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Like a Movie Director, Storyboard the Experience for Us

Oops. Don’t just design and decorate your people-serving place or event. Storyboard it.  Create the experience for them, just as a movie director plans the sequence of scenes to pull people in and evoke an strong emotional response. But, unlike a movie director, you can involve all the senses.

From the first smell to the last sound of your store, stadium, conference, hotel, home or other site, create the moment-by-moment sensory cues you want others to experience. If you sell something, they will buy more.  With the right storyboarding you build bragging rights in the people who walk in. That’s priceless. Yet, used wrongly, a sensory cue can alienate customers, as Westin and others discovered. Now, begin with an Exposures Audit.

Relatedly, want to increase per-customer spending? Then provide free samples – the right way.  Our so-called ice cream bon bon bombshell experiment boosted movie goers’ spending 24 percent.  And we’ve repeated that success for clients at places as diverse as restaurateurs, meeting planners and museum store managers. Next, where possible, personalize your customer’s experience. A tall order.

In short, you can create a popular, one-of-a-kind place or event by offering the right multi-sensory story.  Next time you step inside a place notice what details affect your impression of the place.

Want more on behavior or experience creation?  Read

How You Can Prompt Us to Feel or Do Something

How What You Hear, See or Feel Affects What You Think or Do

Make Your Meeting or Product Come Alive in Images

An Engaging Way to Ask Your Group What They Want

Public “Sculpture” That Moves Us to Play or Cry

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  1. Posted August 9, 2008 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    The very fact that we can excel in our respective businesses through well-designed and integrated approach is what the above post tries to convey in a subtle manner, by citing some of the success stories in businesses as diverse as hotel, store, hospital, conference and even your home. We need to get a total collaboration between various activities of our business to cast a spell in the competitive market because ‘setting the stage is as important as the show about to begin’. We need to understand and apprehend the power of the senses for a business to succeed. Remember, every single moment counts. Our customers and clients must sense a feeling of being welcomed and cared for the moment they step in, providing them with ‘special moments’(which they are likely to remember for long), right up to the final scene as they step out of the premises. It must present itself as a comforting zone where they can unwind themselves and enjoy their stay. By efficiently managing the sequence of these emotional moments from the opening scene through the end, we can differentiate our business, invite a greater number of people and win them over with our very first expression. The post makes the point clear that its time we adopt a more integrated approach and start storyboarding the total experience (right from the first sight to the last smell) our customers would love to enjoy, again and again.

  2. Posted August 10, 2008 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Maria Elena, You are so eloquent and passionate on this approach. Thank you. Ironically, I find that individuals are most inclined to consider such differentiating partnerships after a competitor has successfully launched one. One of the rich side benefits of a customer-centered SmartPartnership is the camaraderie amongst partners who’ve crafted a method that uses their best strengths. The success of one partner is intertwined with the other(s).

  3. Posted July 13, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this post. I emailed the link to some others that are collaborating on a large event in SoCal for Oct. 2010. Hopefully this will inspire them.

  4. Posted May 19, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Because we have several ways of remembering things, suggests Jeff Hurt, evoking them is a handy tool to add to your storyboarding kit to make meetings meaningful and fun is to use all. He dubs these “memory lanes”:
    1. Ask speakers to present information in short chunks.?.
    2. Encourage speakers to provide semantic hooks in their presentations.
    3. Intentionally schedule adult white-space informal learning opportunities.?
    4. Promote the use of graphic organizers.?
    5. Use peer teaching strategies.?
    6. Ask participants to paraphrase or summarize important information.?
    7. Use mnemonic devices like acronyms, acrostics, peg systems and rhymes to learn new information.
    See how to evoke them in your meeting:

  5. Posted December 31, 2011 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    What marvelous resources for inspiring others by “connecting” with all their senses!
    Once again you’ve zeroed in on key elements, the essentials for sharing effectively. Thanks.

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