We toured four of the “gilded age” mansions in Newport, RI last week. The three most popular of these “summer cottages” offer an audio tour. The recordings could have been boring and forgettable, only offering the facts (like the human guide on the fourth tour we did) but the writer(s) knew that to be engaging and memorable there needed to be something for visitors to latch on to. So there is wonderful narration, short interviews with historians and eyewitnesses, and stage-setting sound effects.
At The Breakers (built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in just two years – whole rooms were constructed in Europe and shipped to the US!) you hear unforgettable nuggets like that the children slid down the grand staircase on serving trays and that the stair risers were designed two inches shorter than normal so women could glide down them gracefully in their long dresses (that they often changed seven times a day). At Marble House a wisteria-covered trellis was constructed over the service entrance so summer guests looking down from an upper room or stairway wouldn’t have to see delivery people come and go.
When I was asked about my weekend, these are the stories I told while also raving about the tours.
Have you found the parts of your brand that appeal to your customers’ hearts – not just their heads? Are you telling the stories that your customers remember and share?
Take the time to find and spread them and customer hearts will follow.