X Thinking is a new book that explores the necessity and components of stronger brand eXperiences, born from the accelerating consumer market in China. Written by co-authors Jason Huang and Michael Lai, it is an English language adaptation of a popular book published in China in 2020, revised specifically for American readers. The essence of the new book X Thinking is the convergence of culture and context - a new philosophy and methodology for creating consumer experiences. X Thinking will help companies create long-term loyalty through meaningful relationships that serve a new set of customer needs.
We are living in the era of experience, where commodities compete for the attention of consumers in a ruthless retail landscape, and brands survive and succeed based on the experiences they create. X Thinking, and the delivery of exceptional eXperiences, are key to introducing, nurturing, and solidifying customer relationships -and setting businesses apart as leaders in a crowded industry. Yet too few companies embrace these values at a strategic level.
China isn't just a new market for western companies. It's a new kind of market, one with an accelerated technology adoption timeline unlike the United States. The concurrent rise of cities and salaries at a staggering pace parallels the rise in customer expectations, a hierarchy of decision-making criteria and value propositions that form the foundation of sincere relationships with brands that transcend the paradigms of the past.
Understanding this distinct evolution in China isn't simply a glimpse over the metaphorical horizon. It's a window into the future of brand building in the U.S., where consumers are already on the same trajectory.
Replete with case studies, benchmarks, and comparisons between familiar American brands and beloved Chinese counterparts (largely unknown beyond their borders), X Thinking distills more than a decade of observations and practice into crucial, actionable intelligence.
But X Thinking is more than an abstract construct to identify the needs of clients and their customers. It's a practical approach for measuring the meaning and value of customer engagement holistically - brand building at its most elemental.
By tapping into the multi-faceted motivations that influence customer behavior individually and collectively, companies can align their own processes with objectives leading toward more fulfilling relationships with consumers. It's reciprocal. Creating value isn't only about the bottom line. It's a pervasive operational approach that elevates every interaction.
Rethinking the changing nature of customer relationships will reveal new strategies necessary to exceed new expectations. Immersive and intuitive, X Thinking offers answers for an industry facing unprecedented uncertainty and a guide to navigate the future with informed insights.
About the Author
Michael T Lai is Dean of X Thinking Institute, Senior Vice President of Knowledge Management / Senior Partner of TANG Consulting, and Associate Professor of Practice at Tongji University, College of Design & Innovation. As Dean of X Thinking Institute, Mike leads a highly skilled team of researchers, content creators, and educators in equipping business leaders with the knowledge and tools to create business value through the delivery of extraordinary experiences. In addition, Mike oversees the knowledge development and application for TANG Consulting to enhance the value and delivery of TANG's offerings to clients.Prior to his work with X Thinking Institute, Mike spent 15 years helping clients position, envision, design, and deliver brand experiences. His experience covers a wide number of industries in the United States and Greater China, including creating insurance retail stores in the financial industry, innovating new ways of interacting with smart homes in the consumer electronics industry, redefining the car purchasing and ownership experience at dealerships in automotive industry, and positioning university brand experiences for prospective students in the education industry. His clients have included companies such as Nationwide Insurance, JPMorgan Chase, Legg Mason, Baojun, Amway, Changhong, Alliance Data, Big Lots, and more.Mike currently teaches "X Thinking and eXperience Design" and "Design Thinking and Communicating Design" in the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University (China). He has previously held posts at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong) and the Columbus College of Art & Design (United States). Mike holds a PhD in Design from Tsinghua University (China), a Master of Design (MDes) in Interaction Design from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong), and a BFA in Advertising & Graphic Design from the Columbus College of Art & Design (United States).
B. Joseph Pine II is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and management advisor to Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial start-ups alike. He is cofounder of Strategic Horizons LLP, a thinking studio dedicated to helping businesses conceive and design new ways of adding value to their economic offerings. In 2020 Mr. Pine and his partner James H. Gilmore re-released in hardcover The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money featuring an all-new Preview to their best-selling 1999 book The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage. The book demonstrates how goods and services are no longer enough; what customers desire are experiences - memorable events that engage each individual in an inherently personal way. In today's Experience Economy, companies now compete against the world for the time, attention, and money of individual customers. The Experience Economy has been published in fifteen languages and was named one of the 100 best business books of all time by Porchlight. Mr. Pine also co-wrote Infinite Possibility: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier and Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want. His first book was the award-winning Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition. In his speaking and teaching activities, Mr. Pine has addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, TED in Monterey, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and SXSW in Austin. Today he is a Lecturer in Columbia University's Master's Program in Technology Management in the School of Professional Studies.