MWC19: The Assessment – part 2

Premiumization of customer experience

I started this series, looking at the booths which stood-out  at MWC19.  Few did. That’s because major brands upped their game. Most sit on pole position.  Indeed, having walked Mobile World Congress 2019, three observations emerged:

  1. Everyone’s at near pole position
  2. Premium is the new normal
  3. 5G needs a new label

 Here, I explore the premiumization of MWC.

Premium is the new normal

In the high street, brands are scrambling to adopt a premium or even luxury positioning. We see this in cars, smartphones, fashion, homes, restaurants. It’s de rigueur. This same psychology and design aesthetic is carrying through to trade-shows. MWC is no exception. Indeed, with a strategic audience in attendance, luxury cues are becoming more evident. 

VIP lounges and meeting rooms are becoming more plush. Deeper pile carpet. Light dimmer switches. Better lighting design. Carefully curated, room accessorization. Air-cushioned, door hinges. High-end, designer furnishings. High performance A/C and sound-proofing. Wireless smartphone chargers.  Brand scents. All the cues of 5 and 6-star luxury are infiltrating the temporal world of the trade-show. It’s design conducive to a C-suite conversation.

VIP lounge
VIP lounge
Premium catering
Premium beverages
Character light fittings

With an emphasis on collaboration, how long before we see Co-Create, touch-screen walls for short-burst, ideation sessions?  

Hip baristas, juice and smoothie mixologists now rank up there with the product gurus, as central to the ambient energy and conviviality of the customer experience on a booth.

Note: These are observations taken from walking MWC19.


Andrew Reid

Andrew Reid

Author: Andrew Reid is a director at Shelton Fleming Associates – CX experts in how B2B brands engage senior level audiences, through live experiences and immersive, digital content.

Further reading