Uniting Emotional and Logical Elements Will Drive the Content of Next-Generation Experiences

The ability to add more emotional content to the experience is one of the most important enhancements on the horizon.

Left-right human brain conceptual art

Customer experiences have improved dramatically in just a short time, but as brands look to the future, they have important decisions to make about how to continue enhancing those experiences. Idea Couture’s research into the future of experience uncovered an important theme, dubbed “Creators United,” an approach that not only integrates technology and creative disciplines, but also engages intellect and emotions.

This change from a nearly complete focus on the logical or quantifiable aspects of experience to more emotional engagement is fundamental to next-level interactions. Expect to see a substantial increase in dynamic experiences based more on mood or emotion than just a rote buying process. To support this, there will be greater use of new technologies, such as “emotional AI” and “sentient tech” that update experiences based on customers’ moods. The goal is to provide emotional inputs that drive personalization, in addition to the use of hard data.

This next-generation experience not only will be more emotionally engaging, but will support more options for the customer to drive how the experience is personalized. The customer will be more of an active participant in the experience, and this will increase engagement in time spent and depth of interaction.

To get to this point, the process of designing customer experience fundamentally will change, and be driven by “creative technologists.” This new discipline combines the traditional development role with behavioral sciences − and even artistry. For most brands, this will be a team of individuals with strengths in different disciplines, rather than one individual with all of them. The real change is to have team members with different skills working together during the entire process to bring new experiences to life. This is central to the theme of Creators United.

There already have been initial efforts bringing this theme to life. For example, Jaguar is developing a new artificial-intelligence-based system capable of detecting the driver’s mood and adjusting the car’s environment. With a biometric sensor and driver-facing camera, it’s possible to monitor the person behind the wheel. This new approach to experience could help reduce overall stress, and even relax the driver in the event of a stressful experience on the road. Drivers who show signs of fatigue could be helped by the system automatically cooling down the passenger compartment to increase wakefulness.

Although there have been great strides in improving customer experiences in the last 12 to 18 months, particularly with COVID-19 as an accelerant of the move to digital, experiences still are mostly static. Emotion is not a factor in how the experience is personalized during use. Clearly, this will change. As some brands move more quickly, they will build clear and compelling differentiations from those maintaining the status quo. For more information about Creators United and other new experiences discovered by Idea Couture, part of Cognizant, go to Cognizant's Creators United page. 

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Beyond Seamlessness: Idea Couture describes this theme as the migration from experiences typified by “millennial minimalism” to “indulgence refreshed.” The focus on reducing friction has led to generic brand experiences. The future will see more of a balance between UI that supports seamless, personalized interactions with more textured brand identities that engage customers at the level of emotion with sophisticated flare, grounded in holistic brand strategies. This is not to say personalization is at odds with communication effectiveness, simply that getting the most out of these two levers of growth requires a balanced approach. One exciting aspect of this theme is the inclusion of sonic and olfactory branding that moves beyond the limits of screen-based interactions.    

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