A Curator is defined as “One who has the care and superintendence of something; especially, one in charge of a museum, zoo or other place”. “Experience” is defined as “something personally encountered, undergone or lived through”. Combine the terms as it relates to your business and we have a unique branding strategy that companies can use to grow their brand. In fact, according to Walker Info, By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. (Customers 2020 Report) walkerinfo.com
What’s the deal with “curated experiences”? I’ll tell you! Today’s customers are craving something different from shopping to dining. It’s not just the clothes or the food that attracts customers to brands it’s the experience. 79% of brands say they executed more event and experiential programs in 2015 wearepopup.com. Curated Experiences is a great way to establish brand identity and compete in an over saturated market.
Customers are eager to share their experiences on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Brands can use this to their advantage by capitalizing on the “need for sharing” to build their business. But, you have to give your customers “something to talk about”. Some of the most, hottest trending customer experiences today are popup shops, popup dining events, personalized traveling experiences and mobile private parties. Here are a few ideas on how to create and incorporate unique experiences into your business plan.
Plan, prepare then execute. Create a business plan include how you will market the event. Outline your vision in detail about who your ideal client is and what type of experience you would like to create. For example, if you're thinking about launching a Popup dining experience, here is what you will need to get started:
The best way to go about stepping to the popup dining scene is to look at what your competitors are doing? How are they creating a buzz for their event? What makes the customers keep coming back? It certainly wouldn’t hurt for you to actually go to an event to see for yourself. Get a feel of how the event is run. How many servers do you see? What are people are saying around you about the event? This will help you understand the vibe of the event, the operations aspect of running the event, and the customer’s expectations.
The Business Concept
As you put more thought into creating your popup dining event, think about the experience you want to create. Remember, this is your brand, with your name attached. How do you want this event to represent you? What kind of ambience are you going for? How do you want your customers to feel stepping into the restaurant? What do you want your customers to walk away with after attending your event?
Create a menu
Use Canva to create beautifully designed menus with already made templates.
Next, purchase the essentials,
Choose and register your business name
Insurance (yes you need insurance for liability purposes, to cover equipment, or in the event someone is injured while attending your popup event.)
Choose a location (many locations around the world allows tenants to rent retail spaces as well as dining spaces fees starting at $75.00 an hour *California locations, up to $50,000 an hour) Look for locations on sites like Peerspace
Rent Equipment: tables, chairs, napkins, utensils, generators, lighting, décor, plates, cups ect
Choose a Point of Sale System (many point of sale systems have low monthly payments starting at $59.00)
Hire Staff (check the labor department’s website to ensure that you’re compliant with labor laws)
Make yourself a checklist of everything. From food, to supplies everything. Go over time and time again to ensure you have everything in place.
The Marketing Plan
Market your event at least 3 months in advance. This will give yourself time to market your event properly. You want a huge turnout. Last minute, thrown together events often receive unfavorable reviews. You’re building a brand here so you have to be strategic about your planning. Your name is on the event, give it thought and enough time to build the brand you desire.
The only way you will know how to run a business is if you start one. Remember, everything is a learning curve. You will eventually gain the knowledge that you seek as time goes on. Each time you put on an event your skills will grow, your customer base will also grow as well as your brand. Have a great time doing what you love as a chef!
Travel and Tourism
Curated group trips have become widely popular. Travelers are skipping the traditional Travel Agent and opting for a unique experience instead. There’s a great demand for personalized service in Travel and Tourism, along with a large population of travelers who are waiting to experience their favorite destinations.
The latest trend in traveling, are companies that offer personalized experiences and or services in travel and tourism. For example, Travel Noire, is a company that cultivates global experiences for Black Travelers. Top Deck creates experiences around the world for their clients who typically range in age from 18 to 30. Doctor’s Travel provides a unique travel experience for Destination Brides which includes Weddings and Honeymoons. All of three of these companies are perfect examples of how you can incorporate curated experiences, innovation and creativity, into your branding strategy.
As Jerry Gregoire states " The customer experience is the next competitive battleground." The ultimate way to compete is by incorporating a new, unique customer experience.