An appealing product is a meaningful story that a product developer wants to tell, consumers want to hear about and both want to participate in. By “story” we mean values and meanings that bring together tourism service providers, customers and products. Stories are not only tales told around a fireplace or local curiosities. Of course, tales can be part of the product and its story. While profitability, efficiency, quality and safety are preconditions for the success of any product, they do not suffice anymore. In today’s global economy, the ability to anticipate changes, story-telling, experiences, locality, uniqueness and credibility are needed to create competitive advantage.

The one, who experiences the product, gives meaning to it by making (or considering making) it an important part of his/her life and a means for promoting his/her sense of cohesion within a particular community. In this sense, product development refers to the development of practices: How can customers be supported in their holidays, experiencing, consumption, work, hobbies, values and lives? Developers of meaningful products know what draws customers and what are the opportunities for making their products to become an important part of their customers’ lives today and in the future.

This section should help product developers to assess their products as meaningful and life-improving experiences. In this handbook, the product is discussed according to its message, process and nature.



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