Kenneth Hoffström, site director at Absolut Home
Kenneth Hoffström, site director at Absolut Home, Absolut Vodka’s brand home, gives his perspective on how to create an immersive experience that will leave a lasting impression on guests.
‘Engagement’ is the holy grail for brands looking to get closer to their audiences, and what better way to bring people closer to your product, your heritage, your cultural links and future aspirations, than by inviting them into your home?
Located in the picturesque village of Åhus in southern Sweden, Absolut Home invites people to step behind the scenes to learn more about the vodka’s incredible history and production process – from seed to sip. This is important – when guests come to see us, they don’t just want to learn about the liquid, they are eager to uncover the astonishing facts, happenings and characteristics formed through our history and current processes that give them a deeper insight into a product they love.
As consumers put more and more emphasis on brand trust and authenticity, a tour can be the perfect way to bring people closer and build an emotional connection through real conversations about the topics that matter to them.
An award-winning distillery tour? Think of it as a good lesson in history, manufacturing, culture and art all mixed into one.
Location, location, location…
As with most distilleries, location is a significant factor in creating the overall experience. Consumers care deeply about provenance, so shout proudly about where you are based, and the deep interconnection and relevance of your links with local culture and community, as well as the value that you bring and the jobs you create. When we talk about location, we aren’t just talking about provenance – we know it also refers to our community, the people, guides and bartenders that bring real impact to our visitors’ experience.
Authenticity wins hearts
A tour is a fantastic stage to bring concepts and ideas to life, so take the opportunity to show your visitors the things you care about most. Sustainability and responsibility, creativity and innovation are key for Absolut, so we take great care to ensure these values shine through in our tour. For example, a large part of our tour revolves around the social responsibility that comes with large-scale production in a small village. We tell visitors about the commitment to working with local suppliers, such as the farmers delivering winter wheat in the vodka-making process. As well as surprising them with why the local pigs and cows are so fond of The Absolut Company…
There’s a place for playfulness and creativity
Of course, you want the tour to be informative, but it should be fun too! We’re always delighted to hear comments from guests saying that “the tour was done in a really engaging way with many fun and charming features” and “we learned a part of Swedish history that was unknown to us”. If we have informed and entertained, then we have done our job.
A sensory sensation
When telling the story of a spirit brand, it’s vital to appeal to all the senses to make the tour engaging and memorable. From tasting and smelling to mixing, our senses help us tell the story from seed to sip. Another playful example of incorporating the senses is having cocktail-making classes available as part of the tour to ensure there are several occasions where guests can get hands-on with the product.
All these ingredients must be as perfectly balanced and mixed as the ingredients in a cocktail, to create a visitor experience with real impact and value.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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