My wife has wanted our family to host a themed holiday party for years. But not just any old theme: a 1970s Thanksgiving. While we’ve enjoyed many traditions in our family for years, we thought it was time spice it up. Discussing ideas with family, we rallied around a clear and simple 1970s theme that created a unique experience for our guests. If we were going for a theme, we couldn’t do it half-way. I was all in for creating an immersive experience; one that enveloped guests from the door through the end of the evening.
As we started planning, I realized something as simple as getting our guests excited about a unique (and easy) theme created a special experience for all. We provided family members with instructions on what to bring and encouraged costumes. I dedicated myself and even grew a mustache as part of my costume (see picture for proof). On the menu was a mix of 70s foods, including classic favorites such as Jell-O, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows, and chocolate fondue for the kids. Funky outfits from thrift shops and from the backs of closets made an appearance. Abba and Burt Bacharach played in the background as family and guests enjoyed each other’s unique interpretations of the theme. Our house came to life filled with nostalgia and all shades of orange, brown, and gold.
So why am I telling you all about this great theme party? The 70s enthusiasm that went into this event is a reminder of the importance of a differentiated customer experience. It is something that should not be ignored. I find many companies simply try to do too much. Personally, I am drawn to products or services offered by companies with a clear focus. With dedicated focus comes greater understanding of the role employees play in delivering the product or service to end customers. Challenge yourself to test how your offerings create a cohesive experience from start to finish. Question everything. Is it adding or detracting from the central experience you are seeking to convey? Think of the last time you were at a Disney theme park. The experience begins before you even enter the park! The shuttle service to the ticket booth even has music playing to get you in the spirit for a day spent with Disney. Marketing Week recently cited an immersive experience being key to creating longer-term engagement.
In the spirit of practicing immersive customer experience. I challenge you to a couple things:
- Spice things up by hosting a themed holiday party. You and your guests won’t regret it.
- Turn the lens back on your business. Ask yourself these questions: “Are you offering the most immersive experience possible?” “What one thing can you test to narrow focus and differentiate your business?”
May you have a “groovy” holiday season and memorable experiences for your customers and loved ones alike.