Bestselling author and principal analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company, Brian Solis has unveiled his highly anticipated new book, X: Where Business Meets Design (WILEY; October 2015; $30; ISBN: 978-1-118-45654-5.) In the book, Solis explains why customer experience, more than any other business priority, defines a company’s brand and determines its outlook for the future.

In X, Solis contends that great products, creative marketing and delightful customer service are no longer enough to succeed. The prevalence of mobile and digital technology has reshaped customer preferences and decision-making routines. However, for most businesses, the processes for product development, sales, marketing and customer service are still rooted in the past. This is generating an experience divide that will lead to brand irrelevance in the near future.

“Of course, the idea that businesses should focus on customer experience isn’t new,” says Solis. “But we’ve entered a new era of consumer influence, and businesses that don’t learn to craft holistic, more satisfying experiences for their customers have a great deal to lose.”

In order to create and cultivate meaningful experiences, Solis writes that companies need to infuse empathy into their engagement with consumers – a practice Prophet calls customer obsession. When a company is customer-obsessed, it truly listens and understands what its’ customers want or need and designs itself accordingly.

Solis calls empathy “the secret ingredient” to creating meaningful customer experiences. “Seeing the world through the eyes of others gives you a competitive advantage because so few businesses have a disciplined method for doing so,” he says. Moreover, Solis asserts, “Experiences are too important to leave to chance. They should be thoughtfully designed and reinforced in every touch point throughout the customer lifecycle.”

In addition to learning about the importance of empathy and how it can unlock creativity and innovation, readers of X will discover:

  • How to design a desired, meaningful and uniform experience in every “moment of truth” in the customer journey
  • The importance of User Experience (UX) in real life and in executive thinking
  • The benefits of infusing human-centered design in all you do
  • The art of Hollywood storytelling from marketing to product design to packaging
  • The value of various journey and experience mapping approaches

X even re-imagines the idea of a book for today’s digital meets analog world. Beautifully designed by creative agency Mekanism as an “analog app” to showcase the philosophy of what Solis refers to as “experience architecture,” X is meant to evoke emotion and create a unique experience of its own.

X: Where Business Meets Design is available today at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and 800-CEO-READ.