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Transforming into Transformational – Haunt & NAFDMA Part 3 of 4


This is Part 3 in a 4 part series I’ve been working on since the NAFDMA convention (that’s North American Farmers Direct Marketing Assoc. or in an effort to encapsulate and explore all the ideas I uncovered and make them useful.

This blog series is meant to be responsive and interactive, so please, when I ask seemingly rhetorical questions or really hard questions at the end of each, take up the challenge and answer back by email! I want you to be disturbed by these questions, to shock your brain into a creative mode. Hope you enjoy!

“Transforming into Transformational”

Hey gang,

“Transforming into Transformational” Hey, I promise my obsession with Randy White’s presentation will end with this: You must transform into Transformational.

The definition of a transformational experience is simple: The guest is different when they leave. That’s it. They are different; transformed. It’s tempting to overshoot when thinking about how you might go about creating these differences, so I’ll share a few examples from Randy and a few from my own travels.

  • A cooking class. In the cooking class, the chef makes attainable a higher form of artful cooking in the student than when the student first arrived at the class. My wife and a group fo friends just went to a Fill the Freezer party at which they cooked 5-6 meals together, shared the experience, learned recipes and techniques and got 5-6 meals out of the way for their busy mom-schedules.
  • Farm school tours. When preschoolers come to our farms for tours, they come with very little agricultural knowledge and NO agricultural skills. When they leave, they have seen, touched, picked, fed and tasted, first-hand. Those kids leave transformed. I’ll admit it: The little kids’ transformations bring joy to my heart.
  • International travel. If you’ve caught the travel bug, you know that international travel is a transformational experience. My wife and I long ago got hooked when we backpacked through Europe on “$40 a Day”, you can tell how old I am now! Being together, otherwise alone in a foreign, non-English-speaking country changes your perspective on the world. Part of me secretly wishes we could mandate exchange programs so more people would be exposed to the world outside their own and be transformed!
  • The Boot Camp program. (Yes, I know, this is a program we sell but hear me out.) In the world of seasonal employees, there is a LOT of pain. We know because we manage over 100 employees across 3 businesses, and some of you manage a lot more. When we finally got our system in place, then offered the system to other seasonal business owners, I found out how transformational changing the way you interact with your staff can be.
  • Haunted attractions. I’m currently with one of the largest collections of artists in the world – the Haunted Attraction Industry show in St. Louis. I marvel each year at this incredible display of creativity. Sure, it’s not for everyone. Heck, I don’t even run a haunt, but the level of craftsmanship and creativity specifically focused on creating a transformational experience in a haunt is impressive. Trust me – You’ll leave these haunts transformed!

So, how can you apply the Transformational Lens to your business:

  • Write down a few ideas about where your guest ‘starts’ her journey at your business. For instance, if you ran a coffee shop, does your average coffee drinker know how you select and roast beans? Does your average pumpkin patch visitor know that pumpkin vines are prickly and why? Does your bakery customer know why dough must ‘proof’ before baking his favorite bread? Is your haunt customer totally comfortable with clowns and loud music?
  • Write down where you want to leave the customer at the end of the experience. For instance, I want the preschoolers to know that apples grow on trees and you can pick that apple with your hand, shine it up and take a bite immediately. You might want your haunt guest to have adrenaline pumping, be breathless and laughing with her friends. You might want your coffee drinker to pause to savor the special blends only you produce so he starts visiting you instead of Starbucks because it tastes better.
  • Next, write down ways you could create an experience that would move your customer from A to B. Point to point in their understanding. It’s one of those challenges that is simple, but not easy.

Email me your current most transformative experiences you offer right now and what you’d like to create!

Have a great week, I’ve got to get back to exploring the ghouls and goblins on display. Come see us in the 1200 row, we’re the happy friendly booth if you’re here in St. Louis, too.


PPS CLOSED: We have FILLED our Sunflower Mastermind Group for 2019. The response has been overwhelming and it is an exciting group of operators to have on your team, but we have to cut sign-ups off somewhere so we can deliver the product. I can’t wait to report on how this group created transformational experiences in beautiful fields of flowers!

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