When it comes to pitching, a lot of people seem to know best how to lure your audience: talk, use slides, talk even more, use more slides. In general: slides should always support you, never become the center of the presentation  (unless they are handed out without someone presenting them). Unfortunately, none of this works when you want to present an experience product. The name already suggests that an experience product is all about the emotions, feelings, and perceptions.

But what exactly is an experience product? Well, from my perspective the following factors must be true to give you a clue:

  • Senses (one or more) are involved to a great degree.
  • It stirs emotions (good and/or bad).
  • The product might do more than just entertain (i.e. serve another meaning).

From my list you can tell that a product does not necessarily need to serve a greater good. However, most do. A game could be such an experience product even if it just exists to kill time. A radical example is skydiving (hard to explain the feeling but a memory you will never forget). A more common example is cars. But cars also serve a purpose aside from entertaining you: they transport you from A to B.

But how do you pitch such a product? By exposing it to your audience. That’s one of the reasons car dealers do not shy away from letting you sit in and drive your desired car for a short while: touching the handle, opening the door, pushing the pedal, feeling the thrust–it’s all part of a greater experience called driving.

And how does all of this make sense in an all-digital world? Well, handing out free versions and letting people play with it. It’s what lured many people to play FarmVille and getting hooked up on it. Sure, there is more to it than the experience, but I found this a nice example of what can happen when you get people to try your product rather than just trading it for cash.