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« Honest Manipulation & Word of Mouth Marketing | Main | The Experience Behind the Experience »

December 09, 2004


Andy Havens

Half of me loves Christmas; the actual scriptural story, the lights, wreaths, cookies, nog, and 9 of the carols. The other half of me hates all 273 other carols, the insipid ads, the lousy/cheesy TV specials and the whole tawdry mess we've made of the holiday. That 2nd half is, yes, very, very Scrooge and I'm sorry.

It's the Scrooge half that looks at the Charm Bar and, though it sounds like lots of fun, and is something I'd really like to do, says... isn't this what used to happen in many stores and markets and bazaars throughout history? Is it experiential marketing, or just old-fashioned hunt-n-peck shopping? The kind that happened before everything was shrink-wrapped and boxed and shelved?

I grew up in Boston and loved to shop in and around Faneuil Hall. And there were many stores where the atmosphere was, well... experiential hardly begins to describe it. Tactile in the extreme is closer. You pawed over everything. And the owner of the shop would come and talk to you, and remember you from the last time you were there... three years ago. And ask you where you got that wonderful hat.

Is that part of the goal of experiential marketing? To return us to a time when commerce was more than the efficient shifting of material from producer to consumer? Where somebody who had a hand in the development of the content could interact with me, the person who was about to take it and make it part of my own story? If that's the case, then, yes. The Charm Bar is a great example of experiential marketing. And I'm back to being Tiny Tim. But maybe experiential marketing is too complex a name for the experience. I don't know. Ho-ho-humbug. Call me conflicted.

Earth Girl

Just found your site and am enjoying your posts. Yes, choosing charms from over 200 would be an experience, but probably not very positive. In many ways I agree with Schwartz's book, The Paradox of Choice. A positive experience (for me) would be to have a skilled interviewer ask questions about my life and memories who would then select charms from which to choose. Dream on Earth Girl!

Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

I thought no choices was a turn off to customers, robs them of a sense of control over the purchasing decision, but then again too many choices causes confusion and frustration.

I've gone to a record store, excited about buying a new CD, looked at tons of CDs, listened to audio clip samples, got worn out, mentally fatigued, and left without buying anything at all.

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