A Compelling Experience: The Original Word Of Mouth

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Women In Touch did a conference last week (my client and church initiative), which I was heavily involved in. The thing that I always hear people repeat about WIT, believe it or not, does not major on the two ‘selling points’ of most Christian conferences which are the teaching and the music.

What I hear people saying about WIT and the Touch Conference is this: ”it’s just the whole experience.

A compelling experience is the original word of mouth. Go back 6,000 years of documented human history, and you’ll find that what we’ve been recording ever since isn’t the boring stuff. It’s the compelling stuff.

Everything about this conference – from the little touches of décor, to the excellent teaching, and from the rebranding of the cafe to the ‘pitstop’, to the photos that were taken and then given away – everything was carefully building the overall experience. This is important. Because if experience is the eye of the beholder, and you are banking on the décor to provide the experience, then what about the non-visual person who doesn’t even notice the décor?

Therefore “it’s just the whole experience” is a better compliment than “the décor was great” because you know that you have hit multiple senses. A multi-sensory experience therefore gives your advocate multiple words for mouth. When they are talking to one friend, it is the teaching. To their musician friend, it’s the music. To their hurting friend, it’s the emotional benefit they received. To the lonely friend, it’s the friendliness.

Now I’ve just rememberd that my friend Olivier Blanchard actually wrote about word of mouth yesterday, so I’m not going to go on and on – just pop to his site and read up there.

But before you go, let’s just note a few things about the nature of compelling:

  1. Compelling is never mediocre, unless something was so mediocre it got you determined to do better.
  2. Compelling means the experiences induces a decision, which rouses that most precious human resource.
  3. Compelling inspires you to action, and your first action is to talk about it.

Archived Comments

  • http://www.joshchandlerblog.com Josh Chandler

    You created an fantastic post around the simple idea of “compelling experiences’, I have to say your point about people who don’t notice the decor (such as myself) should really help companies think carefully about other contact points people have at an event, this could be anything from great customer service to what facilities are on offer, all in all if the event organizers can cater for ALL this, it would be pretty impossible not to have everyone enjoying and getting the most of the event!

  • http://www.joshchandlerblog.com Josh Chandler

    You created an fantastic post around the simple idea of “compelling experiences’, I have to say your point about people who don’t notice the decor (such as myself) should really help companies think carefully about other contact points people have at an event, this could be anything from great customer service to what facilities are on offer, all in all if the event organizers can cater for ALL this, it would be pretty impossible not to have everyone enjoying and getting the most of the event!

  • Scott Gould

    Josh, your absolutely right, companies *must* consider all senses. A
    campaign/event/instore experience that delivers on a multitouch and
    multisense is a formiddable thing.

    Of course the senses must not contradict or be inconsistent with one
    another. Inconsistency is like putting on odd socks that look the
    same- it looks ok from distance but just feels wrong ;-)

    Scott

  • Scott Gould

    Josh, your absolutely right, companies *must* consider all senses. A
    campaign/event/instore experience that delivers on a multitouch and
    multisense is a formiddable thing.

    Of course the senses must not contradict or be inconsistent with one
    another. Inconsistency is like putting on odd socks that look the
    same- it looks ok from distance but just feels wrong ;-)

    Scott

  • http://www.joshchandlerblog.com Josh Chandler

    Ha, yeah. I can’t tell you the amount of events I have been to where there has been inconsistency, it drives me crazy to see them not completing the full package! People may laugh at my frustration, but walk into a room for an event and see how long it takes you to start noticing “inaccuracies” or contradictions, not long I promise you that :)

  • http://www.joshchandlerblog.com Josh Chandler

    Ha, yeah. I can’t tell you the amount of events I have been to where there has been inconsistency, it drives me crazy to see them not completing the full package! People may laugh at my frustration, but walk into a room for an event and see how long it takes you to start noticing “inaccuracies” or contradictions, not long I promise you that :)

  • Scott Gould

    Josh – totally. They get the ‘cues’ all mixed up, just like you’re saying. With consistency being the foundation of trust, they can’t afford many of those inconsistencies before the event goes from Great to just Good.

  • Scott Gould

    Josh – totally. They get the ‘cues’ all mixed up, just like you’re saying. With consistency being the foundation of trust, they can’t afford many of those inconsistencies before the event goes from Great to just Good.

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