Remember When? The Power of the Shared Experience

The Good Foot Dance Company in action.

The Good Foot Dance Company - photo by Tara Ward.

Ever notice how movies that were hilarious on the big screen are just not as funny when you watch them alone? Ever been stuck in a line for so long that you start up a conversation with the person standing next to you? Ever not wanted to go to an event but you go anyway, meet lots of great people and think what a fool you would have been to miss it? In all of these cases, it is the experience that we share with others that can make the difference between an ordinary day and a time to remember.

Whether you work with a small business or a big corporation, everyone is looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors. One way to do this, and where I think small businesses have an advantage, is to provide your community with an experience beyond the sale – something they will remember and will want to share with their friends. You may already do this in some ways, like with your choice of location, decoration, products and customer service. But what other ways can include your community in a deeper shared experience?

Three hikers with dogs reading a tour sign.

6 Friends, 18 Legs - photo by Tara Ward

Some quick examples that I can think of are book clubs, cooking classes, tours, guest speakers and musical entertainment. Let’s take the cooking class example further. You could have an expert provide a demonstration, invite your customers to bring their own creations to share, or mix it all together and have a different customer lead each class in a demonstration of their creation. Big or small, these kind of events bring your bring you and your community together, creating a bond between themselves and you.

Whether online or around town, there are countless ways that you could create shared experiences for your community. I feel that have just barely scratched the surface on this topic and expect that I will soon revisit it with more examples and success stories. Until then, I’d like to hear from you – what are some of your experiences that were made more memorable because they were shared with someone else? Can you create such an experience for your community?

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About Mike Ward

Connecting the digital to the local - website management, social media and event promotion.
This entry was posted in community building, small business and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Remember When? The Power of the Shared Experience

  1. It isn’t related to small business, but the shared experience you mention is part of what makes theatre such a force for me. When you are in a play that works, the shared experience makes everyone involved in it perform better, and enjoy it more.

    And that shared experience also extends not just to those in the play, but also the audience itself. After a while, when things go right, you and the audience are sharing the experience of a show that is going well. It transcends the mere experience of a bunch of people putting on a show.

    Going to a sporting event is similar. Like you said, being at a ball game alone, even if it is your favorite team, just doesn’t seem to be especially exciting.

  2. Mike Ward says:

    Thanks, Ty – this is an excellent example and I think that many of us could learn from theater in this way. Rather than just providing a spectacle to entertain their eyes and ears, you are using your skills to bring their emotions out, crossing the barrier of the stage to make a deeper connection. Sure it doesn’t always work out that way every time, but when it does it is both you and the audience know that something special is happening.

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