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Five lessons your company
can learn from Tomorrowland
By Geert Martens & Geert Teunkens
Image credit:

Waffles, ...
Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd

September 2013

Claim your Fame

early beginning Tomorrowland has been focusing on

Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd

your employees or creating negative buzz. In the long
term, emotions color the way c...
Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd

September 2013

of the somewhat trendier dance-lovers. In order

Apart from aligning...
Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd

September 2013

Apply the Magic of Storytelling
Since the very beginning, Tomorrowla...
Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd

September 2013

Are you an insurance player trying to make young

year on year and e...
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Tomorrow-Bank? Tomorrow-Gaz? Tomorrow-Telco? Five lessons your company can learn from Tomorrowland.

Five lessons your company can learn from Tomorrowland

  1. 1. Five lessons your company can learn from Tomorrowland By Geert Martens & Geert Teunkens Image credit: Waffles, chocolate, beer… Tomorrowland. Ask a foreign youngster about Belgium and these are probably the first things to come to mind. People have marveled at our sweets and drinks for ages, yet to have a music festival as an export At 4C Consulting we allocate the success of Tomorrowland to the consistent execution of a well-designed, deliberate and emotional customer experience, and a continuous focus on improving this experience year on year. product would have been hard to predict ten years Should you ‘Tomorrow’ your business? Let’s take ago. a look at some of the techniques Tomorrowland Only nine years after its first edition the popularity of the festival is overwhelming. In 2013 Tomorrowland welcomed 180,000 guests from over 92 nationalities skillfully applies to deliver the best festival in the world and how your company can learn from it, ...without having to dress up as a fairy. while 16 million more viewers joined via live These are the five lessons we think your company stream TV. Facebook ‘likes’ exceed the actual could learn from Tomorrowland: festival capacity with a factor 70. The festival was voted ‘Best Global Festival’ two years in a row and Tomorrowworld, a recently born sister-event in Atlanta, serves as the ultimate evidence of its international appeal. How to explain this massive success? It is about so • Claim your Fame • Choose your Audience • Unlock the Power of Emotions • Design your Customer Journeys • Apply the Magic of Storytelling much more than just electronic dance music. 4C Consulting | The pro o f i s i n t he p e o pl e Page 1 / 6
  2. 2. Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd September 2013 Claim your Fame early beginning Tomorrowland has been focusing on If you have ever organized a party you will know that it is no rocket science to get the basics right. Book a venue. Send invitations. Get drinks. Add some music. Done! the young (with a strict 18+ policy, though), higherend, trendy party lovers from Belgium and around the globe with a shared passion for electronic dance music. In a way this is a blue ocean strategy, since this particular segment was previously not associated with Although this setting has a fair chance of being the rather ‘rock’-oriented festival culture. successful among good friends you are still mostly This target audience, and especially its international relying on yourself, the guests and maybe the alcohol profile with over 92 different nationalities at this year ’s to make your party memorable. After all, people go 9th edition, has become an integral and differentiating to these gatherings all the time and after a dozen part of the Tomorrowland experience: it is impossible of them it becomes hard to distinguish one memory to talk about Tomorrowland without talking about its from the other. people. At no other festival in the world do you find an What does it take to have a party that truly sets you audience with a similar social and demographic profile. apart? What do you want to be famous for? Many options are available to distinguish yourself from your competitors, but due to limited resources, choices have to be made. Great companies don’t beat the competition on all aspects of their business, but they clearly outperform the playing field on some of them, as advocated by Crawford & Mathews in their bestselling book ‘The myth of Excellence’. From the early days, instead of investing in low prices, extended service or superior accessibility, Tomorrowland has chosen to focus on a high quality product - world class DJ’s - combined with an exceptional customer experience. The festival has continuously kept its promise of providing a magical journey for their beloved guests, all based upon a fairytale-inspired theme: “Yesterday is History, Today is a Gift, Tomorrow is Mystery”. Unlock the Power of Emotions “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” - Maya Angelou, American author and poet. Whether we’re discussing grocery shoppers, banking clients or festival animals, each consumer is continuously exposed to a series of emotional cues, often on a subconscious level. Each customer interaction, minor or important, adds to the overall feeling customers have about a brand. Each interaction impacts how they will remember your business. An employee talking on the phone while handling your payment subconsciously tells you that you’re actually not that important, whereas Choose your Audience The easiest way to fail is trying to please everyone. A clear choice of your target segment and a relentless effort to understand, connect, serve and delight their specific needs is elementary. Tomorrowland is not aimed at everybody. From the 4C Consulting | The pro o f i s i n t he p e o pl e a personal call from your dentist just to ask you whether everything is OK does exactly the opposite. Both examples have a price tag and both are manageable. While reason leads to conclusion, emotion leads to action. In the short term, customers feeling ‘annoyed’ are likely to complain, thereby occupying Page 2 / 6
  3. 3. Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd your employees or creating negative buzz. In the long term, emotions color the way customers remember things, having an impact on future behavior. Positive memories will lead to recommendations, cross-sell and loyalty whereas negative memories will trigger churn and detractors. September 2013 Map interactions The first step is to get a complete overview of all potential interactions in a comprehensive customer journey map. You will be surprised when you realize just how many interactions there are and that they are often managed by different people in your A central step in customer experience management company. Hence the importance of a shared view is designing an emotional profile for your intended on exactly how your intended customer experience customer experience: a predefined set of emotions should look like: your customer experience identity. you want to elicit. Tomorrowland has clearly made the choice to make visitors feel like the privileged cast in a magical fairytale. For a whole weekend visitors Align interactions are immersed into a world where anything is possible Now you can start matching the existing interactions and where they are continuously reminded of how with the emotions you want to trigger. This will young, free and important they really are. This overall quickly identify gaps and opportunities for alignment ‘magical’ feeling breaks down into specific emotions and allow you to carefully streamline thousands of such as ‘excited’, ‘happy’, ‘overwhelmed’, ‘inspired’, small interactions. ‘connected’ and ‘cared for’. Relative to a bank, insurer, telco operator, utility company or most B2C and B2B companies for that matter, Tomorrowland has the advantage that music, At Tomorrowland purely functional objects are seen as opportunities to engage visitors. • transformed main stage into a massive Volcano a dominating component of their experience, is as the centerpiece of a fully decorated scenery, expressive of emotions and that it can easily convey or elicit emotions in the listener. Studies indicate for instance an association between fast tempo and ready to be stared at for a whole weekend. • coins. rhythm may be associated with happiness and peace. • Huge flowers are used to point out specially designed garbage cans. their intended emotions. And as you will see: you don’t need magic to deliver a magical experience. Drink tokens are no longer boring but delivered in a medieval ‘booze bag’ as if it were golden happiness or excitement and a smooth, consistent But Tomorrowland goes far beyond music to elicit This years central theme ‘the arising of life’ • Entry-wristbands are no longer plastic and ugly but nicely designed bracelets in the fairytale Design your Customer Journeys theme. • What you need is an in-depth understanding While leaving the festival area visitors are surprised by the recorded sounds of singing and alignment of all customer interactions: you birds while the path is lightened by fire-spitting need to know exactly how to elicit the predefined dragons. set of emotions that deliver your intended customer experience. This is where customer journey design steps in with a three step-based approach: map, align and add interactions. • Regular lamp posts are replaced by nicely decorated ones. Traditional Belgian festivals used to be infamous for rainy mud fights, shabby clothing and low frills accommodation. Not much in line with the lifestyle 4C Consulting | The pro o f i s i n t he p e o pl e Page 3 / 6
  4. 4. Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd September 2013 of the somewhat trendier dance-lovers. In order Apart from aligning existing interactions, we often for Tomorrowland to deliver their magical fairytale, find significant improvement opportunities in adding they have tackled some of the issues ‘the People of new, well-designed interactions to the mix. This Tomorrowland’ would probably encounter at your could entail expanding the journey and your span of average festival: control by challenging the beginning and the end of a • The festival terrain is covered with wooden floors to allow for trendy footwear even on a muddy underground. • could simply consist of adding interactions at various stages within the journey. Strategically stored supplies of free raincoats are attempts to protect trendy outfits and hairstyles from getting ruined by Belgian rain. • customer journey: start earlier and end later. Or this Toilets and fresh points are staffed with themed When does Tomorrowland start? • the festival, when pre-movies are dropped onto employees ready to refresh visitors with deodorant. • Food and beverages are somewhat to very social media to announce the yearly theme. • can even enjoy creations by Michelin Star chefs equipped with grass floors and DJ booths. • • Empty smart phones are a problem from the past with the creation of a rent-a-battery service. Take that Zeus! Customer experience is about emotions. Emotions are about perception. This year Tomorrowland announced the installation of weather canons. When the festival was hit with heavy rains, loud canon shots were clearly audible. Meanwhile, big screens announced that “A storm is on the way. Booming sound is weather prevention”. Whether the canons actually worked, we A grain circle shaped in the Tomorrowland logo announced the proximity of the festival. such as Sergio Herman, Roger Vandamme or Wout Bru. When the festival first decided to organize world-wide travel packages, planes were upscale, relative to the more traditional soda and beer formulas at other festivals. Visitors The Tomorrowland journey begins months before • Instead of handing out wristbands at the entry of the festival, they are now being delivered at home a few weeks in advance, in an again specially designed box. That ’s all folks... not just yet. The journey doesn’t end either when you leave the parking lot. A few weeks after the festival a thirty minute long ‘official after-movie’ is created, having its own launch event at the Antwerp Grand Square. The end result forms the perfect example of a carefully designed customer experience, with a major impact on how the festival is remembered by its guests. will never know. Fact is that the soaking wet visitors And let ’s not forget that the fairytale continues on still had the feeling that the festival was trying Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Instagram,... and various everything in their power to keep the fairytale alive, blogs, an attempt to bridge the gap between this even if it takes fighting nature. year ’s and next year ’s edition: “The countdown has begun: next year the world will celebrate 10 years of Madness…” A totally new interpretation of closedloop marketing. Add interactions 4C Consulting | The pro o f i s i n t he p e o pl e Page 4 / 6
  5. 5. Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd September 2013 Apply the Magic of Storytelling Since the very beginning, Tomorrowland Let your customers tell a story pulled the card of storytelling on two distinct levels: In our connected world marketing is no longer about their product experience and their marketing efforts. the controlled messages you send out. It ’s about truly engaging with your customers so they take over Let your product tell a story the role of your marketing department. Customer experience is not about social media, but social media First of all the whole festival is organized as one big are about customer experience. Truly unleashing the adult fairytale, complete with villains, heroes and power of social media, requires following steps: miracles. • Every year a central theme is chosen and carefully translated into every corner of the festival terrain. The main stage serves as a larger-than-life storyteller to introduce DJ’s. Festival employees Deliver great customer experiences that include conversation-worthy components • Make it easy to share • Encourage sharing and dancers are dressed in matching outfits and Tomorrowland actively promotes storytelling by guests are continuously addressed as the ‘People their audience with a very different approach to of Tomorrowland’; a clear invitation to take up the the usage of digital cameras and/ or video cameras; central role in the story. A continuous chain of staged Tomorrowland’s advice: “Make as much movies as miracles - rosebuds falling from the sky, large bubble possible and upload them on Youtube!” And with the blowers - brings festival guests into a playful and roll-out of a ‘rent-a-battery service’, Tomorrowland friendly atmosphere. addressed the problem of empty smart phones, enabling guests to continuously stay connected to share their once in a lifetime experiences on social Let your marketing tell a story media. Apart from the terrain being a fairytale scene, the festival also successfully applies storytelling techniques in its own marketing efforts. Starting channel to build up towards key moments, like day by Now, should you ‘ Tomorrow ’ your business? day announcements of new artists. Tomorrowland’s relentless focus on customer The ultimate example is the buildup towards the experience has resulted in massive customer announcement of a second festival location last engagement. Past visitors have turned into fans, year. Instead of just revealing the new venue they prepared to pay price premiums and even forgive managed to engage dance lovers all over the world operational hiccups. by only announcing that it would take place on a new Before you start painting your bank branches or continent. A symbolic crystal bottle was pictured to stores in fairytale colors – although we don’t oppose be launched in the ocean and during weeks they had the idea – it should be clear that the point is not to social media worldwide buzzing with guesses about blatantly copy someone else’s crazy theme. These where it would finally arrive. When the new location techniques can perfectly be applied by any company of Chattahoochee Hills in the United States was finally and with more neutral sets of emotions. months in advance, social media is used as a preferred disclosed, the new festival sold out in no time. 4C Consulting | The pro o f i s i n t he p e o pl e Page 5 / 6
  6. 6. Five Lessons from Tom o r row l a nd September 2013 Are you an insurance player trying to make young year on year and engaging your customers on an customers feel ‘secure’? Or rather a utility company emotional level. aiming to make family heads feel ‘smart’? What about car manufacturers making car owners feel ‘socially responsible’ or rather ‘unique’? You will notice that Contact us merely describing the feelings you are after - and Interested to find out on how we might help you those you want to avoid - will help you to align deliver great customer experiences? Or just want to decisions and customer processes more consistently. talk? We are living in the age of the customer. According to Please contact: Forrester, the only source of competitive advantage is the one that can survive technology-fueled disruption — an obsession with understanding, delighting, Geert Martens connecting with, and serving customers: the ultimate Partner goal is emotional customer engagement. That is what T: +32 15 281 281 will set apart future market leaders from those who E: come second. Customer engagement is the result of Tw: @geert_martens delivering great customer experiences: experiences Geert Teunkens that are deliberate, emotional and consistent. Senior Consultant So should you ‘Tomorrow’ your business? T: +32 15 281 281 No, if you would interpret it as playing dance music E: in your bank branches, or setting off fireworks to Tw: @Joeng_Teun celebrate the reactivation of your nuclear plants. Most definitely, if you would interpret it as clearly defining who you want to be for your customer, identifying which emotions you want to elicit with your customers, designing your customer journeys to consistently deliver your intended experience, continuously focusing on improving your experiences At 4C Consulting we believe that taking a fresh look at the way companies interact with their customers can create long-term competitive advantages and unique value. By the work we do for our clients, we contribute to build a customer driven society in an increasingly complex world. “ The proof is in the people”: our consultants are seasoned business professionals that leverage industry, domain and technology best practices and apply proven methodologies to tackle business challenges in domains such as customer experience management, cross-channel management, CRM, campaign management, sales force automation, customer analytics, business intelligence and change management. Our customer experience practices include customer experience strategy design, customer experience maturity assessment, segmentation and persona design, voice of the customer research, customer journey mapping, moments of truth design, customer experience metrics framework, governance and cultural change. 4C Consulting | T: +32 15 281 281 | A: Stationsstraat 60/5 2800 Mechelen - BELGIUM | E: | W:
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Tomorrow-Bank? Tomorrow-Gaz? Tomorrow-Telco? Five lessons your company can learn from Tomorrowland.


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