From the customer perspective, Disney is representative of a perfect User Experience. It tells a magical story in movies, then actualizes it in the real world through the Theme Park. Our competitive analysis UX (User Experience) tries to identify another company with a similar edge.
A Competitive Analysis UX of Starbucks:
The Proposition of Third Place.
If Disney market its business with the tagline ” the happiest place on the earth”, Starbucks’ strategy is to try to become ” the place between work and home”. This is the place to feel the warmth and relax after your working hours – before you go home. A place for hanging out and releasing all the tired you got at the office.
This is different with MCD or KFC, you eat there. In Starbucks, you relax. You hang out, you enjoy your time. Starbucks does not sell coffee, it sells the experiences. Same with Disney Parks. And to find something like Starbucks which is not Starbucks is difficult.
The place, the ambiance, the feel.
This is the UX.
When we talk about companies like Disney and Starbucks, we talk about customer perception. It is not cheap, pricey, or efficient – Starbucks coffee is average by the way. It is about feeling. Furthermore, it is more subjective rather than objective. Thus, companies like Disney and Starbucks could command higher prices and run a high gross profit margin business.
A Competitive Analysis UX of Apple:
Another business that could affect customer perception through its product is Apple. The iOS offers a seamless experience and is branded as a premium product. Only a few accessories are compatible with Apple products compared to their Android counterparts. This makes iPhone feels elite.
But unlike Disney and Starbucks which relies heavily on their branding, Apple has the switching cost advantage. Its iOS not only create the perception but also create a switching barrier. A person that used to buy iPhone or MacBook will experience difficulty migrating to another vendor.
So besides the feels and perception, Apple has an ecosystem that could lock the customer within its inner business.
A Competitive Analysis UX of Microsoft:
Pocketing the enterprise.
Speaking about switching costs, Microsoft is the best example. The Redmond-based company has successfully designed Windows UX that makes customers can’t live without it. Its compatibility with Office software is unmatched.
Like Apple, Microsoft has an ecosystem that could lock the customer. But it is not the perception, it is all about efficiency, cost, and effectiveness.
Suppose you are a businessman who runs a company, and you need software that could track your inventory. Then you use Microsoft Active Directory as a ” house” for your software. This Active Directory works well with your Office and Windows. And when you want to expand your business via the cloud, Microsoft has Azure and Office 365 to make your business more agile.
Microsoft usually bundles all of these products into one package. It will be cost-efficient considering how big your business is. This is the advantage Microsoft has from the user perspective. None has integrated business solutions as Microsoft has.
When UX lost the power:
In some industries, UX alone is never enough.
We have learned that companies like Starbucks and Disney could cast premium prices for their product through excellent User Experience. Same with Microsoft and Apple. The difference is just the former group target the perception of the customer rather than the productive element. Now it is time to bring you the idea when the UX is not enough to sell the product or to bring profit.
From the customer, daily needs maybe do not need a User Experience, unlike vacation. Shopping on Amazon become our choice not because of the beautiful UX but because of the convenience. The goods come to your home often at a cheaper price. This is all about cost and convenience, not how we interact with the Amazon Apps or Alexa.
The business-to-business industry typically annihilates the power of UX. When come to this industry, raw power in the form of technical advantage will easily cap the UX.
A German software CATIA has ugly UX but has still been used for years. Visa apps are far from seamless, but it is the first choice for the transaction.
The lesson is, in some cases, that exploiting the UX will give you the upper hand, but never overextend it.