“Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.”
Jim Coulter, the founder of the very successful investment company, Texas Pacific Group (TPG) mused on what makes “Experiences” a driving force in today’s economy and how we can think about them differently.
His third thought on experiences is that they have become more of a brand for us than the clothing we wear or the car we drive. That took me some time to think on, but I totally get where he is coming from. At one time, those who had as a proportion of their lives, experiences that were out of the day to day, were few. Consider that we didn’t travel as easily or as much. “Going away” happened once a year, if that. Within our own communities the focus was more on accommodating versus awing. While today we have restaurants that will serve us courses of food that count into the teens, it wasn’t long ago that an out of the house three course meal with linen table cloths was considered an experience. But today, we are not without a vast array of experiences to choose from both at home and afar and with those experiences we are branding ourselves. And boy, do the advertisers know it about us. I was thinking the other day that I absolutely never receive online ads, catalogues, emails, or unsolicited phone calls about ski vacations, ski resorts, ski clothing, ski equipment, or anything much related to cold weather. And that fits with what I know of myself and others also know of me. Since I don’t like being cold. I’m not all that wild about being wet and I don’t enjoy falling down, there is a reason why I don’t ski or do the winter experiences. And, so it isn’t part of my brand and I don’t get advertised or solicited to those things. But, the other big season of the year. Yep, they’ve got me and they’ve got my attention. So, yes, what we experience does become our branding and the more passionate we are about the experiences, the more that branding becomes evident. We could learn a lot about our customers, consumers and users if we only paid attention and followed their experiences.
I want to conclude this little three part exploration of experiences with this thought. While we are passing through this life on our way to God’s home for us, the experiences we have in this life matter. We are taught by Jesus and Paul to not become attached to them, not store them up, or build our life’s value around them. I agree with all of this, but I think God also gives us the experiences of life to utilize for His purposes as well. You see, the experiences that I’ve written about the last couple of days aren’t just about the vacations, the concerts, the activities we enjoy, the plays we see, the restaurants or the events we attend. They are also about the experiences we have that are just part of life and what we can learn from and share out God’s love through how we go about them. Last month I attended two memorial services for very different men who both lived full and impacting lives. I didn’t want to go to either of the services as I wanted to remember their lives on my own memories, but down deep inside I was being told that I should, if for no other reason, it was the right thing to do. From both of those experiences, I received more than I ever expected and I have been thanked and recognized for doing what not everyone else did, more times that I could have imagined. I only highlight this to remind myself and all of us, that what we choose our experiences to be, is our branding and now, more than ever, people are watching. So, let’s ask ourselves today, from our experiences, what is our perceived brand?
Reference: 1 Corinthians 7:31 (New Living Translation)