March 2, 2011

Dinner and a Movie - Mash-ups

Service Encounter Onstage recently blogged about the benefits of combining two experiences into one - a dinner AND a movie. AMC calls is "Fork and Screen".

I think the premise is solid; however, I think it is folly to think that since I do movies well, I can easily do food well or vice versa.  Certainly the nature of the experience is different, the first being the tangibility of the food vs the intangibility of the movie - if the food is no good the blame falls on the theater, if the show is no good the blame will fall on the movie producer.  Ordering and eating food is an active customer action while watching a movie is passive.  I wonder if combining these two disparate forms of experience is a good idea from a management stand point; at the very least it would raise a lot of questions about how quality and experience theme be maintained, how are customer expectations managed, how do HR policies change etc?

Something like this came up in class the other day as a joke.  We were discussion the intangibility of services and compared a massage to an auto repair shop. Massages are very intangible because you leave with only a feeling of relaxation, but no physical product.  I always thought that an auto repair was pretty tangible because you do get a car back when you are finished, but a student pointed out that because it is difficult for customers to know if the car is actually fixed or if it needed what was said to be fixed, it was very intangible and customers leave feeling stressed.  So we came up with a recommendation of a massage at the auto repair shop to relive stress of the unknown.

All this talk of combining things reminded me of a term "Mash-up" made popular by the television show Glee.  the idea of a mashup is to combine elements of two songs to create a new better song - maybe the melody of one song with the lyrics a rhythm of another  In their words:
"A 'Mash-up' is when you take two songs and you mash them together to create an even richer Explosion of Musical Expression."
It seems to work best if the two songs have something in common enough for the audience to pickup on the clever combination of the themes of the two songs.  Perhaps similiar advice might apply when considering combining two experiences.  Maybe a dinner and a movie might fit better together than a massage and an auto repair?

Here's a clip of some Glee mash-up action.  Enjoy!

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