When was the last time you actually learned something new from a museum visit? I couldn’t recall any … until my recent visit to Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.
Every single story in the museum is delightful and educational. From learning how to taste to how to pour, Guinness Storehouse surprised me in every possible way. As an experience + service designer, I know the flow of this museum is thoughtfully curated by experts. There are many interactive stations that are set up just at the right place and the right time. For example, there is a high-tech infinity room to showcase the chemistry during brewing just when you’re probably tired of reading wall posts; there is also a tasting room where we get educated on how to taste and what to taste just when we read and heard enough of the theories! I could go on and on about the amazing experience but it’s never fun to read an experience vs. actually experiencing it yourself! Oh did I mention there is a gravity bar on the top floor where you can oversee Dublin? And there is also connoisseur experience available at your disposal if you choose to pay a little extra.
Having worked at a beer company early in my career, I remember my boss asked me to identify different types of beers he poured in the beginning of the interview. I told him I couldn’t tell the difference aside from the color (prior to tasting them). He told me marketing is everything in this industry (or perhaps in any industry for that matter)! When you hear a beer brand, what is the image you associate with the beer? Where and who do you want to drink the beer with? That is the kind of experience we want our customers to feel and that is marketing! FYI I was hired as a buyer to purchase marketing materials for the firm at the time, so it was essential for me to understand the brand image so that I could purchase products that best represent the “experience” we want our customers to associate with the brand image!
Just as a side note, my last beer factory visit was at the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. It was also one of the best museum visit experiences I’ve had in my short life. I love museums and I love it, even more, when I have something to take away with me. I wonder if the same crew that designed the Heineken…also designed the Guinness lol.