Experiences that make sense and add value

These are barley grains, from which you make malt and in turn beer or whisky. They come from the exposition at the Guinness brewery in Dublin, ”The Guinness Storehouse”.

I guess that if you were to visit the Guinness factory some 20 years ago, you would probably be led through the factory in a group. Your experience would consist of the actual noise, steam and smells of the factory. Today, however, you visit a special exposition building, an old storehouse with all the best of multimedia and exposition design. The expostion represents the production and it’s intention is to replace the experience of walking through the actual factory. It’s very well done, only one thing missing. The smell!

There is almost no smell anywhere in the exposition, which is a pity as the smell is a genuine opportunity to enhance the customers’ perception of a culinary product. And it would be quite easy to achieve for example by a heated pan of roasted barley, hidden behind some screen.

This reminds me of my visit to Islay some years ago, where I visited the distilleries of Lahproaig (picture above), Lagavulin and Ardbeg. I had never fully appreciated the taste of smoky Irish whisky until then, but standing there with the mix of smells of smoke, peat and the salty sea it suddenly made sense. These impressions come back everytime I have the pleasure of tasting an Irish whisky.

That’s what I call a value-adding experience!

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