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Better Business Idea #12

How To Make Your Business Into A Magnet For New Customers
By Making It Into A Destination

©1998 by Michael C. Gray

January 26, 1998

Last week, my wife, Janet, and I visited Las Vegas.

If you haven't been there in a while, you really should go. It's amazing how the town has decided to "become" the Disneyland experience, to entice people to come have their pockets picked.

The Luxor is "Ancient Egypt Land," the Rio is "Rio De Janeiro at Carnival Land," the Excalibur is "Medieval England Land," the Las Vegas Hilton is "Star Trek Land," Treasure Island is "Pirate Land," and the Mirage is "Jungle Land." The buildings are enormous, containing simulated communities! No expense has been spared. There has been considerable attention to detail. And the building goes on. There will be no fantasy untouched. The only drawback is the haze of cigarette smoke inside the buildings.

While visiting, I thought back to a trip to Virginia City, Nevada. Each saloon had a reason for you to visit. "See the man in the mirror!" "See the giant clock!" In some ways, things haven't changed too much. We have our "3-D" experiences. They had their hand-operated, pay-per-view movie machines.

What lessons can we draw from this for our businesses?

Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert. There is no particular reason, no natural resources, for a growing community at that location. The casino owners created a destination, a reason for people to go there. And Las Vegas is one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation.

My friend and client, Alex Menicucci, told me a key to having a successful motel is to be located at a destination, a place people want to go.

How can we each make our business into a destination, a place people would want to go even if we didn't offer our product or service? How can we provide an experience where our clients or customers say, "Wow! That was like going to Disneyland!"

As we can see with Las Vegas, creating a destination can function as a magnet to attract prospective customers to our business.

Obviously, this is going a little extreme. Most of us don't have the resources to install Pirates of the Caribbean in our reception area or parking lot. But maybe we should devote some resources to making the experience of doing business with us more memorable. Something that people will talk to their friends about.

How about the dentist who provides "dental muffins" to his patients, or the building supplier who provides a picnic lunch to a construction crew when delivering materials? How about the doctor who has an attractive, comfortable reception area with a television and video tapes for children to watch? How about Fry's Electronics, whose theme locations, such as "Egypt Land" at their Campbell store, have attracted thousands of customers?

Word of mouth can be the most powerful, cost-effective advertising of all. Nothing beats a testimonial to promote a business.

Why not incorporate a way to make your business into a destination into your marketing plan today?

Do you need a "sounding board" for marketing ideas for your business? Call Mike Gray at (408)918-3161 for an appointment today.

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