In preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season, the EAT section in my local St. Paul Pioneer Press (yes, I still read daily newspapers – three of them in fact!) stared out at me with a “Reader alert” making this interesting request: “We want your cookie recipes – and memories”.
Now I didn’t think that the paper had developed some Johnny Mnemonic-type technology for transferring memories from one person to another. I knew what they were really asking for is stories (“150 words is perfect”) that would let readers relay their remarkable memories of a favorite holiday cookie.
Over the past few years as the Experience Economy has fully emerged I’ve seen this interesting new way of using the term “memory” more and more. I have long myself used the phrase “remarkable memories” when asking people to share stories from past experiences for the simple reason that “remarkable” means “remark on it” – tell others about it. But now the stories of memories are being referred to as memories, almost as if a memory were a tangible thing that could be shared.
And what people are sharing more and more is not so much the full stories of their experiences but images of them – as I more fully discussed in my earlier post Memorabilia Vs. Media, on how experience stagers need to design not just for memorabilia but for the media guests increasingly want to share. So businesses increasingly take off on this by themselves using the word “memories” as a substitute for the term “image” or “photo”.
This really struck me as I was working with Carnival Corp. for its announcement of its Ocean Medallion program at this past January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which I described in an earlier Thoughts post, Mass Customizing Guest Experiences at Carnival Corp. (and for which Carnival won our 2017 Experience Stager of the Year award.)
If you watch the video “Inside Carnival Corporation's new Ocean Medallion” – and do watch it to fully understand how the Ocean Medallion wearable is going to revolutionize cruise travel – note what the narrator says just after the 3:30 mark: “Throughout the cruise memories are captured at the best moments and are available however the guests want them. They can instantly view and share all of their media right from the Compass.”
Again, it’s not the actual memories that are being captured, but photographs that commemorate those memories. And with the ability for these digital photographs to be viewed and shared right from each guest’s Ocean Compass app – and purchased and printed as actual memorabilia! – Carnival indeed exemplifies the experience design principle as I updated it in that earlier post: “Mix in memorabilia + media”into your offerings.
This will enable you to help guests share, well, if not their actual remarkable memories, then the images of them that will help them recall their experiences, share that experience with others, and increase the chances they will return or that their friends will want to experience you in the future.