September 3, 2010

Sequence in everything: campus tour edition

Hat tip Design for Service

A Cornell University Campus Tour

A new trend among universities is to use aspects of service and experience design in campus tour.  I suggest taking a look at this article for a good application of Pine and Gilmore's The Experience Economy in a University recruitment setting.  Here's an excerpt:
Jeff Kallay is a pioneer in this new frontier of college recruitment. Campus tours, he preaches, should not only relay information, but also create a memory. What makes a company (or college) great, he believes, isn’t just products or services: “It’s all about the experience.” To that end, he encourages colleges to tell stories that will distinguish them from competitors, to engineer an experience that will stick in consumers’ minds. Call it the Gospel According to Mickey.
There is a bunch about scripting and authenticity and creating peak moments:
 Gilbert suggests that colleges think about creating a “signature moment” during tours. Moreover, he urges them to consider ways of engaging the five senses (taste is usually the trickiest one). At the University of Akron, visitors gather around a forty-foot-tall statue by Dale Chihuly, a blue glass tower known as the “rock candy” sculpture. Later, guests receive a stick of blue rock candy, with a tag that thanks them for visiting and directs them to information about the artist and the university. (It’s the kind of marketing that might just crack your tooth.)
Apart from the idea of a peak moment, there is little discussion about how the sequence of a tour might influence the memory, i.e., where should the "signature moment" happen?  At the beginning, the end?  Where should we go first, then where, how should we end? Seems like these could be important.

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