future. here are some highlights:

1. Footworks:

In the book, the authors develop a ficticious company, Footworks, which they use to build examples from. This is a cool method to teach because you can watch Footworks grow throughout the progression of the book. You can also visualize how their ideas would really be implemented within a company.

2. Defining Innovation Culture:

They build an innovation team, and speak about every person making up that team. They talk about their importance of creating meaningful experiences, their responsibilities within the company and why they should be on the team. These are some of the people:

Brand Management, Sales Management, Information Tech (IT), Human Resources (HR), CEO, Marketing Management and Research, Design and Development.

3. I think the most important of all is how they really deal with defining "meaning" which is something that took me a couple chapters to really grasp. They speak about how important it is for businesses to really figure out which meaningful experiences their customers value. Then it breaks into delivering that experience which really connects on a personal level making them integrate that experience into their lives. A meaningful experience would be how a vegetarian FEELS when he / she practices vegetarianism.

4. There's psychology involved, which goes past working with products and services into for example, deciding whether the new CEO of your company should be male or female and whether or not they're athletic.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book at CES and read it from beginning to end. The authors' present an intriguing theory and they back it up with very detailed explanations of "how to." Well worth the money and $$ for anyone looking to innovate in a crowded marketplace.
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Format: Hardcover
As a professional who helps companies succeed by connecting with their audiences through branding, I highly recommend Making Meaning. In today's world, those managers who truly understand that "it's all about the customer and their experience with your products, your services, your organization", will be the ones left standing. Great book...a must read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've been following Nathan Shedroff's work to build a conceptual framework for experience design then you will find this book to be his next step, but with an emphasis on meaningful experiences. The book presents the business strategy and design process. It is of little help directly for actually designing anything and that information wouldn't fit into the same book anyway. Such help only exists by studying ethnography, social and environmental psychology, neurology, product design, and so forth.

Books that I would recommend along with this one are "The Meaning of Things" by Csikszentmihalyi, "The Cultural Animal" by Baumeister, "Emotional Design" by Norman, and whatever product design liturature you can find for your field. If you aren't an ethnographer then you should acquire the basics and there are several books on Amazon to help develop your skills.

While "Making Meaning" is a fine business book and lays out a basic conceptual framework for business, the framework for applied meaning design is not yet developed. For now you will have to figure this out on your own. Designers have stumbled into decent meaning designs in products or adopted existing designs that already have meaning, but if you want to design for a new meaning then you are on your own. The 15 meanings included in this book will help get you started. If you want an excellent example of meaning design I suggest you check the dash of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It is thick with meaning; see if you can find it.

- jim
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Format: Hardcover
Creating a meaningful customer experience is challenging and a hard concept for non-marketers to grasp. This book is a practical tool that will enable people across the entire organization to start exploring what meaningful experiences are about in an 'easy-to-understand' manner. Even though the creation of a truly meaningful and integrated experience would most likely require outside help, this book gets you underway by providing common terminology and a framework that can start guiding the collective thought process. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
shedroff &co build an interesting bridge between design and corporate communications. by emphasizing the importance of metaphor in all communications the authors offer an abstracted layer of value; a value that is worth something to both seller and buyer, to both employed and employer. it's the value of metaphor. and to you as the reader it will be a great read if you're interested in expanding your views and skills into new fields where communication with customers is important.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though the book has a good aim, and has chosen a very challenging subject that is at most of emerging nature currently, still the authors manage to shoot all over the fence without really delivering anything specific in any of the areas - it feels more like reading a bunch of Introductions.

Nice read through as a speed-read, but was disappointed for my money. It seems like the authors have tried to include everything into their book and haven't been able to kill their babies and scope down into one particular area.

I'd say best use of the book is of inspirational value for your own workings.
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