Those who had been following my blogs and business advice will know that I’m a great fan of “theming” ones product or services when appropriate.
Having been influenced by the likes of Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, I guess it’s no surprise that I am a fan of creating “attractive themes” for the marketing of ones product or services.
If you look at Disneyland for example, you’ll see that this theme park out-performs all of the “wannabes” around the world because it has cleverly exploited “theming” for over 5 decades.
In a Disney Park, you won’t just see a giant roller coaster or thrill ride which might be a bunch of ugly steel.
You’ll see nothing of the sort because Disney will enclose such a roller coaster inside “Space Mountain” and when you ride the attraction, it will be in a dark environment with special effects such as music and lights giving you a feeling of flying through space with stars and asteroids whizzing past you!
In a more conventional business like in travel, Richard Branson provides “theming” via modern and contemporary innovation such as “in-flight bars,” entertainment and hostesses that all look like “Miss World!”
And if you are thinking about going to vacation, I bet you’ll always gravitate toward hotels and resorts that are “attractively themed.”
Whether it be a Swiss Alps theme in the snow, a Ranch Wilderness theme in the forest or an Exotic Island theme in the Pacific, I bet you’ll be influenced to vacation there rather than a concrete block of holiday apartments.
So the moral of the story is “provide your audience with an attractive theme and take their eyes off the price!”
If you look at your own business and consider how you can create “a theme or themes,” I’m sure you’ll recognise that this is an excellent way of taking your target audiences’ eyes off the price and onto the melodrama!
But look what happened when a theme goes wrong!
On the Gold Coast in Australia, one of the most exclusive gated communities is Sanctuary Cove, a beautiful, up-market community where it’s not unusual for a home to sell for $5 Million or $10 Million.
As part of the Sanctuary Cove community, there is a quaint shopping and restaurant village with couple stone streets, which is both a fabulous asset for residents as well as tourist attraction.
My view is that the Sanctuary Cove Village is one of the best kept secrets of the Gold Coast, but that’s another blog for another time.
On this occasion, I want to highlight just how “wrong” one of the restaurants got it’s “theming!”
You’ll see from the photographs here that the restaurant/bar I speak of is The Spotty Cat.
This restaurant/bar has a prime position at the very beginning of the Sanctuary Cove Village and for some insane reason, the owner decided to anoint it with this incredibly stupid name!
Ask yourself if you would like to invite your partner or group of friends to enjoy a dining experience at “The Spotty Cat” and I bet you would see a lot of bemused faces!
Who in their right mind would “theme” their restaurant with a name and genre that would be more suited towards a Veterinarian Clinic or Animal Boarding Shelter?!!
And if you look at the photographs here, you’ll see it gets even worst, as the owner of this establishment has devised a logo that resembles a pre-school centre.
If you’re going to be targeting an audience which is clearly over 18 years of age, why would you create a “wiggle style” logo and ambiance?
When this restaurant/bar is open, it features tapas, an extensive drinks menu, a regular restaurant a la carte menu and live entertainment.
The reason I’m pointing this out is to highlight that it is a traditional restaurant/bar.
But things have gone horribly wrong with its décor, overall ambiance and especially its name!
Not surprisingly, it is now open only some days during the week, therefore I suspect, being an embarrassment to the Sanctuary Cove Village.
My view is that because of its enviable position at the very entrance to the village, this situation could be salvaged in a heartbeat if the owners have a good sense to re-theme the restaurant more appropriately – but I suspect that’s not going to happen.
My view is that the restaurant will have a very short life span at the fact that it is already closing some days during the week tends to support this prediction.
Because the retail and restaurant precinct is quite up-market, there are dozens of different more “appropriate theme” that could’ve been chosen – from the likes of New York to Milan and Paris.
Have a look below at just a sample of “restaurant theme” that would be more appropriate.
So what sort of theme suits your business, product or services?
Do yourself a favour and sit down with a notepad and consider what “theme” would suit your business or perhaps your product or services?
Trust me, most business don’t do this and therefore live in a “sea of sameness” with their competitors.
Living on the Gold Coast in Australia, I witness time and time again, vacation resorts being built without any theming – the owners then finding that they need to extensively refurbish every five to seven years.
On the other hand, I see a few (but just a few!) smart developers creating timeless themes that don’t need such extensive refurbishment, because the theme is just “as marketable” 10 years after construction.
Examples of these are Bel Air Resort at Broad Beach and The Palazzo Versace at The Spit.
The photograph below should demonstrate to you exactly what I’m talking about.
Both of these resorts are over 10 years old and yet their “themes” are still as fresh as the day they open their doors for the first time!
So the challenge that I suggest you give yourself is to consider “what theme” might help bring attention to your product or services?
Try to be very diligent in staying away from “corny themes” (like The Spotty Cat!) and consider the expectation of your target audience when thinking about appropriate themes.
But I can assure you that if you nail the right theme, you’ll be able to take your target audiences focus off the price almost immediately.
And isn’t that what we all want to do?