Create a magical experience like Harry Potter World

A few weeks ago I had fun visiting the revamped Universal Studio in Los Angeles with my family, including my two sons who are both avid Harry Potter fans. Our first stop was of course  ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ that you see in a virtual tour here. One of the most memorable moments we had there was a visit to Ollivanders, the famous and dusty wand shop and it got me thinking about how to add magic to your customer experience.

1. Make the experience distinctive

The visual experience of the shop is totally distinctive: wand boxes piled up messily on shelves, all the way to ceiling. This gives you exactly the impression you get in the book or film, of a mysterious assortment where you have to find you way and find your ‘match’.  The wands have no price tags, so you really can stay in the magic (until the parents reach the checkout at least!)

It would have been easy to just go into ‘shop mode’ and create another boring museum shop, with normal shelves, conventional promos and displays. But the messiness of the shelves and abundance of product makes the experience hugely enticing.

Action point: how can you bring to life the distinctiveness of your brand in the customer experience? How can you fully express your brand values and personality?

2. Immerse people in the product

The shop was heaving with kids, most of whom came dressed in their Harry Potter robes. The decision process of ‘what wand is right for me?’ is left to the ‘students’, who spend ages opening boxes, checking the quality and feel of every wand. You have only one tool to help you decide: beautifully displayed descriptive boards explain the characteristic of various wood types, and how they match certain personalities.

Action point: how can you create an experience that lets people discover your product and immerse themselves in it?

3. Amplify the experience with digital

The wands you buy are, of course, interactive. You can use them to help you create ‘magic’ and move objects in various locations in the streets of Hogwarts as you visit the park. This makes the purchase more memorable and adds value to the product experience.

Action point: how can you use digital technology to enhance the experience of using your product, blending the physical and digital worlds?

In conclusion, we’re not saying you should create a messy pile of your brand’s product on supermarket shelves like the Ollivanders store. But how can you bring to life your brand in a distinctive, immersive way to create a more engaging and memorable shopping experience?