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Weeknote 7: Fresh starts and a new vision

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

I’m back from my holiday and feeling refreshed! I haven’t taken two consecutive weeks off in years, and I can’t begin to tell you how incredible it was. I reached ultimate relaxation! I slept for a sweet 8 hours a night! My brain stopped churning relentlessly! I paused!

OH.MY.GOSH. ...Relaxation is a revelation!

Coming back after the summer holidays always reminds me of starting a new school year: I’m full of anticipation and nerves! I’m always nervous about replacing unstructured spontaneity with structured schedules and plans. But I’m also always super excited about what lies ahead. You can almost reach out and touch the potential. It’s there!

Heads up - this won't be a long weeknote, because I’ve mostly spent the week catching up on a gazillion emails, but I’ll tell you where my head has been at:

Plan B - the plan for Aptitude to reach £** market value in 5 years.

** Commercially sensitive

Each team will have a different response to this goal, but as a high-level response, the UX team has come up with the following:

Our goal is to deliver an experience so great that the business does not have to respond to pricing pressure.

This goal is business-critical because we live in what is described as an experience economy. Over the last 100 years or so, goods and services have been commoditised. The only thing that commodities can compete on is price. Consumers seek out the best price for whatever commodity they desire - the internet makes this SO easy. That said, consumers will pay way over the odds for a great experience.

Think about coffee:

Goods: You pay a reasonable amount for coffee beans at the supermarket.

Services: You pay a reasonable amount for a coffee subscription to be sent to your home monthly.

Experience: You pay above the odds for a cup of coffee in a Starbucks as you sink into their soft armchairs and listen to jazz*

Experience is one of the things that can differentiate us from our competitors. UX can offer a durable competitive advantage. The responsibility of the UX team is to ensure that Aptitude doesn’t just survive in this experience economy, but that we thrive.

A business driven by experience today has a great competitive advantage in business growth. The review by Harvard Business reported: “…brands focusing on customer experience achieve an average revenue growth rate of 23%, compared with 13% of other companies surveyed. They also report 80% higher year-on-year growth rates, and a doubling of their customer lifetime value.”

So, if we are going to deliver an experience so great that the business does not have to respond to pricing pressure, what do we need? We need to be a happy, successful, well-oiled machine of a team. With that in mind, we are looking at exactly what we need to support this. So far, we have split this down into 5 areas:

  1. Business

  2. Strategy

  3. Culture

  4. Process

  5. Outcomes

We’ll be addressing each of these areas to ensure we have everything we need to deliver the very best experiences. We've set up a Mural board to share our ideas, and will meet monthly to discuss what we can action.

My brain is churning again. It’s good to be back!

*disclaimer - I’m not a Starbucks fan, but it kinda works for this analogy. They have invested a LOT in their coffee experience

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