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Background

The goal of the EU's Lisbon agenda is to foster innovation, increase competitiveness and unlocking the business potential among SMEs in Europe. The ExBased project aims to boost the creative industries sector. The project will approach conventional industries and companies with a view to fully unleash their business potential and to fully exploit the impact which the creative industries sector can have across the whole economy. The ExBased project will introduce creativity and experience-based business and product development as a strategic tool for innovation and business development into conventional small and micro companies.

The notion of experience-based business development derives from the so-called 'experience economy' under which experiences are being applied as a strategic tool to differentiate products and services in all business sectors. By 'experiences' is referred to intangible aspects such as a consumer's particular experience of a product or service; emotions or stories associated to the product. Experiences can be either functional (such as design) or emotional giving the consumer an individual or personal relationship to the product. Likewise, experiences can be used in experiential marketing and communication of both product and company; thus addressing and appealing to the consumer's heart and emotions rather than brain and rationality.

By means of creative competence, conventional companies can develop new products and services or re-develop existing ones. In turn, creative competence comes to constitute a source of innovation and increased competitiveness for companies and for the local-regional economies.

Objectives

The specific objective of the ExBased project is to provide local and regional public sector business consultants with knowledge of and insight into creative business approaches and the dynamics of experience-based business development, thereby enabling them to support and inspire local companies to bring the approach into the company, its marketing and product development processes. Competence development for business consultants will be a direct outcome of the project.  

Concretely, the ExBased project will develop a set of tools designed to help unleash companies' potential for experience-based business and product development; tools that explore and suggest how to structure a business development process be integrating aspects of the experience economy.

The ExBased project is structured as a train-the-trainer project and alongside the tool box, a training module will be developed and tested on business consultants in the ExBased partner regions. Following these training sessions, the participating business consultants will be encouraged to try out and test their newly acquired competencies as well as the tools on local companies. Following the trial out phase, the ExBased training module and tool box will be evaluated and fine tuned before European wide dissemination.

Experience-based business development as such is not a new approach to business development. It is already seen as a firmly integrated part of the business plan, product development and marketing strategies of larger (conventional) companies. However, the innovative aspect of the ExBased project lies in its attempt to develop and adjust tools and methods which will be operational in small and micro companies; and to provide local and regional business consultants with competencies and tools that will enable them to transfer creative innovation and the experience-based business development approach into such companies.