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This is How AirBnB Creates Mindfuck Experiences for Their Customers

Feb 28, 2022 | 🌈 Entrepreneurship

Yesterday I announced my weekly experiment to start exploring the metaverse and its application a lot more.

Today, I was thinking about what actually appeals to me about that decision. 

I reflected some more on my career and my interests. Then I got reminded of a podcast episode with Brian Chesky – the co-founder and CEO of AirBnB. Part of a podcast episode, really. Let me share it with you below. 

The part I’m referring to starts at 10:35 and ends at 13:22. In it, Brian works his way through an exercise in order to determine what an 11-star experience could look like for his customers at AirBnB. 

The value of this exercise ⭐

The reason why Brian believes this exercise about an 11-star experience is important is because it helps him to create – as he calls it – “a total mindfuck experience”. 

Why would you want to create a total mindfuck experience for your customers? So that they will tell their friends. And then those friends will tell all their friends. And soon enough, your product will go viral.

In other words: to turn AirBnB into a global success, Brian set out to create a unique and memorable experience that’s worth telling your friends about. 

Why this exercise is important to me 🙂🙏

Over the years, I’ve come back to this podcast episode over and over. I even used it in many of my workshops (see picture below from a Ninjafy workshop in January 2019!) and even in my masterminds.

I believe it resonates with me because, for one, the exercise itself is extremely creative and imaginative. But also because it’s about designing an experience.

When I look back, throughout my entire career, I’ve always built experiences. 

When I started The Bikery, I thought about how to bring a smile to my customer’s face by baking pancakes. When I started Ninjafy, I thought about how we could make online courses fun. And when I started KREW, I thought about how we could create meaningful interactions between fellow entrepreneurs. 

The frame through which I look at my businesses isn’t from a logical, money-driven or even scalability perspective. It’s from a customer-experience perspective. 

Today, remembering the 11-star-experience exercise helped me see that.

That’s why I’m drawn to the metaverse and creating worlds, because the experiences we can create nowadays can be incredibly immersive. I mean, people might soon live in the metaverse and live the physical world behind. 

It opens up entirely new ways to create unique and memorable customer experiences and I want to help companies with that. 

So let’s start with this exercise! 👇

Marc Rodan 11 star experience airbnb brian chesky masters of scale

Your 11 star experience 📝

You can complete this exercise in many ways, but what I found is that it tends to work best when you get away from your laptop. So grab a blank sheet of paper or turn on the voice-recorder on your phone. Sit or lie down. Then work your way up from 1 star all the way to 11 stars. 

From 1 to 4 stars it’s pretty easy. When you’re at 5, well, that’s just your product or service doing its job. It’s good, but nothing to tell your friends about. From 6 stars and onwards it starts to get interesting.

Try to really dive into the experience. Close your eyes. Imagine that your customer is interacting with your product and service. What do they see? How do they feel? There is no right or wrong here. This is just an exercise to get your imagination going, so don’t feel too limited by your current reality. Use your creativity. Go for it! 🚀🧑‍🚀

Once you worked your way up to 11 stars, go back to somewhere between 6 and 9 and look for the sweet spot. What’s in there that you’re currently not doing that could create a total “mindfuck experience” for your customers that they would want to tell their friends about?

Write it down. Turn it into an action. And try it out the next chance you get. 

The next step is to ask your customers. Gather feedback. What would make them want to tell their friends about your business? Based on their feedback, keep improving. Keep working towards the ultimate experience. I can’t imagine that it won’t pay off. 

Best of all: you’ll be providing more value to your customers! And who wouldn’t want that? 🙌

Please let me know if you’ve made some changes because of this article. I am so curious about the experiences you will create. Good luck!