Book Review: Making Meaning


Making meaning is a book about connecting to people by placing meaning at the center of company’s culture and inovation. Meaning can be created by making use of experiences. The book discusses 15 meaningfull experiences:

1. Accomplishment
When you are shopping at Ikea and you are buying a chair or table the experience doesn’t stop when you leave the big yellow and blue warehouse. Once you’ll get home you will need to put to the thing together, hoping it doesn’t misses any screws. In the proces of building the thing you can get a sense of satisfaction that can result from your productivity. This is the first meaningfull experience.

2. Beauty
Dove recently created a different vibe in the beaty industry. They no longer use thin and perfect models but instead use models with a more everyday-like figure. Beaty is in the eye of the beholder and dove perfectly connected this fact to their camaign for real beaty

3. Creation
Lego created an online tool, mindstorms, wich let you design your own creation and after that it will ship the lego bricks needed for your design to your home. You can also see other people’s creations and other people can see yours. The sens of producing something new and original is the experience you get from it.

4. Community
Apple has one of the largest communities created around a brand, thousands of people connect with eachother through their common favorite brand. They chat about the latest stevenote or upcoming products. Apple created a sense of unity.

5. Duty
The willing application of oneself to a responsibility or a responsibilty to oneself or family. The militairy in any country counts on the power of this meaning. “Ask not what your country can do for you, what can you do for your country”.

6. Enlightment
When you can create understanding you are building a relation with a costumer. You can do this by learning them something like lynda, an online video tutorial site, does or by helping your costumers with troubleshooting like the geniusbar Apple has in there retail store’s.

7. Freedom
The sense of living without unwanted constraints. Most car manufactures tap into this experience. They drive there new car on deserted roads in the mountains or deserts. You can only get there by car and the car relieves you from the constraint of going to these deserted places. You have the freedom to discover the world.

8. Harmony
The balance and pleasing relationship of parts to a whole, wheter in nature, society, or an individual.The iPod is a big succes because of multiple factors, one of them is harmony. The seamless intergrating with iTunes and the iTunes music store created a unique experience, harmony.

9. Justice
The sens of fairness and equality and unbiased treatment. Social security is a service everyone in society is obliged to have. Everyone needs to pay the same ammount of money for it wheter you are a old and sick man or a healty 20 year old dude.

10. Oneness
A sense of unity with everything around you. When you are watching of big game in a stadium you are becoming one with everyone around you. In a soccer match the audience becomes the twelfth man. The game creates a sense of oneness for all the supporters.

11. Redemption
Any sensation that delivers us from a less desirable condition to a more pleasing one can be redemptive. When you get an upgrade on your flight seat. When your product arrives in one week instead of two weeks.

12. Security
The freedom from worry about loss. Volvo is one of the most safest cars in the world and they promote it that way. Volvo drivers care about security. They trust the car to protect them and their family in a crash.

13. Thruth
A commitment to honesty and integrity. When a costumer buys “green” electricity you trust the energy companys on their word that the energy they are selling comes from solar, wind or water power. Thruth is a key component in creating a personal relationship with your costumer.

14. Validation
Self recognition of oneself als a valued individual worthy of respect. Flying first class in any airliner is a great example of creating a status indentification. It makes you feel good and worthy of respect.

15. Wonder
Awe in the presence of a creation beyond one’s understanding. A car that parks itself? Watching television on a mobile phone? Landing on Mars? Technology routinely evokes awe as they enable new things what seemed impossible the year before.

All these experience work great in the United States but will they work the same in Europa? I think most of them will except for Duty. The level of patriosm is much higher in the USA. This causes a very different approach for company’s when they are branding their product. You just don’t see the same kind of patriosm in Europa nowadays.

You can also add some experiences for the European market:

16 Healthyness
People becoming more aware of their own health. They eat more healthy and qaulity food and they take better care of their body’s. Fitness and Yoga are big trends. The Nintendo Wii Fit also taps into this experience by creating the first “healthy game” where the exercises make the game.

17 Sustainabilty
Since Al Gore and his film an inconvienth thruth there was big shift in focus from lots of company’s. Suddenly they started to care about the environment. Maybe the managment in these big company’s found a new respect for mother earth or their costumors demanded a new enviroment friendly production proces. Either way the earth benifits and that’s a good thing and it’s even better when environment friendly becomes profitable because the experience of an environment friendly company is better then one that isnt’t.

One Response to “Book Review: Making Meaning”

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