User-centricity and a commitment to the quality of user experiences are not generally ends in and of themselves.

They serve a much greater purpose: driving business success.

As a vice president and principal analyst in Forrester's customer experience research practice, Design for Experience judge Kerry Bodine understands the value inherent in developing empathy and creating experiences that truly matter to customers, employees, and a business' bottom line.

She also understands the breadth of customer experience initiatives, which are no longer limited to digital endeavors. One of her recent blog posts highlights this with the story of Bertucci's, a 30-year-old restaurant chain that sorely needed to reintroduce itself to a new generation of patrons.

"Bertucci’s saw that it had to throw out its old restaurant model in order to court (and keep) a younger generation of diners" Bodine writes. "Rather than rework its existing locations, the executive team decided to create an entirely new brand."

The restaurant group partnered with a design and innovation consultancy to create a new restaurant concept called 2ovens, using in-depth research into Generation Y and Millennial diners’ eating preferences and social habits to create a dining experience relevant to hip youngsters.

They also decided to tap into one of their core competencies: brick oven cooking. "As the 2ovens name implies, two giant ovens—one wood-fired and one gas—sit in plain view of customers," Bodine writes. "This allowed Bertucci’s to expand its offering without forcing a new skill onto the organization—and that increases the new restaurant’s chances for long-term success. The open kitchen also exposed Bertucci’s culinary strengths and provided a point of differentiation from the throngs of fast-casual restaurants that microwave their food behind closed doors."

To test the 2ovens concept, Bertucci’s rolled out a prototype restaurant in an off-the-beaten-path strip mall in a Boston suburb. According to Bodine's case study, the prototype surpassed revenue targets, far exceeding executives’ expectations. The restaurant also experienced strong employee engagement, with one assistant chef actually tattooing the 2ovens logo on his forearm.

While a logo inked on the arm of an employee doesn't count as ROI, an experience that inspires that kind of passion generally leads to profitable pastures. The DfE Bottom Line Impact award recognizes new or redesigned products, services, and other experiences that made a major impact on a business’ bottom line through the application of experience strategy.

If you know of a business that has boosted profits by bolstering its experience strategy, nominate them now! If you're part of an experience design team that has improved your company's bottom line, apply for this award.

Hear more on customer experience from Kerry Bodine at Forrester's Forum For Customer Experience Professionals EMEA in London, November 19-20!


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