What better way to claim your authenticity than to share your heritage with customers in an interactive and engaging manner. Let them play with your brand in a way that is both fun and informative. Claim your place in the category by sharing the highs and lows of your journey. And if you happen to do it from the ‘place’ of your origins you add significantly to the authenticity of who you are and what you are about.
This is precisely what the international beer brand Heineken has done in its original brewery in Amsterdam. It takes visitors on an engaging, largely self-paced exploration of the art of brewing. It not only shares its philosophies on how to make the ‘best’ beer but it also weaves its rich heritage into the storytelling. The result is that you cannot help leaving this ‘Heineken Brewery/Theatre’ experience without feeling a deeper connection to the brand. They have leveraged the power of what flagship locations bring to the table – provide a place to be what you are, and thereby show customers that you are in fact what you say you are – in the case of Heineken, a boutique master brewer.
On a visit in June this year, I was taken by the large numbers of visitors sharing in the Heineken experience, given they had all paid fifteen euro for the privilege. Ah, you may be thinking fifteen euro is not a lot to pay to spend time sampling their wares, but when that is restricted to two glasses of their amber fluid it is evidence that consumers also have a thirst for engaging brand storytelling. Long live the theatre of brand!