Creating a hands-on experience drives advocacy and word of mouth

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Play Well

Last weekend my son Thomas celebrated his 8th birthday. The choice for his birthday party… The Lego Movie on its opening weekend.

A new theater nearby offered a party room in tandem with the movie. My wife provided a fun craft for the kids in addition to Lego birthday cupcakes. A fun time was had by all 10 kids.

Jenn, Thomas and James sporting their Lego hats

Jenn, Thomas and James sporting their Lego hats

birthdays at stone theatresProviding a Hands-On Experience

You don’t think of a movie theater when you think of birthday parties. You’re more apt to think jump zones and bowling alleys. Yet,  Stone Theatres 14 at Park West in Morrisville, NC offers birthday parties. Smart move as brands are understanding the way to engagement and advocacy is through experience. Reaping the rewards by offering various add-on elements, classes and experiences.

All types of businesses are starting to take notice. According to a recent article in the New York Times, “In the last three years, Creative Kidstuff, a small chain of children’s toy stores in Minneapolis, has been using downtime in its party rooms to offer free prenatal and birthing classes as well as children’s music classes. The stores also hold events for families, like the Decorate Your Bike workshop on the Fourth of July and Fingerprint Memories, where children create a holiday-themed tile using their fingerprints. Two years ago, when the company began sponsoring a summer concert series, about 25 people attended the first, said Roberta Bonoff, the company’s chief executive: ‘This summer, we had 500 people.”

Hitting the Mark

Ambassador_App_266Maker’s Mark does the little extra to cultivate advocacy with its best customers. The manufacturer of premium bourbon has a unique ambassador program. Visitors to the Loretto, Kentucky distillery can take a pledge to share the love of Mark’s Mark with family and friends. Sworn in ambassadors names are etched on a brass plate and placed on a barrel. Maker’s allows the ambassadors to follow the whole process of creation. Speaking of bourbon, here are the four W’s of Maker’s Mark:

makers_mark__spanAfter six or seven years the ambassadors are invited to come back and pickup a bottle or two of the aged bourbon from their very own barrel. Of course, one of the ultimate hands-on perk is picking up your bottle and dipping it into the signature red wax.

TAKEAWAY: A shortcut to to engagement and advocacy is through experience. How are you adding on to create that little extra “hands-on” experience for your best customers? What’s Your Golden Goldfish?

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a little Lego trivia:

- 30% of all Lego sets are bought by adults for their own use. These big kids are called AFOL’s meaning “Adult Fans of Lego’s” (Curious to find out more, there’s a documentary for that)

- LEGO is formed from the Danish words “LEg GOdt” meaning ”play well”. In Latin, it means, “I put together”

- 2014 marks the 65th year the company has made plastic bricks. As of 2013, the company has produced over a half a trillion lego pieces

In the spirit of the late Paul Harvey, now for the rest of the story. Here is a great claymation from Lego on the history of the company:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.

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