Monthly Archives: November 2013

Phenomenal Experience Design Creates Customer Stories

Your brand is part of your customers’ lives. The only question is: Are you a meaningful part of your customers’ lives? To the degree that you determines the frequency and impact of stories told about your business. Welcome to the world of phenomenology in experience design.

experience design and customer story telling

People are wired to share stories about meaningful experiences. It’s the fuel for word of mouth. But how are these stories born? Brian Clark of GMD Studios says it happens when you choose to put the audience, instead of the object, at the center of your work. Translation: Put the customer, instead of your product, at the center of your business.

I met Brian Clark at the BOLO Digital Marketing Conference last month in Scottsdale, and his presentation on Phenomenal Work really drove home the connection between storytelling, phenomenal experiences and word of mouth. In this episode of the Power to the Small Business internet show, Brian joins me to help us find those remarkable and out out-of-the ordinary things that create customer stories.

Guest: Brian Clark, CEO of GMD Studios
Host: Jay Ehret of

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Show Notes – Phenomenal Experience Design

Phenomenology: The study of consciousness and the things we experience.

How to get customers to tell stories about your business:

  1. Enable your employees to become story tellers.
  2. Look at your customers and see what meaningful experiences they’re already having, and amplify them.
  3. Write stories that tell what you have in common with customers.


  1. Shift the data you’re using away from the brand to the customer to make marketing decisions.
  2. Does this already exist? Listen to what people are saying in the various channels and then ask yourself: “How do I make that more meaningful?”

Selected Quotes from the Show

“It’s when our work is actually experienced by someone that it fully flushes out to what it is.”

“Our brands are there as part of someone’s life, and part of a story they’re going to tell other people.”

“We use stories as proxies for our own experience.”

“Meaningfulness has no upper end.  You can always create an experience that’s more meaningful than the one you have.”
~ Brian Clark, GMD Studios

Show Links

Audi Heist Links
Audi: Art of the H3ist
A New Kind of Car Chase (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Phenomenal Work on Tumblr

Download Brian’s Presentation from BOLO 2013 (Look under documents)
Phenomenal Work