Creating an experience often involves multiple senses: touch, taste, feel, smell, etc. For example, Mrs. Fields Cookies is constantly cooking small batches of cookies all day in order to entice mall patrons to come into their store. The powerful aroma of fresh baked cookies triggers emotional responses that remind customers of long lost childhood.
I have found that service firms would do well looking to the entertainment industry for ideas on how to achieve these experiences.
From Mental Floss:
"You've probably noticed by the abundance of funny glasses available at your local Cineplex lately that 3D technology is the latest gimmick to become all the rage at movie theaters. It's only the first in a long line of techniques aimed at getting movie patrons in theater seats. Here are a few others."
My favorite is the "Light Tricks" used in the movie "Wait until dark":
"in the movie, there's a part where Audrey's character breaks all of the light bulbs in her apartment and shuts all of her window blinds so she is hidden in complete darkness. As she goes around the place breaking bulbs, theater employees dimmed the lights one by one and eventually turned them all off completely, plunging the theater into total darkness."
The visual appeal of having the lights in the theater go out as it happens in the movie makes the show feel alive and enhances the experience of the theater. I have yet to see it, but many of my friends have said that the 3-d effects in the film Avatar have similar effects. Watching these films at home doesn't have the same impact. These types of experiences are keeping movie goers attending theaters instead of just waiting to rent films and watch them at home. The experience of watching it in the theater has value and is worth the extra cost.
Read the others examples here.
What other similar attempts to create an experience have you seen? Leave a comment.