Build it for and Around Your Customer

aa_montsroFew businesses can truly say they were built for and around their customer.  But when you find one it is like magic.  No I am not talking about the Magic Kingdom.  However, I did happen along one of those rare experiences when I am in awe of someone’s creation.

  • 600,000 square feet
  • Man made cavesaa_caves
  • A Ferris wheel on top of an 11 story building
  • A 10 story slide
  • Shoe lace factory
  • Human sized hamster wheel
  • A bus hanging off of a roof top where you can sit in the driver’s seat
  • Circus
  • Old time arcade
  • Over 10,000 creatures in the aquarium including sharks
  • Toddler town, a ball pit, pipe organ, a circus, and much more…

Wow.  It was awesome.  My children enjoyed it more than Six Flags — The City Museum in St. Louis.

This museum is distinctive, different, serves alcohol, is open until 1 a.m. on weekends and you do not have to read; just experience.  It is a lawyer’s nightmare and a child’s dream.

The City Museum is the creation of Bob Cassilly, a sculptor and entrepreneur.  He designed a masterpiece that make children want to know more and brings the whimsy back into the adult.

When you arrive you will not find a map, literature, structure, or a schedule.  The staff will help you, make recommendations, but most of all they will encourage you to experience the museum together – parent and child.  You will be given bracelets so that you may come and go throughout the day and enjoy the museum at your leisure.  This place was designed for children and adults; it brings out the best in both, encourages shared moments and family dialogue.

When I was there I spoke to someone that works there.  He keeps the place clean.  As you can imagine he works very hard.  But he doesn’t mind.  When he walks around the museum he sees what he is a part of and feels a sense of pride.  He knows that he works in a special place.

Bob Cassilly did not create a museum.  He builds connections.  He did not make a business and then expect people to frequent that business on his terms.  He dared to be different.  He created an experience for his customers from the moment they step in to the moment they leave.  It is all about the customer.

Next time you are in St. Louis check it out.  Better yet schedule a trip.

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One thought on “Build it for and Around Your Customer

  1. Business owners (and future owners) can learn a lesson from Bob Cassilly. He was attentive to those around him, and made something all could appreciate.

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