Guest Column - April 2004
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Marketing Musts

Building Your Facility’s Brand from Logos to Mascots

By Mark Schmitz


The art of directing people to places they want to go has been around a few centuries. Today we have statistical data that shows us how critical it is as part of a guest and brand experience. Wayfinding (or public signing) is a broad subject. In any atmosphere, private resort or city center, it should enhance the architecture, be placed on common sight lines and, most importantly, be legible.

For example, the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale/Phoenix uses a system of wayfinding blade signs intermingled with pedestal kiosks that educate guests on native cultures and artifacts throughout the resort campus. This combination of utilitarian directional signage with educational stops in between is the perfect brand experience for the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

Taking a tour at Miller Brewing

Showing your facility to the public is the ultimate form of marketing, public relations and brand reinforcement. Providing an "edutaining" experience (the process of both entertaining and educating) is critical.

Miller Brewing Company has created the ultimate "Edutaining" tour. It hooked all graphic, animated and photographic images on Frederick Miller's original promise in 1857—Quality, Uncompromising and Unchanging. A new streetscape was designed to bring the historical brew house and horse stables back to their original condition. This was put into place along with modern beer-making exhibits, hologram displays, tour route signs, themed retail and a brand trivia motion wall display.

Touching all five senses is a critical part of the Miller Brewing Company tour. You see, hear, touch, smell and most importantly taste the quality that is Miller Beer.

The overall goal was to provide a "Wow" factor that is entertaining and educational. From the tour tickets and wristbands at the beginning to the coasters for the product samples at the end, the Miller Brewing Tour is a comprehensive walk through time to reinforce Miller's corporate values and product quality.

Designing a tour

When you begin the process of tour development, draft a script that provides unique information about your product or service, particularly if this information is unknown to your customers. For a resort tour, talk about the native culture and people who occupied the surrounding land through time. For a sports arena or stadium, detail construction facts and resources needed to prepare for a game day. In other words give your guest something to take away that expresses your uniqueness. Via this educational approach, you empower your guests to spread that knowledge to the world.