The subscription economy and you

Yesterday I read a brilliant article by Dave Lee entitled 'I subscribe. therefore I am?' It got me thinking.

What is the subscription economy
Rather than buying something and owning it, you buy into something that gives you exactly what you need when you need it. You use it and you don't keep it. Less clutter, less waste and more choice.
I used to buy DVDs and boxsets to adorn my shelves - now I have Netflix, I still have LPs and CDs but I choose Spotify, I occasionally buy books, but now amazon audible influences my thinking. Then there's a new subscription service offered by Volvo, where your home dental care is taken care of and most exciting where you can furnish your place based on a subscription!

What does this mean for Customer Experience Managers?
I see this growing economy as both a challenge and a huge opportunity for the customer experience teams out there.

On one hand you could perceive the customer having a transient experience with the brand. They may re-consider the value the brand brings to their lives each time the monthly subscription is paid - 'Am I really using everything in this package, do I really need it?. Customers could cancel their subscription at any time and they could switch to another brand more easily. Could they really be loyal?

On the other hand brands could step up to meet and even exceed the customer's expectations. Imagine product samples or health tips being part of the brushbox subscription service or free interior design recommendations or VR sessions adding to the livefeather subscription service. The opportunities to add value to your customer are endless!

The subscription economy significantly changes the traditional customer journeys we have plotted in the past. There are more opportunities for brands to test and learn, to personalise and to change content to reflect fluctuations in trend.

It's predicted that customer experience will be the key differentiator (over price and product) by 2020. With the sharing economy (examples below*) and the subscription economy growing fast, it's never been a better time to work in the customer experience field!

What are your thoughts on this?
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