Sales & Marketing

it’s a secret experience why it can be good to keep your customers in the dark

Letitia Booty | 4 October 2016 | 8 years ago

Secret Cinema is an immersive film experience held in an unknown location
Secret Cinema is an immersive film experience held in an unknown location
I recently attended a ‘secret theatre? show, where information was deliberately left wanting in the run up to the event to create a secret experience and make for a greater surprise on the night. I won’t tell you anything about it (that’s the agreement you enter into when you sign up to one of these events) but suffice to say there were some unexpected twists and turns on the night.

There have been loads of these events popping up lately, especially in London. There’s the Gingerline Groupwhere you buy a dinner ticket and the only thing you can be assured of is that the event will take place somewhere on the Overground line. Then you’ve got?Secret Cinema, where you purchase a cinema ticket and are not told what the film will be until the night itself. Another player in the space is the?Disappearing Dining Club, where you purchase a ticket and eventually take part in a feast at a secret location anywhere in the city.

However, it’s not just about mystery events either. There are also so-called ‘secret? bars, where you knock on a half-concealed door and require a password to get in. There are even ‘secret? menus in restaurants and coffee houses.

Big brands in on the secret experience too

This type of event is becoming increasingly popular, and it made me wonder why surely buying something without knowing what it is should put buyers off? It seems counter-intuitive.

According to a blog for market researcher Mintel, the reason such speakeasies and secret events have become so popular is that we are part of a culture driven by chalking up distinctive experiences and nurturing individuality, consumers are increasingly seeking the feelings of mystery, exclusivity and uniqueness”.

The idea, suggested the author of the blog, Stacy Glasgow, is to create ‘stealth consumption that isnt supposed to be publicised or available to everyone”.

Except, of course, the secret experience is available to everyone. Most of these secret bars require a password, sure, but you can find them with a quick Google search and it’s often free to reserve a table. The cinema and theatre tickets can be pricey but they’re advertised on websites and apps like DesignMyNight and YPlan, just like every other, standard, non-secret event.

So while at first it might seem like these entrepreneurial business owners are shooting themselves in the foot by creating secret events and secret menus and hiding from their customers, it turns out they are actually hiding in plain sight. So what’s the idea behind everything claiming to be so ‘secret? all of a sudden?

The idea is that the concept of a secret experience it drums up excitement, a sense of having found a unique experience in a city full of tourists doing the same-old-same-old.

it’s a good little trick of marketing that many more businesses could yet be cashing out on. If you’re looking for simple ways to drive demand for your product or services, Kevan Lee, author for social media and content marketing blog Buffer, suggests using the following words and phrases that businesses can include in their copy to imply exclusivity and create a buzz: members only, login required, membership now closed, ask for an invitation, exclusive offers, be one of the few, become an insider, etc.

You never know, being one of London’s worst kept secrets could be the next big thing for your business.

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