What Kind of Halloween Experience Do You Deliver??

halloween.jpgI love Halloween. I guess its just the kid in me that likes the idea dressing up as someone or something you’re not and going door to door to get candy. Of course, at my age that may be inappropriate, so in recent years I have opted to make the night fun for the kids.

Some people deck out their houses at Christmas. I do the same thing for Halloween. It started a few years ago with one or two of those electronic effects you can get at Target or Wal-Mart. Over the years, I’ve made the experience richer with more effects including special lighting, a PA system playing creepy music and scary sounds, giant spider webs, coffins, animated tombstones, fog, a haunted chandelier, etc.

A Great Experience Creates Advocates

I don’t live in a neighborhood with lots of kids. Before I started all of this nonsense, my Halloween traffic was pretty low. In retail terms, I was not located in “prime real estate”. As the experience has grown, so has the traffic. Last year, most of the Trick or Treaters came from outside of the neighborhood. Moreover, they’ve been talking to their friends and the Word of Mouth Advertising has been good. They’ve also been talking to me. Several groups last year told me how much they liked the experience. One group that came earlier in the evening returned about an hour later and brought half a dozen friends. In other words, I have created advocates for my Halloween Experience.

Before I started delivering my Halloween Experience, I was just like all the other houses in the the neighborhood. I got the same traffic as everyone else because I offered the same experience as everyone else. I handed out candy, but it was not memorable.  I differentiated by adding sensory elements that play on the the Halloween theme.  Visual elements, audible elements, tactile elements, elements of surprise.  My Halloween traffic is now 10 times what it was just a few years ago and they aren’t coming just for the candy.

I’m not telling you anything new here, but delivering truly memorable experiences can be the differentiator that will drive business growth. What things are you doing to deliver a differentiating experience to your customers??

I wanted to record a video of the experience for this post, but the light is simply too low. It doesn’t convey the full experience, but I do have a Halloween Flickr album that you can access here.

4 comments so far

  1. Greg Verdino on

    Really enjoyed this post Doug – and that’s probably the best Halloween house I’ve ever seen. I’m lucky if I remember to buy candy for the kids.

  2. Chris Wilson on

    I think sometimes it is easy to forget how the little things (and sometimes big things) that go beyond expectations are what make the experience.

    You have also shown how much easier it is to go above and beyond once you start moving in that direction. Sometimes all we need to do is take that first step.

  3. Ann Handley on

    Got sucked in to this post because I love Halloween too… then (surprise!) I learned something! Great post, Doug. Well said.

    p.s. My Halloween post is here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-handley/five-reasons-to-love-the-_b_70280.html

  4. Doug Meacham on

    Greg, Thanks for the compliment.

    Chris, you got it! You can’t get there without taking that first step.

    Ann, really glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post. Loved your post! Waiting on my registration to comment on it.


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