Smell the Fart
I learned the term ”Smelling the Fart” when I took a creative leadership -course at Kaospilots in Denmark 2 years ago. And if I’m being honest, the whole Kaospilot terminology – smelling the fart, not to mention the energy in the room or the invisible arches that plant the seed and harvest the result, all sounded a bit like “healing crystals” to me first.
But wordings and crystals aside, the content was and is real – it’s about truly sensing the atmosphere, energy and connection in the room with the people you are therewith.
In a new Netflix series called The Playbook, football coach Jose Mourinho is taking the same content into sports. On an away game he tuned in. He started to sense the home supporters energy and the invisible atmosphere in the stadium. He connected with it and made the decisions and strategic moves based on that at the exact right moment.
Needless to say, it worked. Jose’s team won the match, and eventually, the whole Champions League with a small club Porto becoming to known personally as The Special One.
It’s always fun to hear about success stories. And even more interesting is to hear the subjective interpretations of what made the success possible. Everybody’s an expert afterwards…
But how to break such an abstract thing into reality? Is there something you can grasp and try to affect beforehand? I believe in pre-covid we made it more “clear” and that way also more easy for us.
A simple non-scientific example to support my hypothesis:
There are two restaurants next to each other. One has a handful of quests, the other is totally full. Without visiting either, most of us would choose the one that is full or at least consider it better. Because with limited information, we always put our trust on people “who should know”.
But things have changed. All the spaces are more empty “thanks to” the second wave of Covid-19. Fewer people can get into that more popular restaurant because of the regulations. And that might lead to both of the restaurants seeming quite full. How do we then evaluate – who can we trust?
My answer is, we tune in even more. Consciously or subconsciously we begin to sense smaller details, as well as energy in the room…or whatever you want to call it.
We look and feel the spaces more in detail AND also try and sense the feeling we get from the people inside the restaurant. Not to forget the essence though. In the long run, the core product or service naturally plays the most important role.
But the space, together with your personnel and the guests create the atmosphere, the connection, “the fart” that the people inside and outside can sense. And that “fart” – that feeling – creates the motivation to come in (again and again).
So if you own a restaurant, are a retailer or work with spaces, how do you create the right fart to your physical space?
The spaces create the conditions and the people create the trust and the motivation to action.
I’m not a designer so I just rather reflect my observations after working years with exceptional brands and agencies.
1. Start with the essence. Understand yourself and your brand.
Anyone can create hype, but hype without content is not sustainable. Define what you are, what you truly believe in or what you strive for.
2. Execute to perfection.
Even the best design is worth nothing without a spot-on execution. Be true to your gut feelings, never compromise on your brand or it’s execution.
3. Make it personal – create the connection.
See the restrictions as an opportunity. If there are fewer people, you have more time for each customer. Focus on creating a connection with them.
Depending on your brand, nowadays there are also countless physical, technical or digital possibilities and solutions to support the experience.
Check these three digital solutions out:
Booking your exclusive time to retail store through the virtual queue is possible by one of our partners Ombori.
Creating physical experiences like The Cold Room by Canada Goose.
Using AI to enhance the experience like ColorIQ by Sephora
“The fart” that the people inside and outside the space can sense, creates that feeling and the motivation to visit the place again and again.