As a consumer, you may have noticed a shift in the fabric of today’s economy. As traditional goods and services increasingly become commoditized, businesses must stage experiences and establish differentiation to generate economic value. And, as experiences come to the fore, issues of authenticity follow closely behind. By understanding these new realities, forward-thinking enterprises can create entirely new ways of adding value to their offerings, their individual customers, and therefore their businesses.

That’s the premise of two books by Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, authors of Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, and the best-selling book The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage.

Essentially, the duo believes that instead of purchasing products, consumers today want to spend their time in a way that engages them.

They state that: “Goods and services are no longer enough. To be successful in today’s increasingly competitive environment companies must learn to stage experiences for each one of their individual customers.” They’ve termed this concept the “Experience Economy,” a new economic era in which all businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers that engage each one of them in a personal way.

The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage offers a practical strategy for companies to depict and stage the experiences that will greatly increase the economic value of what they offer. From America Online to Walt Disney, the book draws from a rich and varied mix of examples that showcase businesses creating personal experiences for both consumers and businesses.

Because of the shift to the Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore suggest authenticity is also becoming more crucial in today’s business. They say, “People increasingly see the world in terms of real and fake, and want to buy something real from someone genuine, not a fake from some phony.” In Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, readers can begin to understand this emerging business trend.

Although written for the corporate world, both books offer unique business applications for the ranching realm as well. Both are available through amazon.com.