Adding a Special Attraction

    Chip Bell Posted by Chip Bell.

    Chip R. Bell is a senior partner with the Chip Bell Group and manages the office near Atlanta. He is the author of nineteen books, including Managers as Mentors (coauthored with Marshall Goldsmith) and Wired and Dangerous (co-authored with John Patterson).



    Adding a Special Attraction

    Betty’s is an antique all-purpose grocery store in Helen, GA.  Started in 1973, the store provides walls full of antiques as well as a cavalcade of off-the-beaten path items.  They also provide the usual high quality meats, canned goods, fruits and vegetables.  Need 10 pounds of marbles, hard-to-find sodas like RC Cola, NuGrape and Bubble up, a couple of rutabagas, scuppernong wine, or one coffee filter not a package?  Betty’s is the place.  But, the most fun part is the fully operational beehive behind the glass where you can watch honey being made.  A small hole in the back enables bees to come and go.  The honey is processed and is sold in the store.

    Most Mexican restaurants either buy ready-made tortillas or bake them backstage, so to speak.  Not, Uncle Julio’s.  There is an automated, assembly-line production out where patrons (especially impatient small children) can watch tortillas being made. They sometimes give kids a small ball of raw tortilla dough as a souvenir. The special attraction makes the restaurant stand out in a geography saturated with Mexican restaurants.

    The Columbia Tower Club in downtown Seattle has four stalls in the ladies restroom designed so the commodes face the outside of the building.  The exterior wall it looks out on is wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling window.  Since the Club atops a high-rise building, a visitor sitting on the toilet can enjoy a panoramic view of downtown!  Patrons of the club would assume the restrooms would be spotless and well appointed.  They would not expect a “john with a view!”

    Want your organization to become a destination location?  What if you added a special attraction?  If you charged admission for customers to visit your place of business, what would you have to add to their experience to make it worth the price?

    Photo Credit: Flickr via Paul Cooper

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