We are creatures of curiosity. We want to know, to learn and to figure out. Entrepreneurs who satisfy our desire for knowledge can create new and wonderful offerings that create deep relationships with their customers.
One of the most striking recent advances in this type of service is the Internet itself. As millions of people create billions of webpages they add to the accumulated, searchable knowledge of mankind. Everyone with access to the Internet has the opportunity to find and learn about whatever they want. Curiosity has been freed from the limitations of printed material, giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to create a more knowledgeable clientele.
With all this available information, we have come to rely on curators. Those bloggers and news outlets that we return to again and again have become docents in a mental museum, showing us the things that they believe we will find useful, engaging or relevant. Entrepreneurs who create cognitive value can also engage customers in new ways, securing a more focused, attentive audience.
In addition, those entrepreneurs who provide information can be seen as more trustworthy, more knowledgeable and more proficient. If your business offers useful tips, describes novel uses for your products or creates opportunities for people to engage your services more fully, you further differentiate yourself from your competition.
Gary’s Gastronomic Historical Society
It’s becoming harder and harder to come up with new ideas in the restaurant space. The marketplace has been saturated with wonderful innovations, from chemical gastronomy to cuisine from the most remote cultures.
Gary, a talented chef, wanted to open his own restaurant, but didn’t have the funds to start one himself. He developed relationships with a number of local eateries who agreed to let him create “pop up” restaurants on days they were closed. Gary also had a more than passing interest in history and thought he might be able to attract customers using the “when” of food rather than the “where” that was already in use by so many of his competitors.
Each week, Gary created a menu from a specific historical era. Foods from Ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, early America and many other periods were assembled into unique dining experiences for history aficionados. Menus were meticulously researched, ingredients were located and preparation methods were reconstructed as accurately as possible.
Reservations were capped to keep each table to a single sitting. Historians were invited to speak to the assembled guests as the meal progressed. They told the stories behind how various ingredients were obtained and the dishes were prepared, while providing descriptions of the culinary customs of the time. Artifacts, slideshows and costumes completed the presentation, giving guests a remarkable glimpse into cultures long past.
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