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Experience Strategy Podcast with Stone Mantel

Feb 2, 2022

Experiences, like umami flavors, can be difficult to pin down. Both ideas transcend words, so how do you define them? How do you measure them? How do you help leaders and customers understand the value? In this episode, we are joined by Aga Szóstek, Ph.D. a strategic experience designer and author of "The Umami Strategy” as we discuss how to create experiences that are not just memorable, but powerfully impactful.  

In This Episode: 


  • [04:08] Why did Aga name her book The Umami Strategy?
  • [07:50] What drove Aga to focus on experience strategy?
  • [13:59] Why vision is one of the most challenging elements of the strategic cycle.  
  • [16:51] Most companies do not incorporate this experience into their overall vision.  
  • [20:42] Why brand image is often prioritized over the brand’s experience.  
  • [22:13] What are “edges” and how are they used to make a brand stand out?  
  • [27:52] How companies measure experience metrics.  
  • [37:14] Aga’s secret for experience measurement that more companies should focus on.  
  • [40:42] What designing a new kind of business book was like for Aga.  


Key Takeaways: 


  • A meaningful experience vision will drive a strong sense of purpose for the customer.
  • Feeling of purpose, doing something with you contributes to something higher order
  • Companies must also be clear about how they emotionally differentiate themselves from competitors.
  • Expectation divided by experience equals memory.  




Aga Szóstek, Ph.D. is a strategic experience designer and author of The Umami Strategy: Stand Out by Mixing Business with Experience Design. For the past two decades, she worked at the forefront of combining design, technology, and business. Her approach inspired many organizations to bet on experiences as their market differentiator. When not consulting, Aga designs experiential tools called Seed Cards and co-hosts a podcast: Catching The Next Wave.